Celebrate going back to school in nature’s classroom

Take kids out to play and learn on DNR-protected land. Photo by: DNR/Jennifer Allison

As your children return to school, why not stretch their learning beyond the classroom?

DNR has many recreation opportunities in Washington’s great outdoors to connect your child with nature as their learning environment grows.

Why do kids need nature?
Lack of nature education and outdoor exposure is called Nature Deficit Disorder, coined by the writer Richard Louv in his 2005 book, “Last Child in the Woods.”

Studies have found that connecting children with nature improves their ability to perform in school subjects such as math, reading, and science.

Check out some of the outdoor education opportunities DNR has to offer below, and help give your kid an extra edge.

McLane Creek Elementtary School 4th graders at McLane Creek viewing platform
The new viewing platform at McLane Creek gives classrooms and the public a great view of spawning chum salmon. Photo: Becky Hahn, 4th grade teacher, McLane Creek Elementary

McLane Creek, Capitol State Forest
Children will delight in McLane Creek Nature Trail, a short loop in the Capitol State Forest.

The trail skirts around a beaver pond and McLane Creek through boardwalk paths. You can expect to see ducks and beaver dams.

The creek also has a viewing platform for viewing this native salmon run. This kid-friendly site has a learning shelter, interpretive signs and benches along the trail.

Upright Channel Day-Use Area and and Beach Access
Upright Channel Day-Use Area and Beach Access is located on Lopez Island in the San Juans. It offers access to a 20-acre day-use park, which includes trails, beach access and a picnic area.

Enjoy a fun day with your kids picnicking, hiking and exploring the beach!

Enjoy the end of summer with a romp and roar in the sand at Beverly Sand Dunes ORV park. Photo by: DNR

Beverly Dunes
Beverly Dunes offers ORV riders of all ages a healthy dose of excitement with dunes near the town of Beverly on Lower Crab Creek. At this site, open year-round, get ready for motorcycle, ATV and 4×4 fun.

Poo Poo Point, Tiger Mountain State Forest
This wide trail, lined with old forests and wildflowers, opens up into a grassy mountainside where hang gliders and paragliders can be found launching throughout the summer.

There is a picnic spot above the launch area where you and your kids can enjoy views of Issaquah Valley, Lake Sammamish, Bellevue, and on clear days, Mount Baker.

discover passKeep them learning year-round with a Discover Pass
No school supplies list is complete without a Discover Pass. Pick one up today to keep you and your children learning on DNR-managed recreation lands all year long.

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