Stories from the Field

NatureBridge's Top Five Highlights of 2017

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It’s been quite a year for us at NatureBridge. From our five-year anniversary on the East Coast to receiving several generous grants, 2017 marked a turning point in getting more NatureBridge students in our national parks. Here are our top five highlights of the year that has just ended!

5. Our keynote speaker's inspiring words at the 2017 NatureBridge Annual Gala #

Betty Reid Soskin speaking at the NatureBridge Gala

This year, we had a very special member of the National Park Service park ranger team speak at our 2017 NatureBridge Gala. 96-year-old Betty Reid Soskin is the oldest NPS park ranger who dedicated a decade of her life to our public lands and played an instrumental part in recognizing the role of minority women on the homefront during World War II with the establishment of the Rosie the Riveter World War II Homefront National Historic Park. Watch Betty deliver her inspiring speech at An Evening with NatureBridge.

4. We received a $60,000 matching grant from our partner, Alaska Airlines #

NatureBridge students

Thanks to our partnership with Alaska Airlines, we raced against the clock to raise the $60,000 that were pledged upon us raising $60,000 with the help of our generous supporters. We met and exceeded our goal, receiving a total of $88,000 in donations in the last few days of 2017!

3. We celebrated our five-year anniversary at our Prince William Forest Park campus in Virginia #

Students at Prince William Forest Park

October marked the five-year anniversary of our NatureBridge campus in Prince William Forest Park on the East Coast. Since 2012, we have served more than 4,000 students at our NatureBridge campus in the Washington, D.C. area. 100% of schools who have attended a NatureBridge program in Prince William Forest Park have received scholarship support. Learn more about how we're inspiring kids in Prince William Forest Park by watching this video

2. We received a National Park Service Centennial Matching Grant for our Golden Gate campus #

Students on trail at NatureBridge's Golden Gate campus in the Marin Headlands

This spring, NatureBridge earned a National Park Service Centennial Matching Grant of more than $600,000 to launch expansion efforts to serve 3,000 more students annually at our Fort Cronkhite campus. Generous donors contributed $700,000 to help earn the match!

1. We received a $3.5 million grant from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation #


In early June, the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation's Board of Trustees approved a grant to NatureBridge in the amount of $3,500,000 over 33 months. This grant funds NatureBridge's organization-wide initiative to increase internal capacity, develop character in youth, and disseminate its learning to the larger environmental education field. This grant will build upon the work NatureBridge has tackled over the last 15 months, and over the last 46 years!

We hope you'll continue to follow our journey as we work to find new ways to reach more students and inspire kids of all ages to love and protect our natural world. Don't forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram to stay updated on NatureBridge news!


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