The Youth Environmental Education Field Trip Program provides outdoor education opportunities for low-income youth in San Mateo County. This program serves schools, as well as after-school and summer programs.
Because a lack of transportation can be a barrier in getting to the parks, the San Mateo County Parks Foundation funds school or youth organization’s transportation needs and connects them to docents to lead hikes and explain the wonders of the park.
Connecting our youth to the parks is more than taking a child to the park. Connecting children and teens to the ocean, a redwood grove or a banana slug, possibly for the first time, can have a strong impact. Children who have limited opportunities to connect with the natural environment experience well-documented negative impacts.
Funding is available year round for qualifying schools and youth organizations. Please contact Michele at Michele@SupportParks.org for more information.
Environmental Education Field Trips
- Thirty-three girls from Girls to Women, a non-profit based in East Palo Alto, visited Huddart Park to marvel at the height of redwood trees, the bug-repellant nature of the bay leaf and the fascinating home of the turret spider.
- Thirty-eight youth from the Siena Youth Center in North Fair Oaks visited San Pedro Valley Park to go on a night hike to learn about nocturnal activity.
- One hundred 4th- and 5th-graders from Belle Air Elementary School in San Bruno visited Junipero Serra Park and San Bruno Mountain for habitat restoration service projects, mentored by local university students.
Benefits of connecting children with nature
- Reduces Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) symptoms (research)
- Time spent outdoors is related to reduced rates of nearsightedness (research)
- Play in nature develops capacities for creativity, problem-solving, and intellectual development
- Improves academic performance