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Exploring New Horizons

Organization Mission

Exploring New Horizons empowers students, builds environmental literacy, and strengthens communities through outdoor education.

Every student in the U.S. must have equal access to outdoor education yet fewer than 10% of 4th–6th grade California students attend such programs and few schools include outdoor learning in their curriculum. Our experienced naturalists engage more than 7,000 students each year outdoors with a focus on ecology, environmental stewardship, social-emotional learning, and the arts.

The Big Idea:
Outdoor Educational Equity for Students

Outdoor education is essential to relieve some of the pressure that distance learning puts on teachers, students, and their families, and for students who may not not learn as well on a screen. However, the increased demand will create further inequity between parents who can afford this education and those who cannot.

Exploring New Horizons’ goal has always been to enhance positive associations between learning and the outdoors, and to deepen students’ ecological knowledge and interest in science. Time in a natural setting can be the catalyst for so much emotional and intellectual development.

We seek your support for Santa Cruz schools and families by engaging small K-5 groups in outdoor curricula that focuses on:

• Guided nature exploration, hiking, and observation
• Nature writing, drawing, mapping, and data collection
• Art, music, and imaginary play

Even though I live close to the ocean I have never really explored Natural Bridges like I did at science camp. I never knew there could be so much living just in the puddles and the rocks, and that what I do is so important to all of them.

Lucas M.