Connect Urban Kids to Nature

$1,152 of $6,000 goal

Raised by 20 people in 15 months
Children today spend less time in nature than ever in history -- it’s possible, even easy, to grow up rarely getting closer to nature than the sparse trees of neighborhood parks. Yet exposure to nature is vital to healthy physical and mental development, as well as to developing a true sense of stewardship of the earth.

At Richmond, California’s Mira Vista School -- a low-income school that is also one of the most diverse schools in California -- we are tackling nature deficit in our children, and we need your help. We are planning to take our fourth-grade students on a 3-day Environmental Education trip to the Marin Headlands with NatureBridge. We want to ensure that every single fourth grade student can go, regardless of the family’s resources, so we’re raising scholarships. *

“Today, kids are aware of the global threats to the environment—but their physical contact, their intimacy with nature, is fading,” writes author Richard Louv, who coined the term nature deficit disorder. “A kid today can likely tell you about the Amazon rain forest—but not about the last time he or she explored the woods in solitude, or lay in a field listening to the wind and watching the clouds move.”

Researchers are finding that this lack of time in nature is linked to attention deficit, obesity and depression.

The 3-day NatureBridge trip is a sleep-away camp where students spend their days outside, learning environmental science hands-on. This is an experience today’s children clearly need much more often than they’re getting it—particularly the least-privileged children whose families couldn’t send them without scholarships.

“The kids learned to appreciate nature where we live. Long hikes taught them to enjoy nature, to see birds, sea lions and other wildlife very closely,” says Daiva, a parent who chaperoned the trip last year. “All these experiences were new to many kids.”

Judy, another parent who spearheaded the scholarship campaign explains: Many of these children have never had a chance to experience nature like this before, where they are out all day, hiking, rolling down the hills, bonding with their classmates, sitting around a campfire, and learning about animals.”

All donations are tax-deductible via the nonprofit PTA and all donors receive our heart-felt thanks and a report back. Sponsor-level donors who give $250 or more will receive photos of the trip and a personal report.

If you want to help children develop positive physical and mental health, shape a more positive community for the future and raise a generation to be stewards of our earth , please consider donating and sharing this appeal. Thank you!

* If we are able, we will also raise funds to send our seventh grade class on this trip in the spring. Any extra funds raised by this campaign and our related fundraising efforts will go directly to supporting future trips by current seventh graders or future fourth graders.
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Thank you so much to all of our supporters!

Through Gofundme, popcorn sales at school, and other fundraisers, we raised enough money for all the children to go to NatureBridge, even if their families didn't have the resources to pay for them.

The children and teachers reported that they had an amazing trip, engaging with nature, seeing animals, and coming back with a greater sense of camaraderie in the class.

Here are reports from some of the children:

One really, really, really, really fun moment was when I told my group that there were deer in front of us. -Sebastian

This was the first time I saw a lighthouse. My experience was very fun. -Sydney

I went to the beach. The beach was really, really fun. I hope I will go to the beach again! On my trip to NatueBridge the super best part was when we went to the lighthouse and the beach and this secret hideaway. At the end of the night we had a campfire! -Nevaeh

At NatureBridge when we were on the trail near the lighthouse there was a bridge. Under that bridge there was a deep blue sea. After 35 seconds of walking on the bridge, we finally made it to the lighthouse! Since we were close to San Francisco, we could see the Golden Gate Bridge from there! -Morgan

When we went walking by the water, we saw otters. And we saw an eagle attacking a group. And we looked for sea glass and shark teeth. -Kevin

We hiked a long way and we rolled down ice plants. It was so fun! -Ashley

My favorite part was I touched slimy fish and starfish. Some clam shells, too. It was super soft and shiny. -Aniyah

The whole experience was great, but I loved the lighthouse. When I got there I sat down to take a breath. -Heidi

I loved the experience. I loved all of the games that we had to work together. -Becca
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$1,152 of $6,000 goal

Raised by 20 people in 15 months
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