Investigating the Outdoors

Investigating the Outdoors provides homeschooled youth with the opportunity to engage, reflect and connect with the outdoors in meaningful and inspiring ways. 

Thank you to the Outdoor Equity Fund, through the New Mexico Economic Development Department, Outdoor Recreation Division & the McCune Charitable Foundation or supporting our work in the community:

What is Investigating the Outdoors?

  • Open for ages 9-16 years old
  • A 100% outdoors class to explore and learn
  • Supplemental lessons & experience in Environmental Education  

Each week focuses on a different lesson, including:

  • Plant & Wildlife identification
  • Fishing & Archery experiences
  • Planet's natural and ecological facts and changes
  • Animals, flowers, insects
  • Time to explore and play with friends
  • An end-of-semester "Surthrive Project"

Our programming integrates social-emotional benefits which nature provides through reflective nature journaling and encouraging individual interests. The class is balanced with social opportunities like group work, in-class games, and time to just laugh and have fun with friends. 

We provide hands-on experiences to learn about these topics presented by Nature Ninos staff or by one of our knowledgeable community partners. These include creating art projects, exploring the natural space, investigating science materials, or practicing skills.

The Surthrive Project

All students are asked to create a Surthrive project to present to their classmates during the last week of the semester. This project can be on any nature topic chosen by the student and presented in any method. This can include a presentation board and speech, a video project, an art diorama, or other creative methods! An outline will be provided to students in class. Presentations should be around 5 minutes long.

About the Class

Class Days & Times:

Tuesday AM Session (9:00AM - 12:00PM)

Tuesday PM Session (1:00PM - 4:00PM)

Please Note:

Each class has a maximum limit of 25 students.

A class needs a minimum of 10 students registered for the class to occur. 

Classes cost $75-$225 per semester (fee details on registration form).

A Typical Class Schedule Includes:

  • Welcome 
  • Nature Topic Introduction
  • Language Learning (ASL & Spanish)
  • Nature Journaling
  • Topical Group Activities: Art, Games, Science
  • Depart Location

Notes for Parents:

  • The first class meeting will include a MANDATORY 30-min introductory session for parents/guardians to meet the instructors and discuss details for the semester. 
  • This is a drop-off class. Please follow the drive-in drop-off and pick-up instructions to support a smooth process.
  • Classes will be held in public, open spaces in Albuquerque or Rio Rancho.
  • Family Hike Days invite families to join their student in their class - other siblings may attend as well.
  • Consider volunteering in class on instructor-requested dates.

Nature Niños classes are held in various public, open spaces in and around Albuquerque. 

Some partner locations may include:

  • Alameda Open Space
  • Los Ranchos Agri-Nature Center
  • Rio Grande Nature Center
  • Sandia Foothills
  • Petroglyph National Monument
  • And more!

Parents are responsible for transportation to and from all events.

Restrooms in Outdoor Spaces

Many outdoor spaces include restroom facilities, but when you get off the beaten path, that situation changes a bit. 

Most of our places include access to either a building facility or a port-a-potty with hand sanitizer or handwashing stations. 

In locations that do not have restroom access, Nature Niños provides a sanitary and private portable toilet with a privacy tent, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer. 

Cancellation and Inclement Weather Policy:

Nature Niños is a small, dedicated team. As we work to provide and engage youth in the outdoors, unforeseen circumstances such as illness, emergencies, or other circumstances may affect our team. If our team is unable to coverage in these circumstances to meet our standard teacher-student ratio, a class may need to be cancelled.

Because we are a 100% outdoor program, we plan to have class in all kinds of weather. However, when conditions become hazardous like lightning storms, icy roads, and extremely high winds, this can create undo dangers in our outdoor spaces.

Nature Niños does our best within these factors to host every scheduled class. Refunds will not be distributed for these circumstances affecting class. Should a class need to be cancelled, an instructor will post the notification on the Band app, through email, and our social media pages. Thank you for your understanding.