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Friends in the Field Program


Get to know the Friends in the Field Program

The Friends in the Field, or FIF program, was recently funded through the North Valley Regional Center to increase the outdoor education opportunities for individuals with Intillectual and Developmental Disabilties (IDD's) between the ages of 16-26 to engage in various activities, and with various community partners - most of whom are a part of the Outdoor Education for All network (OEFA

Further goals include the ability to integrate with a supportive community where participants can socialize, explore nature, attend events like concerts and festivals, and participate in activities like hiking, kayaking, and more. In essence, Friends in the Field is all about fostering inclusivity, fun, and meaningful experiences for individuals with IDDs and their families.

This program couldn't have been possible without the kick-off training provided through MERGE Consulting. Learn more about that training here.

If this sounds like something you or your organization is interested in,  a Recreation Specialist can create a custom field trip, inclusivity training, or after school program for your students.


The Menu of Experiences Version 1 (Fall of 2023)- highlighted items link to lesson plans/examples

Here is a glimpse at the opportunities we have for friends and families to experience.

May contain: advertisement, poster, person, qr code, and outdoors
  • Hiking
  • Photography (digital cameras provided) 
  • Drone Flying - licensed pilot present
  • Teambuilding Activities 
  • Nature Journaling
  • Traditional Survival Techniques – Bow Drills, searching and finding water, nutrition in the wild, finding a safe place during the night 
  • Preparing a meal in the wild
  • RC Cars/Monster Trucks (Only at Bille Park)
  • Hiking on moderate incline and decline (Only at Lil Falls Trail in Magalia and Lake Oroville Dam Trail) 
  • Rock Climbing and Rappelling (Only at Upper Bidwell Park)
  • Binocular based Bird Watching and identification (Only at Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve)
  • Fire Wise Curriculum (Only at Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve)
  • On the Water Recreation (Only at Paradise Lake - Boat Launch Side and The Forebay Aquatic Center)
  • Sailing (Only at The Forebay Aquatic Center)
  • Rowing (Only at The Forebay Aquatic Center)
  • Kayaking (Only at Paradise Lake - Boat Launch Side and The Forebay Aquatic Center)

Already booked a field trip or excursion? Below are several download friendly files such as the Field Trip Prep(what to expect) document, the Activity Registration Waiver, and the Forest Therapy Waiver for both adults and children

Field Trip Prep 3.2.23.docxActivity+Registration+2020.b.pdf22-23 Forest Therapy Adult Waiver.pdf22-23 Forest Therapy Minor Waiver.pdf


May contain: photography, nature, outdoors, scenery, clothing, hat, footwear, shoe, person, accessories, bag, handbag, water, landscape, panoramic, and lake

Connor Finnigan

Recreation Specialist

Paradise Recreation and Park District
Work: (530) 809-7399

Cell: (619) 244-8621