Kids in Nature (KIN) is an innovative and highly regarded program designed to enrich the learning experiences of underrepresented and underserved youth in our community. KIN provides fifth-grade students with a year-long dynamic combination of hands-on, inquiry-based, classroom activities, including Project Budburst and nature journaling, interactive custom-designed computer simulations, and field trips to UCSB’s Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration, Coal Oil Point Reserve, Arroyo Hondo Preserve and the REEF (Research Experience and Education Facility). The activities focus on environmental science, botany, ecology, and habitat restoration. Students participate in actual habitat restorations and install native plant gardens at their school sites, which engages them in authentic scientific and ecological experiences.
KIN provides students in our community with opportunities to observe, engage in, and understand the importance of programs that preserve our ecosystems. As such, KIN helps to develop an educated population able to make informed decisions about the future of our environment and the animal and plant species we share it with.
In 2007, KIN received the GEELA Award in the category of Children's Environmental Education.