National Parks

Best Nonprofits to Engage Kids in Nature 

Whale Tail
credit: Pacific Whale Foundation

Best Nonprofits to Engage Kids in Nature 

Kids have a natural attraction to the outdoor world and it effects their energy in the nature world. If you want to get the kids in your life more outdoor time, here’s the best nonprofits to engage kids in nature. 

“From knowing comes caring and from caring comes change.” Manuel Bustelo 

Pacific Whale Foundation

The Pacific Whale Foundation helps kids to learn more about the whales in Hawaii, an important winter breeding ground. Kids are introduced to plastic pollution solutions, keeping our oceans cleaner for the animals. 

In addition to learning about the winter breeding ground, The Pacific Whale Foundation offers keiki whale watching tours, eco-adventures, like snorkeling and summer camps. Check out its online learning options as well.

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More Information on the Pacific Whale Foundation
Stop by a NPS Visitor Center for maps, movies and Junior Ranger booklets. Credit: Catherine Parker

National Park Service

The National Park Service offers a wide range of free ranger programs in individual parks for all ages. Check in at the visitor center for the current offerings. 

Junior Ranger Program

From kids just old enough to hold a pencil through teens, the National Park Service offers the Junior Ranger Program in the majority of its parks. The program is free (some parks charge a small fee) and based on the uniqueness of each individual park. Booklets are handed out at the Visitor Center and based on age level. When completed, students hand in their booklet to discuss it with the Park Ranger and are awarded a Junior Ranger badge or patch. Top activity for kids in the National Parks.

Every Kid in a Park 

Started in 2015 by former President Barack Obama, the NPS program gives U.S. 4th grade students an annual park pass for free. The student pass is good for a carload of friends and family.

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Guide to Junior Ranger Badges You Can Earn from Home
National Park Pass Guide 
SCA volunteer
Ready to head out for a summer volunteering with the SCA. Credit: Spencer Ford

Student Conservation Association

As a nonprofit organization, it is dedicated “to build the next generation of conservation leaders and inspire lifelong stewardship of the environment and communities by engaging young people in hands-on service to the land.” 

Just for teens, this program provides internships in park sites across the U.S. to gain hands-on experience in conservation. This internship isn’t paid but provides room (camping) and board. 

For college students, paid internships provide the opportunity to lead high school students in SCA crews. 

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Best Nonprofits that Support the National Parks
It was an honor to meet Dr. Jane Goodall. Credit: Catherine Parker

Roots and Shoots 

Dr. Jane Goodall, the ground breaking primatologist, has a foundation with programming for students. The Jane Goodall Foundation guides students to take action in their community. From helping students organize beach clean-ups to learning how to conserve energy in the classroom, Roots and Shoots offers a framework for students as well as educators. 

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Dr. Jane Godall Foundation

Families in Nature

Based in Austin, Texas, this nonprofits offers a gear-loaning program for families who want to experience the outdoors. In addition, it offers The Ecology School, a program with 16 badges in different sciences from Astronomy to Paleontology. 

More Information on Families in Nature

Sierra Club 

Legendary mountain man, John Muir, created the Sierra club in 1892 to help promote conservation. Now the Sierra Club organizes outdoor activities like hiking trips and outdoor activities across the U.S. along with international trips. 

More Information on the Sierra Club
Engage and excite your kids in nature with outside help. Find nonprofit orgazinations that help families explore the outdoors. Best nonprofits to engage kids in nature | nonprofits for kids
credit: Pixabay



Catherine Parker has a passion for travel and seen all 50 U.S. States. As a former flight attendant with one of the largest airlines, there isn't a North American airport that she hasn't landed in at least once. Since clipping her professional wings after 9/11, she combines her love of the open road with visiting architectural and cultural icons. She is based out of Central Texas dividing her time between writing and restoring a pair of 100-year-old houses. She shares her life with her three kids and her husband.

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