"The earth is what we all have in common."

-Wendell Berry

A Forest School approach to educating for exuberance,

joy, and curiosity in children



The Santa Cruz Kids in Nature Program is an
outdoor-based Nature Club for young children. We are a small group focused on fostering creativity, confidence, communication skills, community, ecological stewardship, and curiosity in the students. The group takes place over the course of the school year and runs outside of school hours - making it a great activity for public school students. 

We consider ourselves mentors rather than "teachers" because we are teaching children about the outdoors, yes, but as a gateway for better knowing themselves and their habitat. We keep our groups small and our commitment long term to allow enough opportunity for each child to blossom in our group!



Children grades K - 5 of all experience levels from expert salamander handlers to the novice trail blazer - we invite everyone to experience wild Santa Cruz with us!

Currently our program is focused on providing for the students of Westlake Elementary - where the program began five years ago. We welcome any interested young community members to enroll, however.

Students of Westlake are picked up from their classrooms by our staff, students of the community are dropped off by their guardians. 

But - keep your eyes peeled community members - we might expand to new schools or wild lands in the coming seasons!






The Kids in Nature Program maintains a maximum mentor to student ratio of 1:6.

This small ratio enables mentors to dive more deeply into the exploration of wildlands, and into each child's personal learning journey.

We offer sessions after every school day. Students may choose one or many days a week to participate in.

Over the course of the year, students are presented with relevant and meaningful challenges, introduced to the plants and animals in their region,  and equipped with skills and knowledge that build self - confidence.

Click the image above to find out more about the amazing teachers we have at Santa Cruz Kids in Nature.

Click the image above to find out more about the program's schedule and costs.

2018 Summer camp waitlist


Our Summer Camps are all full! But click the image above to join our waitlist or our "early announcement" email list for next summer.

fall 2018 registration now up!


{    Established in 2013 as The Santa Cruz Forest School   }

Meet Our Incredible Teachers!