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Bird School Project

Organization Mission

The Bird School Project uses outdoor experiential learning to inspire and equip students and teachers to love, study, and steward their local environment.

We provide outdoor education about birds to students directly on their schoolyards, making nature and a bit of wilderness easily revisited. Students grow an appreciation for the unexpected and a love for nature.

The Big Idea 2022:
Spreading our Wings: Maximizing the impact of our nature-based schoolyard program!

Research clearly indicates that time spent connecting with nature significantly improves people’s mental and emotional well-being, which is seriously at risk for many young people today. The Bird School Project looks forward to expanding access to transformative pathways in birding, community leadership, field experiences, and overall personal health and well-being for the students of Santa Cruz County.

With your support, BSP strives to reach more students from minoritized and underrepresented backgrounds, providing resources and mentorship for them to become environmental changemakers.

Our highly successful core program costs only $6 per student. Funds raised during Sant Cruz Gives supplement the cost of our program for schools in Santa Cruz County, often making it free. Students build skills in focus, direct observation, meaning-making, arguing from evidence, and collaborating with peers. Observations of real-time happenings in nature generate a sense of connection with other living organisms, and lower stress about school, peer groups, or family life among diverse youth.

The best way for students to learn science is for them to have hands-on experiences about the content they are learning. Bird School was excellent at this. Students learned birding skills, and then were able to practice these skills outside.

Mr. B, elementary teacher, Santa Cruz

We’re In This Together

Nonprofits are more important that ever in this trying time. Santa Cruz Gives! was created to support the local nonprofit community's Big Ideas (and programs). And thanks to your participation and generosity, Santa Cruz Gives! raised over $1.10 million for 82 local nonprofits in 2021.

SCGives! has now raised and contributed over $36 million dollars since its inception Seven years ago. That’s astounding. And wonderful. Thank you to all our Partners, Sponsors, nonprofit Board Directors, staff and volunteers — and each of our 1,455 donors. We did it, together.

Santa Cruz Gives! 2022 campaign kicks off in early November


The 2022 Santa Cruz Gives! RFP (for applying nonprofits) is due by Tuesday, September 7 and organizations will be notified of their application status Sept. 22-24. Santa Cruz Gives! 2022 campaign kicks off in early November.