Flora Founder got the idea for Nature Knowledge as a camp counselor at Smoky Mountain Summer Camp in 1992. Her campers were mesmerized by nature and eager to learn everything they could. One young camper mentioned that her school did not teach students natural sciences.
Flora could not believe this gap and pledged right at that moment to make an attempt to close the Nature Knowledge gap. She partnered with her first local Tennessee school in 1994, and Nature Knowledge has only grown from there in terms of classrooms and impact.
“Starting Nature Knowledge and connecting more kids with nature has been a life-long dream. Thanks to dedicated teachers, generous supporters and caring parents, we’ve been able to touch so many lives. I can’t wait to see our students become the next generation of teachers and scientists.”Flora Founder
As Nature Knowledge grew in popularity and our programs were filling quickly, it became time to grow the team. Dane Director joined us in 1998, bringing a strong love of the outdoors and environmental education to the organization in addition to experience with fundraising. Two years later, we were excited to bring on Terry Teacher as a full-time educator that has helped us to develop new curriculum and build partnerships with schools and parks across the country. Learn more about the team.
Nature Knowledge has been fortunate to collaborate with the National Parks Service to deliver programs about natural resources and wildlife management to all ages. Over time, park rangers and naturalists have become integral parts of the Nature Knowledge community, even becoming board members and donors. As we’ve expanded into new parks – with a goal to hit 40 parks by 2020 – so has our impact on classrooms across the country. If you’d like to see our programs in a park near you, please contact us!
Starting with Flora Founder, we’ve always made it a priority to work with local teachers in order to identify opportunities to grow our programs and offer a chance for students in need to experience the national parks. Once Nature Knowledge branched out from Tennessee in 1997, we quickly found that there was much more demand than we had supply. Thanks to our board leadership, Nature Knowledge has continued to fundraise to help keep pace with the needs of our nation’s teachers and administrators. Are you an educator that wants to get involved? We’d love to meet you!