Learning About Science & Nature in Our National Parks with Kids & NatureBridge

Headed to Point Bonita Lighthouse in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California

4th grader Katie’s fuzzy, little, kitty-cat hat is tipped slightly on her head and one of the ear flaps is sort of covering the left side of her face as the swirling Bay Area wind blows off of the Pacific Ocean. We’ve been learning about marine mammals this morning and she’s full of energy and questions and is like a little, pixie best-friend next to me as she chatters about what we’ve learned while we head out and up on our hike for the day.

I’m tagging along with Katie and a group of her 4th grade classmates today as they trek around the Marin Headlands in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, a national park set in the San Francisco area, as part of a program designed by the non-profit NatureBridge. 

Junior Scientist and explorer extraordinaire and my 4th Grader hiking buddy "Katie"

I’m documenting the day with photos of both the spectacular scenery we're hiking through and of the students participating in everything nature. And – bam! – I’m honored to be taking over NatureBridge's Instagram this week to share this adventure!

NatureBridge is a non-profit based in six national parks around the country. Its mission is to take young kiddos like Katie and her classmates and teach them about the science of nature through hands on experiences, experiments and immersion in the outdoors. This then inspires and motivates these kids to learn to love and understand nature and to take action in caring for our world as they grow into healthy, informed adults.

Students circling up in the morning before our hike to learn about protecting marine mammals.

Our hiking destination for the day and the highlight of the six hours we’ll be spending together outside today is the Point Bonita Lighthouse, hidden behind a giant, foreboding bluff and only accessible via tunnel and secret password. The kids are eager jumping-beans rearing to go and dive into this adventure…. And I think to myself, YES, this next generation is going to rock the environment and figure things out.

So come with us! Each day this week on NatureBridge’s Instagram look for my photo documenting this gorgeous, blue-sky day full of happy, engaged kids, set in one of the world’s most beautiful national parks.

See you on the trails! –Annie @OutdoorsyMama

In honor of Photography Month, NatureBridge is exploring its national park campuses through the lens. Follow along on Instagram to explore programs at their Golden Gate campus through the eyes of blogger, me, Outdoorsy Mama, at their Yosemite campus through the eyes of photographer Dakota Snider, and at their Southern California campus through the eyes of photographer Todd Westphal

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