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NatureBridge Backpacking in Yosemite - photo NatureBridge

Yosemite Program Develops Future ‘Environmental Leaders’

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK—A company teaching environmental science in some of the world’s most spectacular classrooms is seeking junior high- and high school-age participants for its upcoming Summer Backpacking programs in Yosemite National Park.

The one- and two-week programs are offered through NatureBridge, a San Franciscco-based nonprofit that provides environmental-oriented outdoor education programs open to students entering 7th-12th grade.

Led in small groups by experienced educators, students will use science to gain a deeper understanding of their natural surroundings while learning the basics of backpacking and backcountry travel.

NatureBridge is the largest nonprofit educational partner of the National Park Service. Each summer, educators from the organization lead one- and two-week environmental science-centered programs through some of the country’s most beautiful protected lands where participants build leadership skills, conduct hands-on field science projects and explore spectacular wilderness while backpacking with peers.

The programs, according to organizers, “foster a deep connection to nature and empower students to become environmental stewards and leaders in their community.”

Past NatureBridge Summer Backpacking experiences have contributed to students’ school capstone projects, college essays and job resumes.

“Where to begin? The friendships, the life skills, the education to protect our parks and that their field work contributes a little to the work of other scientists… it’s beyond expectation,” said one parent of a 2019 program participant.

One-week programs are available for middle school students. High school students may choose between one- and two-week programs.

No backpacking experience is necessary. Pricing options and financial assistance are available. Early registration is encouraged as programs are first come, first served and organizers say sessions do sell out.

Students and parents who are interested can contact Katie Draude, NatureBridge Summer Programs Manager, at 415-598-9832 or kdraude@naturebridge.org.

Learn more and enroll online at naturebridge.org/summerbackpacking.

NatureBridge serves more than 35,000 participants each year and offers programs in four national parks: Yosemite National Park, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Olympic National Park and Prince William Forest Park.


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Sierra News Online

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