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Discovery Youth In Nature

At TVC, we offer both in-person and online nature education for 4th graders through our Discovery Youth In Nature programs.

Do you remember how happy and free you felt when you explored nature as a child? You can help today’s children experience those same feelings in nature.

Young people crave outdoor play and exploration experiences, but many lack opportunities with busy family schedules and lack of access. You can help connect more children and families to nature! With TVC’s Youth in Nature program, children learn that open space provides us with cleaner water and air, local food, and a place to play. For many, it will be their first opportunity to hike on trails and enjoy the benefits of public, protected land.

When children and families understand the value of land to their health, wildlife habitat, and watershed, they will act to protect it. 

You can make a BIG difference for thousands of Tri-Valley children and families! As our schools seek engaging resources for environmental education that are adapted to digital learning and family field trips, we’ve partnered with local schools to give students environmental science lessons that come to life with outdoor adventure. Be sure to checkout our online program, Discovery: Youth In Nature – At Home!

Thanks to supporters like you, hundreds of children have enjoyed their first hike and learned about our local watershed, soils, agriculture and wildlife through our Discovery Youth in Nature Program. Connecting them to their local place is often one of their most cherished and memorable experiences of 4th grade!


Our in-person programs have impacted:

  • 35 Classes from LVJUSD and SRVUSD in the 2019/2020 school year
  • 2,500+ Students educated over the program’s 5-year history
  • Nearly 150 students took their First Hike in the 2019/2020 school year
  • 100% of students want to Protect Open Space after the program

Visit our Discovery: Youth In Nature – At Home page to learn more about the impact we are making in the digital space.

In-Person Program

Tri-Valley Conservancy’s Discovery Youth in Nature Program is designed for 4th grade classes to inspire children to become stewards of the land and foster an appreciation for the natural space in our community. Our Discovery: Youth In Nature – At Home program was developed to adapt to virtual learning in the current climate. When it is safe to do so, we will return to our in-person programs and will continue to offer online learning as well.

Each class who participates in Discovery Youth in Nature has three days of activities and adventure with an educator from Tri-Valley Conservancy, including a field trip to Holdener Park, all of which is funded by Tri-Valley Conservancy.

The Discovery Youth in Nature Program includes three days of lessons, typically spread out over six weeks (two weeks between each lesson).

The first day takes place in the classroom where our educator brings supplies for students to work in groups on activities centered around California’s regions and watersheds.

The second day is an offsite field trip to Holdener Park in Livermore. Along a 1.5-mile hike, students learn about the history of Livermore and have a chance to see some of the environmental science principles in person. One of the highlights of the fieldtrip is the student “solo hike” which allows them to experience open space without any distractions.

The third day is a debrief back in the classroom where we wrap up by doing an activity around geography, agriculture and land use through maps and observation.

The program takes place during the school year and each program is scheduled with the class’ teacher. Our lessons support and complement the Common Core State Standards.

Educator Response

Photo credit: Georgie Saucedo
Fantastic interactive activities! I love that we get bused to location and don’t have to worry about coordinating cars! Sunset Teacher 2019
Wonderful program! The students get an experience exploring the local outdoors and see the importance of preserving open space! Thank you! Emma C Smith Teacher 2020
This was such an amazing program that really helped students get excited about being outdoors. Several of my students shared their knowledge with their own families and went on additional hikes. Thank you! Jackson Avenue Teacher 2020
Great lessons both in and out of class! Thank you! Coyote Creek Teacher 2019

How to Help

The impact of Discovery Youth in Nature has been astounding! We need your help to connect hundreds more children in the East Bay with the health and social/emotional benefits of time in nature. It is needed now more than ever!

You can help shape the Tri-Valley’s future. Please join us to expand the Discovery Youth in Nature Program today to create a better tomorrow for you, wildlife and future generations!

Discovery Youth in Nature is funded through grants and individual donors like you. Your donation will:
  • Get students outdoors
  • Provide environmental education
  • Teach students about the value of preserving land
If you’d like to become a sponsor of the Discovery Youth in Nature Program, please contact Charlene Anderson by email or at (925) 449-8706.
Each class that participates in Discovery: Youth In Nature – At Home receives three self-contained lessons that are adapted to virtual learning. Our lessons are standards-based, engaging, and interactive. Families are encouraged to use our tools to explore and hike in a local park. Once schools have resumed classroom learning and allow guest presenters, we can resume our program of live classroom visits and a field trip with TVC educators. The Discovery Youth in Nature Program is designed for 4th grade curriculum standards, so for now, we are only able to offer the program to 4th grade classes. Our current goal is to reach all of the 4th grade classrooms the Tri-Valley, and then expand our program to the rest of the East Bay. If you would like to request the virtual program for your classroom or school, please contact Charlene Anderson by email or at (925) 449-8706. We will share with you our facilitation guide and you will have the opportunity to schedule one of our educators for a virtual guest lesson.