Because “nature” can be defined in so many ways, these funds are applied to best meet the needs of each child who visits. Past recipients have utilized our natural setting as a therapeutic space for children with disabilities, visited with members of their unique communities, and used the garden as inspiration for art, gardening, and other skill-building practices. During the school year, teachers from Title One schools are able to apply for all or partial funding for SOL-aligned field trips.

Thank you for your support.

A Day of Nature

Research increasingly shows that children who spend time outdoors in natural settings display an increase in physical and psychological well-being and find better academic success. For many children in our region, interaction with the outdoors is primarily on concrete and mulch- covered school or neighborhood playgrounds. There can be multiple barriers for access to natural spaces, particularly for those living in poverty, people in communities of color, and children with disabilities. Children in low-income communities may also face greater health risks for environmental pollutants, flooding, and heat-related stresses. Reliable transportation, admission fees, and feeling unsure if a person will feel welcomed or safe in some spaces can be barriers to visiting museums, botanical gardens, and other cultural spaces. You can help bridge the financial burden for local children by donating to our Day of Nature Scholarship Fund.

To receive funds, applicants must show financial need and write an essay that details how the children would spend a day at the Garden and benefit from the experience. Email if you are interested in applying for a scholarship.

Past Day of Nature recipients have included:

  • The Up Center
  • YWCA of South Hampton Roads
  • Norfolk Public Schools
  • Virginia Beach Public Schools
  • Portsmouth Public Schools
  • Horizon Hampton Roads
  • Teens with a Purpose
  • Families to Families

For questions about giving to Day of Nature, please call Leslie Van Horn at 757-441-5830 ext. 341 or

 Thank you for supporting our mission as a non-profit and helping students in Hampton Roads public schools to experience a Day in Nature.