Bronx Zoo Nature Club

Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS

Get outside and explore!

Applications are due by 5:00pm EST on Monday, September 15, 2014.

The Bronx Zoo would like to invite you and your family to take a walk on the wild side! Thanks to funding from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, we will be hosting FREE monthly Nature Club sessions to families accepted into the program from October 2014 to May 2015, and you could be a part of the fun!

Why should we spend time in nature?

On average, NYC schools only allow for a 20-minute recess break outside and many are limited to an asphalt play space. Here are just a couple of reasons why it's important to spend time in nature:

  • Supports creativity and problem solving. Studies of children in schoolyards found that children engage in more creative forms of play in the green areas. They also played more cooperatively (Bell and Dyment, 2006).
  • Enhances cognitive abilities. Being exposed to natural settings increases children's ability to focus and enhances cognitive abilities (Wells, 2000).
  • Improves academic performance. Studies in the US show that schools that use outdoor classrooms and other forms of nature-based experiential education support significant gains in social studies, science, language arts, and math (American Institutes for Research, 2005).
  • Reduces Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) symptoms. Spending time in nature can significantly reduce symptoms of attention deficit disorder in children as young as five years old (Kuo and Taylor, 2004).
  • Increases physical activity. Children who are exposed to diverse natural settings are more physically active, more aware of nutrition, more civil to one another and more creative (Belly and Dyment, 2006).
  • Improves eyesight. More time outside is related to reduced rates of nearsightedness in children and adolescents (American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2011).
  • Improves self-discipline. Time spent outside enhances peace, self-control and self-discipline within inner city youth, and particularly in girls (Taylor, Kuo and Sullivan, 2001).
  • Reduces stress. Green plants and vistas reduce stress among highly stressed children (Wells and Evans, 2003).


BRONX ZOO NATURE CLUB

The Bronx Zoo Education Department is happy to join forces with Kids Unplugged and Tarrytown Family Nature Club to create the Bronx Zoo Nature Club!

How often will this group meet?

The Bronx Zoo Nature Club will meet once a month from October 2014 to May 2015, but will also be given nature "challenges" to complete in between sessions, encouraging families to get outside!

What are the session dates?

All sessions occur on Saturdays, from 10:30am — 12:30pm. PARTICIPANTS MUST BE ABLE TO ATTEND ALL 8 SESSIONS TO BE CONSIDERED FOR THE CLUB.

  • October 18, 2014
  • November 15, 2014
  • December 13, 2014
  • January 24, 2015
  • February 28, 2015
  • March 21, 2015
  • April 18, 2015
  • May 16, 2015

Programs are held rain, snow or shine!

What will we do during these sessions?

We will have themed sessions that will empower the adults, teens and children of the club to explore nature! We will be spending time at the Mitsubishi River Walk at the Bronx Zoo, meet animals up-close, explore our tool kits, and have lots of fun outside!

What are some benefits to the Bronx Zoo Nature Club?

Beyond the benefits of spending time in nature, your family will be given free admission and parking the days that the Nature Club meets, snacks during the sessions, and fun kits to explore nature! We will also provide MetroCards to families who need them. You'll also be able to be a part of new community at the Bronx Zoo while exploring nature!

Do we need to have experience in nature to apply?

Absolutely not! We encourage families from all types of nature backgrounds to apply!

How many people will be accepted into the program?

We will accept up to 45 participants into the program. A maximum of 6 family members can participate in the program and children must be 3 and older to participate. Applications will be reviewed based on a pre-determined matrix.

How do I apply?

Please take some time and complete the online application by clicking here >>
Applicatión en español aquí >>

Applications are due by 5:00pm EST on Monday, September 15, 2014. The application must be completed in full to be considered.

Accepted families will be notified by 5:00pm EST on Friday, October 3, 2014.

Questions?

Feel free to contact bznatureclub@wcs.org with any questions regarding the Bronx Zoo Nature Club!

RESOURCES

Kids Unplugged -
http://kidsunplugged.org/

Tarrytown Family Nature Club -
http://www.meetup.com/Tarrytown-Family-Nature-Club/