NatureBridge at Olympic National Park
Olympic

School & Group Environmental Science

Discover Your Outdoor Classroom
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Location
Olympic
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Grades
4-12

Our overnight environmental science programs in Olympic National Park offer students the opportunity to engage in inclusive, hands-on learning experiences in the foothills of the Pacific Northwest's majestic Olympic mountains. Students explore an old growth forest, the Elwha River, and pristine Lake Crescent, while challenging themselves physically, building meaningful relationships, and discovering a caring relationship with the natural world. We collaborate with each school or group to ensure their program experience meets their educational goals.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, all NatureBridge overnight environmental science programs for Spring 2020 through Fall 2021 are suspended. While we cannot welcome students in person to our national park campuses at the moment, we look forward to resuming our overnight school programs next school year. Our Olympic campus will re-open in February 2022. If you are interested in booking at Olympic in Spring 2022, please fill out a Request Information form. For those seeking programs for Fall 2021, please take a look at our program offerings at our Yosemite and Golden Gate locations.

Our Program

Sample Day & Activities

Morning: Gather in the dining hall for breakfast, pack backpacks, and prepare for the day.

Instructional Day on Trail: Spend the day in small learning groups led by a professional NatureBridge educator. Students engage in collaborative, authentic scientific learning experiences in a safe and supportive environment. These experiences are designed to support NGSS and student’s social and emotional development.

Sample Activities

  • Investigate old growth forests to evaluate the diversity of its living organisms.
  • Bring earth science and geology to life through rock identification and interpretation of geologic maps.
  • Paddle a traditional Salish-style canoe on Lake Crescent.
  • Explore the Elwha River watershed to learn about environmental restoration and recovery.
  • Hike to Mt. Storm King’s Lake Crescent lookout and observe impacts of altitude on a forest ecosystem.
  • Study the waters of Lake Crescent and Barnes Creek to determine the health of the watershed.

Afternoon/Early Evening: Return to campus to reflect, relax, and unwind while school chaperones supervise. Family-style dinner in the historic Rosemary Inn gives everyone a chance to share their trail stories.

Evening: NatureBridge educators facilitate evening programs selected by group coordinators that could include a short night hike, Native American storytelling, or a town-hall style meeting on a current environmental issue. Students then return to the cabins and get ready for bed.

Student in Olympic National Park

Areas of Study

Forest Ecology: Students explore a rich, old growth forest ecosystem and gain an understanding of the interconnections that make this system so unique.

Watershed Science: Students bring aquatic and terrestrial systems to life by examining watershed health from the banks of Barnes Creek and the shores of Lake Crescent.

Earth Science and Geology: Students illuminate the complex geologic history of the Olympic Peninsula by examining rock properties, exploring different geologic regions of our campus, and working with geologic maps.

Marine Science: Students learn about the unique Pacific Ocean ecosystem and how human actions can impact the health of our oceans.

Elwha River Restoration: Students find inspiration while learning about one of the largest restoration and recovery projects in human history. Students observe the changes rippling through the river’s ecosystem and the project’s cultural significance to the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe.

Our Educators

NatureBridge environmental science educators bring our programs to life. Our skilled and passionate educators provide inclusive and culturally responsive programming that challenges students to step out of their comfort zones and connect to themselves and one another. Our staff have a Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent work and training experience, cleared background checks and are certified to manage risk in the field. 

The energy and passion our educators have for engaging with youth and the natural world is a vital element of our success.

Outcomes

Connect to SCIENCE + NATURE +  SELF AND OTHERS: Students experience personal growth, build interpersonal skills, gain science knowledge, strengthen critical thinking skills and learn to act as environmental stewards. NatureBridge strives to create an impactful and lasting educational program for every student.

This is so unique to anything that students have ever done with anything in regards to science. A little experiment embedded in a larger context. It is great to be able to do that.
Louise Wong, Teacher at Rainer Beach High School
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Our Campus

The heart of our campus is the historic Rosemary Inn. Built by craftsmen at the turn of the 20th Century, this renovated lodge includes the dining hall, meeting spaces, and hands-on laboratories. Rosemary Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Historic District within Olympic National Park.

Shared dorms at NatureBridge in Olympic National Park

Lodging

Our campus offers a variety of accommodations, ranging from dorm-style cabins with common space and bunk rooms to quaint, historic cabins. Cabins have their own showers and bathrooms or are situated close to an adjacent bathhouse. Groups will be placed based on the number and needs of multiple schools on campus.

Rosemary Inn Dining Hall

Dining

Revolving hot dishes are served buffet-style in our dining hall for breakfast and dinner.  The hall is shared with all schools on campus and our kid-friendly wholesome meals are made from scratch by our friendly and talented food services staff. We buy locally and organically when possible. Lunch is served on trail during the hiking day. Most dietary restrictions, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free can be accommodated. All participants are asked to bring their own lunch on arrival day.

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Rates and Availability

*does not include $2 pp scholarship fee Standard (3/26/22 - 8/31/22) Off peak (2/14/22 - 3/25/22)
Rates Student Teacher/Chaperone Student Teacher/Chaperone
5 days/5 nights (Su - Fri only) $514 $462 $462 $411
5 days/4 nights $452 $401 $401 $349
3 days/3 nights (Su - Wed only) $363 $332 $332 $301
3 days/2 nights $298 $267 $267 $236

Groups selecting an Elwha River Restoration or Marine Science area of study and participating in a 5 days program may opt to include an off-site field trip in their program. Schools interested in one of these field trips will need to arrange and pay for private transportation directly during the 2021-2022 school year. NatureBridge can support schools by sharing contact information for charter bus services in the area.  Educators will meet groups at the off-site location.  

Discounts Available

  • One teacher attends free of charge for every 30 students.
  • One Principal/Head of School per school attends free of charge.

Scholarships: NatureBridge is committed to reaching students in all the communities we serve. Scholarships are awarded based on the free and reduced lunch rate of a school (or private-school equivalent) and/or other supplemental information to support need. If you believe your school or group may qualify for a scholarship, please reach out to Sara Solomon at ssolomon@naturebridge.org for an application.

Fundraising Ideas: From crowdfunding to restaurant nights to grant opportunities we compiled a list of ideas and resources that many of our schools, teachers and students have used. *If you're based in Washington state, be sure to check out information on Outdoor Schools WA (details on Fundraising Ideas page). Funding remains available for this school year!

Programs are offered throughout the year, except December and January.  For specific dates, please contact us.

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Prepare for Your Trip

Students, Families and Chaperones

Teachers and Group Coordinators

Visit your planning page

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Request Info

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, all overnight environmental science programs for Spring 2020 through Fall 2021 are suspended. If you would like more information about in-person programs for Spring 2022, please fill out the form below and a member of our outreach staff will be in touch with you in early Fall 2021.

 

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Where to

Find Us

NatureBridge at Olympic
111 Barnes Point Road
Port Angeles, WA 98363

206-382-6212
olympicreservations@naturebridge.org

Start planning your trip to NatureBridge today!