Vida Verde was founded in 2001 by two former Teach for America classroom teachers who saw a pressing need for disadvantaged youth to have educational experiences outside of the classroom. Their vision led to the formation of Vida Verde, and that innovative vision has been carefully developed into a highly effective and acclaimed outdoor educational program promoting educational equity by providing free, overnight, environmental learning experiences for low-income youth.
Filled with exciting first-time experiences in the outdoors, three-day class trips take place at Vida Verde’s 100-acre site and at a nearby farm, state parks and beaches. Students participate in engaging programs such as: (1) Nature Hike in the Redwoods, (2) Goat Milking and Cheese Making, (3) Tidepool, Beach & Marsh Exploration, and (4) Organic Farm Tour and Taste. Other activities include team-building games, exercise, arts and crafts, a campfire, and camping out in teepees. Throughout these free programs, focus is placed on group process, personal responsibility, environmental awareness, healthy food choices, sustainability and conservation.
Supported by a diverse group of donors including The Change Happens Foundation, the Vida Verde program ignites inner-city students’ imaginations, links their classroom lessons to reality, instills in them a care and awareness about environmental issues, and boosts their self-confidence through a life-changing outdoor experience.