Fun Facts

  • The trail is approximately 1/3 mile long and loops through the hillside behind the bleachers of Gilley Field.
  • The trail ends at an outdoor classroom, a magical spot where teachers bring their students to create art, to study plant life, or to read, relax, and reflect.
  • The trail is located in Fossil Ridge Park, named for the abundance of fossils in the area, which used to be completely submerged.
  • Click here to read more about the native plants that can be found along the trail! 

Eighth Grade Service

Last fall, a fearless group of eighth grade students worked together to build an outdoor classroom on the Nature Trail. In ten after-school sessions, they cleared the area and designed a versatile classroom configuration, then water-sealed, transported, and dug holes for twenty-five sitting stumps. It was an unbelievable amount of work and the results are amazing.


  • 1996: Members of the science department faculty and eighth grade Earth Science students construct the Nature Trail. 
  • 2016: With the help of Buckley's plant operations team, the eighth grade class revitalizes the trail by clearing and widening several stretches along the loop.
  • 2018: A smaller group of eighth graders build the outdoor classroom.
  • 2019: Eleventh graders plant 116 trees at the trailhead garden with the help of the organization, Tree People.

Nature Trail News

List of 2 news stories.

  • Buckley Nature Trail: Palm Springs!

    Eighteen Upper School students and five chaperones set out at 7:00 a.m. on Friday, January 20,  to embark on Buckley’s first-ever field trip to Palm Springs, where they would learn about and experience the interconnection of plants, animals (including humans!), and the elements.
    Read More
  • Eleventh Grade Plants Nature Trail Garden

    As part of the Upper School Day of Service and the ongoing efforts to revitalize the Nature Trail, eleventh grade students planted over 116 plants at the trailhead.
    Read More
View All News

Nature Trail Contacts

If you are interested in participating in the clearing and maintanence of the Nature Trail, please reach out to:
  • Gregg Sacon, Assistant Head of Middle School |
  • Abi Basch, Upper School Director of Service |
  • Chris Braunschweiger, K-8 Community Service Coordinator |

What Happens on the Trail?

  • Advisory meetings
  • Poetry reading and writing
  • Drama performances
  • Science labs and experiments
  • Service projects
  • Lower School trail walks
  • Mindfulness workshops
  • Hiking


  • Outdoor classroom
  • Creek
  • Proposed weather station
  • Native species of fauna, including deer, foxes, racoons, hawks, and lizards
  • Native species of flora that exist in the Santa Monica Mountains, including Chaparral, Oak Woodland, Coastal Sage Scrub, Valley Grassland, and Riparian trees dating back to the 15th century