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Catalina Island Conservancy Youth Programs:
Making Connections

Catalina Island's impressive beauty makes for an amazing classroom. The Catalina Island Conservancy offers a wealth of opportunities and experiences for students in grand, natural spaces. With a goal of helping to create the future generations of stewards, our Education programs are dedicated to raising eco-literacy among local and visiting students. And, the best way we have found to do that is to take young people out into their world.

Drawing inspiration from Richard Louv's Last Child in the Woods, the Conservancy's Education programs aim to make sure that the current generation of young people has meaningful, positive contact with nature. Once, a student visiting Catalina for an eight-day hiking and camping trip forgot to pack his Ritalinand nobody noticed. For that period of time, Catalina's green places became his Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) medication.

We know that students care more about things that they can identify and name. We challenge young people to learn about the native plants and animals in their area, wherever that may be. And, we try to guide students toward an understanding of the inherent connectedness between one place and another. By making these connections, we hope that we help students to make better, more eco-friendly, decisions.

"One touch of nature makes the whole world kin." -- William Shakespeare

Text and photos by Rich Zanelli, School Programs Specialist