The Nature Explore Classroom at
Where’s the first place you connected with nature as a child? In a backyard tree? A park down the street? A neighborhood vacant lot? If you’re like lots of folks, your special place was close to home — in nature nearby.
Based in the green heart of our community — Alton Baker Park — Nearby Nature believes people of all ages thrive when they connect with nature nearby. Since 1992 we have served thousands of kids — from tiny tots at Green Start Play Days to elementary schoolers on nature walks to at-risk teens through Network Charter School classes. We have also worked with thousands of volunteers of all ages, training them to do everything from leading nature walks to restoring parkland to maintaining gardens. We are especially proud of our former students and volunteers who are now parents and teachers themselves, and who daily share things they learned through us with their own special young people. It’s wonderful when they bring these kids to our programs!
We are also very proud of the amazing outdoor area we’ve transformed at our park-based site from a lawn to a Learnscape Garden and Outdoor Classroom. This wonderful teaching space features an Edible Schoolyard garden and Fruit Orchard, outdoor play and gathering spaces (Hazelnut Hollow, the Star Stage, the Squirrel Kitchen, the Nest, Nature’s Builder’s, Frog Haven, and the Beaver Dam), native plant habitat (Pollinators’ Playground), nature art, and models for sustainable living (composting, organic gardening, etc.). Every year, hundreds of kids discover, learn, and grow in this space through our summer day camps, Green Start Play Days, Nature Quests, Network Charter School classes, school nature walks, and more. Numerous adult volunteers and interns also learn here, developing skills and interests that they will continue to build on and share for a lifetime. Connecting PEOPLE with PLACES — it’s so very important.
Nearby Nature has been a cornerstone of our community since 1992. We’ve served tens of thousands of people, worked with thousands of volunteers, and partnered with numerous community organizations. We welcome and encourage the participation of all members of our community and look forward to decades more of sharing nature nearby.
Site: 622 Day Island Road, Eugene, OR 97401
Mailing: P.O. Box 3678, Eugene, OR 97403