For over 60 years Walden West has provided a respected week-long residential environmental science education experience to Santa Clara County’s 5th and 6th grade students. Beginning in 1950, as Redwood Glen, the Santa Clara County Office of Education has operated programs in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Since 1982, the program has operated at the Walden West facility and now provides outdoor school experiences to 8,900 students each year. We operate at two sites, our primary site is in the Saratoga hills adjacent to Sanborn County Park, and the second is in the Cupertino foothills at Stevens Canyon County Park.
To meet a growing demand for additional science programs, we created Growing Gardens for Growing Minds to engage students in outdoor garden learning at their own school.
Most recently, we began an exciting program for K-8 students that combines science, sustainability, and the outdoors in day-long science and environmental programs using the new Abby Sobrato Science and Sustainability Center at Walden West.
All Walden West programs are hands-on, standards-rich, and take advantage of the outdoors to teach science concepts while introducing students to natural environments. They are based on the California state science standards and integrate Common Core objectives. As the Next Generation Science curriculum is developed, it too will be integrated into the lessons.
Complementing the school programs, Walden West summer camps and backpacking trips provide outdoor experiences for over 2,000 children aged 5-18 each summer. All Walden West programs benefit from the 1,000 high school and college students who volunteer and receive community service hours each year.