The Nature Connect mission is to cultivate curiosity, compassion, and connection with the natural world. In a time where computer and cell phone use is so prevalent, we believe it’s important to get kids unplugged from technology and reconnected each other and the world around them.

Studies show that time spent in nature increases attention span, ability to concentrate, self- esteem, creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Children who spend more time outdoors and participate in cooperative group activities also have healthier relationships with friends and family.

Our vision is to support children to develop a deep love and respect for the natural world and help them grow into empowered, resilient, and dedicated leaders in their communities.

Our programs include exploring outdoors, animal tracking, bird language, nature & sensory awareness, storytelling, plant and animal identification, mentorship, empowerment, primitive skills & crafts, and lots of fun and play!


The vision for Nature Connect formed when, Brinkley Hutchings, an environmental advocate who spent her childhood outside, wondered, “Who is going to protect the planet if children don’t have a connection to the outdoors?” Brinkley created Nature Connect in January 2016 to support children to experience a strong bond with the natural world, so they grow into empowered and dedicated environmental stewards.

In April 2016, a group of 20 families joined together for Nature Connect’s first programs in Wilmington, North Carolina. The community’s response was overwhelmingly positive with an 86% participant return rate and since then, the programs have more than doubled in size and duration. We now serve over 50 families, offer year round programs, and are launching Nature Connect in Coastal Alabama this year.


Recent Posts

Kids need access to nature for mental health

Written by Randy Shore Children today are more likely to report symptoms of attention disorders and depression, and more likely to be medicated for those problems than at any time in human history, according author Richard Louv. Mental health issues, childhood obesity and even online bullying appear to be exacerbated by a lack of access to nature, outdoor … Continue reading Kids need access to nature for mental health

When Kids Connect to Nature, Benefits Abound

Article written by Sally Shuffield During times of uncertainty, it is essential to recognize the constants that provide joy and groundedness to transcend politics. Studies have shown that a connection between children and nature is one of the essential components to a brighter future. In fact, it has been shown that this connection may be … Continue reading When Kids Connect to Nature, Benefits Abound

The Benefits of Nature-based Learning by Kristen Hampshire

Early childhood programs with lesson plans like ‘over the river and through the woods’ provide a valuable foundation. A rumbling preschooler pushes against a log in the woods, rolling it over just enough to get a peek at what’s underneath. A few worms squirm across the worn bark, prompting a peal of laughter: “Look!” The … Continue reading The Benefits of Nature-based Learning by Kristen Hampshire

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