December 18, 2013
Jennie Kish Albrinck, 760-367-5520
iliana Tavera, 818-914-7660 ext 405
Joshua Tree National Park Superintendent Mark Butler announced today that the park will explore youth-oriented residential environmental science programs in Joshua Tree National Park with NatureBridge—the largest residential environmental science education partner of the National Park Service. The potential education program will focus on teaching youth about the wonder and science of the California desert and specifically about Joshua Tree National Park.
NatureBridge has a proven and strong record of providing high quality youth-oriented residential education programs in national park units, and they are a key education partner for the National Park Service (NPS). Based in San Francisco, this organization shares a vision with the NPS in its quest to connect today’s youth to the natural world. They are currently partnered with Yosemite National Park, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Channel Islands National Park, and Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in California, as well as Olympic National Park in Washington and Prince William Forest Park in Virginia.
A feasibility study, including a risk management assessment, operational assessment and a market analysis for the campus, was completed in 2012. The results were very positive, and both National Park Service and NatureBridge are looking forward to the opportunity to teach and inspire children in an immersive, residential environment. The next step will be to prepare for a demonstration program to clarify educational curriculum and operational logistics.
NatureBridge is a 501©(3) nonprofit, relying on the generous support of private donors to fund scholarships, campus construction, operations, curriculum development and programs. It will be through this support that the program at Joshua Tree National Park will occur.
Butler stated, “This is a fantastic opportunity to further engage with the future stewards of our public lands. We are excited to establish this partnership and work with NatureBridge to create big dreams for the youth of today because they will be the leaders of places like Joshua Tree tomorrow.” For more information or to get involved in the initiative please contact Joshua Tree National Park, Chief of Interpretation and Education, Jennie Kish Albrinck at Jennie_Albrinck@nps.gov.
Founded in 1971, NatureBridge provides environmental field science education for students in the world’s best classrooms—our national parks. Through residential education programs, NatureBridge connects students to the wonder and science of nature and inspires the stewards of tomorrow. As the largest residential education partner of the National Park Service, the organization serves more than 30,000 students each year and offers programs in six national parks: Yosemite National Park, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Olympic National Park, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Channel Islands National Park, and Prince William Forest Park. NatureBridge also offers professional development opportunities for teachers and family and youth programs. NatureBridge is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and has a diverse group of partners, including Clif Bar, Google, Klean Kanteen, National Geographic Education Foundation, National Parks Conservation Association, Oracle, and REI. For more information, visit: www.naturebridge.org/jotr