Google Holiday Giving Includes $4 Million to NatureBridge for Environmental Education
January 4, 2011 - 8:58am

Grant to Help San Francisco-based Nonprofit Expand Programs in National Parks

San Francisco (January 4, 2011): NatureBridge, the largest residential environmental education partner of the National Park Service, announced today receipt of a $4 million grant from the Google, Inc. Charitable Giving Fund of Tides Foundation. Over a three-year period, the grant will help NatureBridge realize its national vision of serving more students and teachers with environmental education programs in more national parks and in the communities where they live.

Over the past 40 years, NatureBridge has reached almost one million youth with its life-changing environmental education programs. They engage students across California and Washington state in inquiry-based science and real-world environmental research that give them the skills to excel academically and the motivation to protect wild places and their home communities.

“We know we must do more to create a world where our youth feel a personal and lifelong connection to nature, and where they are inspired to take action to care for the earth,” said Susan Smartt, NatureBridge president and CEO. “Thanks to Google’s generosity, we will reach more underserved youth, increase the quality and relevance of our programs, and develop new and innovative ways to better serve students and support teachers.”

With $4 million over a three-year period, NatureBridge will bring 10,000 additional K-12 students to its residential programs, develop community-based environmental education training programs, deliver hands-on training to 850 K-12 teachers, and find new ways to leverage technology for students and teachers in the field and at home.  

“We are grateful for the millions of Google users who helped us ring in a strong year, and we want to do our part to help charitable organizations that have inspired us with creative and effective programs,” said Michael Terrell, Google Policy Counsel for Energy and Environmental Programs. “We are pleased to support the great work of NatureBridge with funding that will provide thousands of students with environmental education in the national parks.”

In addition to bringing more students from underserved communities to its programs, NatureBridge will engage teachers and students with new classroom-based environmental science and stewardship programs, dramatically increasing the impact of its programs in those communities.

NatureBridge will also demonstrate its environmental education programs in Prince William Forest Park on the East Coast, taking its national-parks-based programs beyond the West Coast for the first time in the organization’s 40-year history.

In 2010, the Google, Inc. Charitable Giving Fund of Tides Foundation gave over $145 million directly to non-profits and academic institutions. The grant to NatureBridge is part of Google’s end-of-year $20 million thank you to its business partners for their continued support and is part of the Google, Inc. Charitable Giving Fund’s holiday giving which included grants to APC.org, ASKOKA, Bharti Foundation, Connecting Up, Global Strategies for HIV Prevention, LASA, NPTech, NTEN, and UNICEF.

About NatureBridge

Founded in 1971 as Yosemite Institute and based in San Francisco, NatureBridge is the leader in residential field science and environmental education for America’s youth. Its mission is to inspire personal connections to the natural world and responsible actions to sustain it. A signature partner of the National Park Service, NatureBridge currently operates campuses in Yosemite National Park; Golden Gate National Recreation Area; Olympic National Park in Washington State; Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area; and Channel Islands National Park. It collectively serves more than 40,000 participants annually through field science, youth leadership, and teacher training programs. NatureBridge partners with a diverse mix of corporate, environmental, education, federal, and state organizations also focused on nurturing environmental stewardship, including Clif Bar, Google, Klean Kanteen, National Geographic Education Foundation,National Parks Conservation Association, Oracle and REI. NatureBridge is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information, log on to www.naturebridge.org.

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