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Fostering a lifelong fascination with nature through outdoor field trips.

NOTICE: New website updates coming soon. We are ACCEPTING field trip reservations for the 2020-21 school year. COVID-19 protocols are in place to ensure the safety of everyone on the trip. To reserve a trip, go here Field Trips. Then complete the reservation form and wait for a confirmation!

Our students’ experience is directly linked to your financial support. Keep us “tracking” for kids and donate today.
Click the donate button above or mail your tax-deductible donation to:
NatureTrack Foundation, PO Box 953, Los Olivos CA 93441

Continuing its 34-year tradition of painting for the preservation of open spaces on California’s central coast, the Oak Group is proud to hold its first ever 2020 online art show benefiting NatureTrack. Our mission to instill young students with leadership skills, attitudes, and habits for lifelong learning, and to inspire them to be respectful stewards of our natural world.

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Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods , identified the problem as “Nature-Deficit Disorder”. Scientific evidence suggests that it contributes to a diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties, conditions of obesity, and higher rates of emotional and physical illnesses. Research also suggests that the nature-deficit weakens ecological literacy and stewardship of the natural world. These problems are linked more broadly to what health care experts call the “epidemic of inactivity,” and to a devaluing of independent play.

NatureTrack strives to reverse the effects of society’s nature-deficit disorder, one child at a time. Field trips include physical exertion through hiking, group games and independent play. We encourage exploration and reward curiosity through acknowledgment of children’s personal discoveries and share those moments together.

NatureTrack facilitates observation and inquiry through the use of Jack Muir Law’s INIWIRMO prompts: “I notice, I wonder, It reminds me of”. John (Jack) Muir Laws is a scientist, educator, and author, whose work with nature journaling and understanding science is recognized nationwide. At NatureTrack, every student receives a journal where he/she can incorporate illustration and scientific note-taking as a means to greater observation, memory and curiosity.

NatureTrack provides students with snacks on the trail and a pre-trip checklist of what to bring and what to wear, working together with parents and teachers to equip students with the knowledge and resources to make healthy choices.

NatureTrack recognizes the need for ALL children to connect with their natural world in a positive, tangible, and meaningful way. On NatureTrack field trips, there are no barriers to race, ethnicity, economic or social status. Through the generous support of individual and corporate donors we work to provide outdoor opportunities for every child.

“Time in nature is not leisure time; it's an essential investment in our children's health (and also, by the way, in our own).”

COVID-19   |   COVID-19 Protocol   |   COVID-19 Waiver

Combating COVID-19 with nature! The Mayo Clinic has been ranked one of the top hospitals in the nation for more than 27 years and their recommendation?

“The COVID-19 virus is primarily spread from person to person through respiratory droplets released into the air when talking, coughing, or sneezing. When you’re indoors, you’re more likely to inhale these droplets from an infected person, especially if you’re in close contact, because you’re sharing more air than you do outdoors. Poor building ventilation can cause droplets to hang in the air for a longer period of time, adding to the potential for infection.

When you’re outside, fresh air is constantly moving, dispersing these droplets. So, you’re less likely to breathe in enough of the respiratory droplets containing the virus that causes COVID-19 to become infected.

Being outside offers other benefits, too. It offers an emotional boost and can help you feel less tense, stressed, angry or depressed.”

In light of long-term distance learning, teachers, parents, and students are calling for time away from the “screen”, social interaction, and outside activity. Educators, health professionals, and laymen alike agree that these factors are more crucial than ever to the mental and physical health of this generation.

NatureTrack is committed to meeting that need by tailoring traditional outdoor field trips [link to field trip page] to meet COVID health and safety guidelines, so kids can continue to be kids – to get outside, to run, to explore, to share their enthusiasm and excitement with others.

Virtual Trips

In spring 2020, when the coronavirus hit the United States, the world as we know it changed, but the mission of NatureTrack has not. We pivoted operations from field to film and continued to foster a lifelong fascination with nature through the use of virtual trips and activities that motivate kids to get outside, when and where it’s safe, to explore nature in their own “backyard”.

Each packet highlights one of NatureTrack’s 14 field trip adventures and may include:

  • Virtual hikes, led by NatureTrack docents

  • Guided activities

  • Worksheets

  • Games

  • Partner sites/videos

  • Coloring pages

A Message from NatureTrack Executive Director

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Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden Activities:

Create your own crossword puzzle instructions:

Family Hikes

NatureTrack is expanding its programming to accommodate families and communal “pods” (families who have close association with one another) by offering day and night family hikes!

Field Trip Locations

Coastal
Oak Woodland
Chapparal
Riparian
Urban & Nature Interface
Organic Farms
(Farm Track)

THANKS TO THE ORGANIZATIONS THAT SUPPORT NATURETRACK

Thank You!