Bridge to Nature identifies the kids who need us most.
Wilderness Youth Project’s Bridge to Nature programs serve our community’s low income students and meets them where they already are, at our partner organization sites and at schools. From preschool through high school, we meet at community centers, low-income housing and schools, and partner youth service agencies. These programs, paired with the opportunities to join summer camps, allow participants to maintain consistent and reliable connections with our mentors.
Going outdoors is one of the best ways to keep kids excited about learning and to build their connection with the natural world.
Read a story from our fully subsidized school day programs.
What community leaders say about WYP
“Wilderness Youth Project sparks an excitement for learning in students. Over the years, I have seen Wilderness Youth Project transform the lives of students, especially students that have experienced trauma. For many of these students, they are experiencing “success” for the first time in their lives. It has been wonderful to see a student's self-confidence and motivation to learn transformed as they establish deep relationships from staff, students and nature. This love for learning is what we as educators strive to achieve in all of our children."
Former Principal, Adams Elementary School
“WYP leaders served as amazing mentors, seeing students in terms of their assets and potential, encouraging each of them to their unique “greatness”. The students will never be the same. I only wish more educators recognized the importance of this intimate connection to the natural world so that more children in Santa Barbara could have similar experiences.”
Elementary Science Education Consultant for Santa Barbara Unified School District
“Of the many high-quality programs offered to students in the area, Bridge to Nature has by far been the most engaging, informative and inspiring. Their lessons of local nature, the environment, and the natural wonders surrounding them everyday, provide learning that schools alone cannot provide. Thank you, WYP!”
Former Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education, SBUSD
“Wilderness Youth Project is like therapy. We’re giving enrichment opportunities to a slice of society that might never have experienced the beauty of nature or felt a part of the environment around them.”
Teacher at McKinley Elementary School Where we Run One of Our School-Based Programs
One reason we are "moving the needle" on test scores is because of our commitment to student engagement and experiential education, especially in the STEM subjects. As we implement Common Core and a focus on process, Wilderness Youth Project helps us to provide the real life inspiration and information these students need to learn.
Adelante Charter School Teacher