Spring has arrived at Learning Tree Farm, and our staff couldn’t be more excited to see and feel this change occur. Not only do we get to see more children and families running, exploring, and experiencing nature, but also feeling that shift in the air and witnessing the rebirth of our gardens, our baby animals, and the spring wildflowers along our nature trails. After a winter of being cooped up inside, this turning of the season feels even more welcome.
At Learning Tree Farm, we believe that spending time outdoors is incredibly beneficial to physical health and mentally and emotionally. There is a large amount of research and studies that discuss the benefits of the outdoors for all individuals and especially children.
According to a study by the American Institutes of Research, “Children who attended outdoor school programs significantly improved their science scores by 27 percent, as measured by a pre-and post-survey.” The study evaluated sixth-graders who participated in a week-long environmental education program. Nature-based learning experiences boost academic performance and combat nature-deficit disorder. In his bestselling book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, Richard Louv argued that the preference for electronics versus the outdoors diminishes our senses, causes attention challenges and results in higher rates of physical and emotional illnesses.
Our country is slowly embracing the benefits of teaching and exploring the outdoors. Our founders and staff have always believed that a timeless farm setting naturally converts into an outdoor classroom. The number of students we serve continues to grow as educators seek ways to motivate and excite their students.
As Learning Tree Farm continues to look toward the future, we will strive to ensure our environment’s benefits are available to all people. We will do this by expanding accessible options and programming and finding ways to offer low-cost programming. Hence, everyone has the opportunity to feel the sense of freedom and well-being that nature can offer us. Happy Spring, and we can’t wait to see you all at the farm!