‘No child left inside’ at IslandWood

IslandWood was one of three Western Washington environmental learning centers to earn a state grant for promoting outdoor education for low-income children.

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission’s new “No Child Left Inside” grant program awarded $200,000 in total to IslandWood, the Sedro Woolley-based North Cascades Institute and the Olympic Park Institute in Port Angeles.

The grant is expected to subsidize the participation of more than 10,000 low-income students in environmental education programs. It will help fund outdoor field trips and after-school programs.

According to IslandWood spokesman David Hunting, Washington’s children are increasingly “plugged in” to television and other technologies. Fewer hours each day are spent outdoors and in nature. Outdoor education programs, he said, can help turn this trend around while reducing stress in overscheduled youth, increasing attention spans and boosting test scores.

Located on Bainbridge Island’s south end, IslandWood’s forested 255-acre campus draws children from around the region for hands-on lessons in biological and cultural diversity.