Nature-Based Learning

Our Outdoor Education programs, School Gardens and Edible Forests, and Camp Experiences take kids out of the classroom and into the world.
“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).”
– Richard Louv

The average American kid spends more than seven hours each day in front of an electronic screen, and only four to seven minutes in unstructured play outside. Curiosity isn’t learned through textbooks, but developed through hands-on experience. Our partners provide students with adventures in local natural spaces.

Outdoor Education

Taking kids outside to learn their curriculum improves students’ critical thinking skills, their motivation to learn, and behavior in class.

A study of 40 schools in twelve states compared classrooms that integrated the natural environment into lessons with those that did not, and found that in 92% of the comparisons enthusiam for learning, standardized test scores, and GPAs were higher in schools with integrated natural environments.

According to a study by the California Department of Education, at-risk children who participated in outdoor education programs raised their science test scores by 27%, improved their conflict resolution and problem-solving skills, and experienced better self-esteem and motivation to learn.

Nature-Based Learning Improves Critical Thinking Skills

Research also shows improvements in motivation to learn and classroom behavior.

Movement in Nature Significantly Reduces ADHD Symptoms

Natural settings reduce stress and improve student coping ability; they are like a “reset” button for fidgety kids (and adults).


Being in Nature Enhances Problem-Solving & Conflict-Resolution Skills

Time outdoors increases a child’s propensity to cooperate, as well as actively care about others and the environment.


Improves Standardized Tests in Math, Reading, Writing, and Listening

Outdoor activity improves concentration, retention, behavior, and cognitive function.

School Gardens

Building on a child’s natural enthusiasm, school gardens offer lessons in science, nature, and food literacy.

The Audacious Foundation helps schools establish and maintain gardens and curriculum, implement proven outdoor education programs from experienced providers, and develop program self-sufficiency.

Our partners have installed 38 school gardens and edible forests across 11 districts, serving 14,000 kids. In addition to garden education, the produce grown in the gardens goes directly into the cafeteria food.

School Gardens Increase Fruit & Vegetable Consumption in Adolescents

Students learn where food comes from and develop a lifelong preference for healthy snacks.

School Gardens Significantly Increase Science Achievement Scores

Gardens add sensory and participatory dimensions to learning for improved understanding and retention.

School Gardens Offer Practical Experience, including Working with Groups

Gardens tie academic subjects and problem-solving skills to the real world, and are a welcome relief from screen and seat time.

School Gardens Improve Social Skills & Classroom Behavior

Outdoor activity improves concentration, retention, behavior, and cognitive function.