NatureBridge, a non-profit organization that provides environmental education for youth in national park settings, has reached an agreement to bring its programs to Joshua Tree National Park.
The potential education program will focus on teaching youth about the wonder and science of the California desert and specifically about Joshua Tree National Park.
NatureBridge has a proven and strong record of providing high quality, youth-oriented residential education programs in national park units, and they are a key education partner for the National Park Service. Based in San Francisco, this organization shares a vision with the NPS in its quest to connect today’s youth to the natural world. They are currently partnered with Yosemite National Park, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Channel Islands National Park, and Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in California, as well as Olympic National Park in Washington and Prince William Forest Park in Virginia.
A feasibility study, including a risk management assessment, operational assessment and a market analysis for the campus, was completed in 2012. The results were positive, and both National Park Service and NatureBridge are looking forward to the opportunity to teach and inspire children in an immersive, residential environment. The next step will be to prepare for a demonstration program to clarify educational curriculum and operational logistics.
NatureBridge is a 501©(3) nonprofit, relying on the generous support of private donors to fund scholarships, campus construction, operations, curriculum development and programs. It will be through this support that the program at Joshua Tree National Park will occur.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to further engage with the future stewards of our public lands," said Joshua Tree Superintedent Mark Butler. "We are excited to establish this partnership and work with NatureBridge to create big dreams for the youth of today because they will be the leaders of places like Joshua Tree tomorrow.”