Youth Education

Click the links on the left to learn more about our youth and family educational programs.

Our Mission

Youth Education at The North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville delivers educational experiences and other fun things to do that create a purposeful, engaging and experiential approach to science and outdoor education. It is our mission to provide every student with:

Adventure:  Enjoyable, physically active, healthy experiences that get students moving, outdoors, and immersed in the unique natural heritage of our biologically diverse region;

Exploration: Hands-on investigations that challenge students to make observations, examine data, and draw conclusions about the natural world of which they are a part; and

Awareness:  Learning experiences that foster an environmental consciousness in students that will aid in shaping their personal and professional life.

 We utilize this approach to cultivate students who value our natural resources, learn how to recognize their impact on the world around them, and are equipped with the skill, knowledge and ability to achieve in the 21st century fields of sustainability, conservation and environmental sciences. We offer a unique, student-centered educational program with an ability to utilize a full range of experiences (physical, practical and philosophical) in shaping today’s youth into tomorrow’s leaders.


Values of Youth Education at The NC Arboretum


Children Benefit from Time Spent Outdoors.  Kids need to unplug and experience the natural world. Children who spend time outdoors are physically healthier, happier, and often learn more than students educated strictly indoors.

Outdoor Education is Essential to STEM Education.  Educational experiences, particularly in science and mathematics, are greatly augmented by the inclusion of learning outside. Outdoor learning provides hands-on, real-world opportunities for discovery that excite and motivate children to later pursue 21st century careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Outdoor Play Fosters Environmental Values.  Children who spend time enjoying nature and the outdoors develop a bond and value of wildness and natural resources that results in individuals with a greater respect and care for the air, water and other resources on which we depend.

Every Child Has a Right to Safe, Quality, and Enriching Outdoor Experiences.  We strive to provide high quality experiences for all participants (students, teachers, children, families).  We do so by providing a dynamic, highly-trained, and passionate staff; expansive property and top-rate facilities; and cutting edge technology and resources.


Contact Jonathan Marchal, Youth Education Coordinator, for more information on our program.

 We hope to see you outside!

  A Special Thank You to our Community Partners

        Supporting Environmental and Outdoor Education for Youth.        


   B.B. Barns Garden, Gift & Landscape Company 

R.E.A.C.H. - Regional Emergency Animal Care Hospital/

A.V.S. - Asheville Veterinary Specialists 

Wild Birds Unlimited Asheville/Hendersonville

The Compleat Naturalist

Earth Fare