Imagine the rare opportunity for inner city children to get out into nature and explore the great outdoors. For so many kids around the nation, sitting around a campfire, swimming in lakes and streams or hiking through the mountains is just a dream. Fortunately, there’s Vide Verde, a non-profit organization based in the Bay Area of California, that provides environmental learning experiences to get young people out of the city. Through free overnight trips, students experience the “VV Experience,” which includes a 3 day camping trip based near the San Gregorio Creek area in California. The outing also includes a visit to their 25 acre organic farm with educational opportunities in raising goats, a teaching kitchen, solar power, chickens, composting, and vegetable production. For many of the kids, the experience is their first time out of the city—a priceless opportunity with lifelong impacts.
More importantly, a study by the American Institutes for Research found that students who participated in the multi-day outings saw increased science test scores in the classroom by 27%, major improvements in self-esteem, cooperation, leadership, and more interest in environmental behaviors at home like recycling and conservation. Through the VV Experience, Vida Verde is working tirelessly to provide disadvantaged young people with the opportunity to not only explore nature, but learn more about environmental issues and allow them to cultivate valuable skills for life.
Organic Valley is committed to environmental and organic education for all and is proud to support Vida Verde impact children’s lives in their local communities.
Chris Degnan is a senior studying in his final year at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Interning with the Mission & Messaging Department at Organic Valley, Chris is excited to bring his passion for supporting the organic food industry and his energy in promoting sustainable practices to the organization. A lifelong Wisconsin resident, he’s seen the local organic industry grow and understands its positive impact on the local economy.