Here are a few highlights from our 2017 Season:
2,600 students experienced meaningful, challenging, place-based science education in Southern California
NatureBridge’s Southern California programs offer a life-changing introduction to nature and science-based discovery for regional youth in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and Channel Islands National Park. During our three and five-day programs, students are empowered through hands-on science in the outdoors and develop a lifelong conservation ethic. NatureBridge’s environmental science program inspires students to be environmental stewards both in wilderness and their home communities through real-world reinforced stewardship activities.
“Science is like a light shining on a flower. The light makes it possible to see more and learn more about the flower, but learning more leads you to ask more questions. And the light continues growing to show you more and more flowers.”
– NatureBridge student response to “What is science?”
We trained four diverse Environmental Science Educators through the Educator Development Program in Southern California
In 2017, the Southern California NatureBridge campus piloted the Educator Development Program (EDP). EDP trains participants to deliver a residential environmental science education program that is culturally relevant and inclusive – especially important for the populations we serve in Southern California. We think it’s critical that our education staff reflects the community we serve. In order to be effective at delivering programming that supports our mission, we need to take steps to address this challenge.
“(EDP) is such an amazing opportunity to get educators of color into this field and train them to be more culturally perceptive, both things which I think are important considering the demographics of the students we serve in Southern California. Even just my first week at Circle X, both groups have been 100% Latino, and it feels so great to be able to connect with these students who speak my language and are from my culture. Additionally, I would not have been confident enough to be an educator for NatureBridge if it had not been for the training I received through EDP. Now I feel confident in my abilities to guide and teach a group of students using the NatureBridge Core Educational framework, while keeping in mind proper group and risk management. I have grown so much as an educator and a leader in the past month and a half, more than I ever expected, and this is only the beginning.”
– 2017 EDP Participant
We provided $120,000 in scholarships to ensure equal access, allowing over 1,000 students to attend our program who wouldn’t have been able to otherwise
In 2017, we served students from 57 schools in Southern California. Twenty-six of those schools, with an average of over 90% of students receiving free or reduced-price lunch, received scholarship funds totaling over $120,000 to make their attendance possible. In 2018 we will give out over $130,000.
It is not uncommon for an urban child or youth in Los Angeles to have never seen the ocean, or spent a day in the mountains. Numerous researchers have noted the deleterious effects of this shift. For low-income children in dense urban environments, the disconnect with nature is even more pronounced.
All young people deserve the opportunity to discover the outdoors and become inspired to take stewardship action in their home communities. Through the environmental science program, they are empowered to make a difference.
NatureBridge is nurturing the next generation of scientists and environmental leaders who will benefit our Los Angeles community for years to come.
Thank you to our
2017 Moving Mountains Sponsors:
Bird Development Group
City National Bank
Mar Vista Investment Partners
Mark Gordon Company
Thank you to our Host Committee:
Dan and Katrina Abrams
Anna and Ben Forkner
LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl
David Szymanski, Superintendent, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
Thank you to our Event Committee:
Anna Berzins Forkner
Thank you to the Southern California Regional Board:
Kevin Newman, Chair
Anna Berzins Forkner
Seth F. Gilman
Geoffrey C. Given