Youth Education at The North Carolina Arboretum delivers educational experiences that create a purposeful, engaging and experiential approach to science and outdoor education. It is the mission of Youth Education to provide every student with:

  • Adventure:  Enjoyable, physically active, healthy experiences that get young people moving, outdoors and immersed in the unique natural heritage of our biologically diverse region.
  • Exploration: Hands-on investigations that challenge youth to make observations, examine data and draw conclusions about the natural world of which they are a part.
  • Awareness:  Learning experiences that foster an environmental consciousness in youth that will aid in shaping their personal and professional life.

The Arboretum utilizes this approach to cultivate students who value 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.

Values of Youth Education

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.  The Arboretum strives to provide high quality experiences for all participants (students, teachers, children, families.)  This is executed by providing a dynamic, highly-trained, and passionate staff; expansive property and top-rate facilities; and cutting edge technology and resources.

Youth & Family Programs

Want to get involved in the Arboretum’s expansive youth and family educational programs. Click on one of the links below to learn how you can get your child outdoors and appreciating nature!