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In 1971, a high school teacher named Don Rees assembled a group of 50 high school students in Yosemite for a week-long adventure. That trip inspired the founding of NatureBridge, formerly Yosemite Institute, and nearly five decades of overnight environmental education in our national parks. 

The largest non-profit educational partner of the National Park Service, NatureBridge today serves over 35,000 students and 700 schools each year in national parks across the country: Yosemite National Park and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in California; Olympic National Park in Washington; and Prince William Forest Park in Virginia.

Our mission is to connect young people to the wonder and science of the natural world, igniting self-discovery and inspiring stewardship of our planet. Since our inception, we’ve provided life-changing experiences for more than one million students. We award $1.2 million in scholarship support each year to almost 50 percent of participating schools.

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