History

Curious about how Nearby Nature has grown and developed over the years? Enjoy some of our highlights on this timeline!

1991: Nearby Nature’s first organizational meeting.

1992: Non-profit incorporated. Classes in founder’s backyard yurt and local schools. First newsletter! School Nature Walks Program serves 945 kids. First summer daycamps. Ivy removal begins in Alton Baker Park. Founders help defeat efforts to build golf course in Alton Baker Park.

1993: Nearby Nature becomes Park Host in Armitage State Park.

1994: School Nature Walks Program serves 1,500 kids. Alton Baker Park nature center proposed. Green Scouts program serves teens.

1995: Daycamps serve 60 kids. Spring Thing in Armitage Park.

1996: First website created. Alton Baker Park Action Project work parties begin.

1997: First annual Haunted Hike in Armitage Park!

1998: Costumed Kinder Critters debut in schools. Nearby Nature moves to Alton Baker Park!

1999: School Nature Walks Program serves 1,800 kids.

2000: First Walk on the Wild Side. Amazon Park Walks program. First EWEB scholarship grant. Volunteers donate 3,000 hours.

2001: Restoration Celebration Work Party program launched. Naturescaping project at Spencer Butte Middle School. Teacher workshops begin. Daycamps serve 150 kids.

2002: 10th Anniversary! Work starts on Network Charter School (NCS). East Alton Baker Park becomes the Whilamut Natural Area and the Talking Stones are installed.

2003: First Egg Walk. First NCS classes. School Nature Walks Program serves 2,500 kids. Volunteers donate 3,700 hours.

2004: Yurt built in Alton Baker Park. NCS opens downtown site. Nature Quest weekend program launched.

2005: New After School Adventures and No School Days offered. Daycamps serve 270 kids.

2006: Bike storage shed built. Classroom Naturalist Visits program begins and serves 1,720 kids.

2007: 15th Anniversary! NCS celebrates 5th Anniversary! New bathroom constructed and yurt updated. School Nature Walks Program serves 2,900 kids.

2008: Work begins on the Learnscape. Kiosk built. First Play in the Rain Day. Record attendance at Haunted Hike — 508 people!

2009: Lessons in the Learnscape workshops begin. Partnership with Rachel Carson High School students begins. New website launched. Learnscape Grand Opening held.

2010: School Nature Walks Program serves record 3,194 kids! Park Host Residence gets new paint and windows. Covered bike shelter built. Volunteers donate 6,000 hours.

2011: NCS moves to south Eugene. Water Wise Garden opens. Green Giving Program launched. Nature Hut interior gets a facelift.

2012: 20th Anniversary! New logo! Restoration work begins in gateway area of Alton Baker Park. Learnscape thrives! Daycamps serve 400+ kids, more than ever before!

2013: Community Friends Membership program begins. First school nature walks in Hendricks Park sponsored by the Friends of Hendricks Park. Kids spend 28,000 hours outside.

2014: NCS starts an enrollment lottery due to high demand. Restoration work in gateway area continues.

2015: Green Start Play Day program begins. First bilingual Spanish-English daycamps offered. Volunteers donate 7,700+ hours. Kids spend 31,000 hours outside.

2016: NCS purchases its building in south Eugene. Most people ever — 544 — attend our 20th annual Haunted Hike! 100+ people attend 1st annual Newt Quest in Tugman Park.

2017: Nearby Nature celebrates its 25th birthday! Online registration for youth programs begins.

2018: Star Stage is built in the Learnscape. Nature Hut gets new metal roof. TAG (Taskforce Against Graffiti) Team paints Frohnmayer Footbridge mural. Most kids ever attend summer daycamps. New website launched!