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All MN students deserve equitable access to outdoor​ experiences where they can learn, play, and grow.

HOWEVER, current access to outdoor educational opportunities is inequitable.​ For too many kids, access to the outdoors is determined​ by race, income, ability, and zip code.

Students canoeing on a lake

Outdoor School for All Minnesota is advocating for the establishment of a statewide grant program to support immersive, multi-day, accredited overnight outdoor education​ program experiences for students in grades 4 to 8 to address these needs and to ensure that​ all students have a chance to benefit from outdoor education.​


What is Outdoor School?

An Outdoor School program is a multi-day, accredited overnight experience where students have the opportunities to participate in outdoor-based learning activities in outdoor recreation, natural science, and cultural history.

Outdoor School program providers work with partnering school groups to meet curriculum goals and state academic standards.

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Learn about Outdoor School for All

Students snowshoeing in winter

Read the MN Outdoor School for All Bill

The bill would establish a statewide grant program to support overnight outdoor education​ experiences for students in grades 4 to 8.

Student rock climbing

Learn about the National OSFA Movement

While we are advocating for a Minnesota Outdoor School for All program, we're also part of a greater national movement.

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Download the Outdoor School for All MN brochure!

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Research shows participants in​ outdoor educational activities have:

Higher academic performance, enhanced critical thinking skills, and higher graduation rates

Improved behavior in school​
and relationships with peers

 Direct experience in scientific concepts in the field, leadership, and collaboration

Deeper​ engagement with learning, place, and community

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Only 29of Minnesota students are able to access Outdoor School.

  • About the bill
    Outdoor School For All Minnesota will establish a state wide grant program to support immersive, multiday, accredited overnight outdoor education program experiences for students in grades 4 to 8 to ensure that all Minnesota students have a chance to benefit from outdoor education.
  • Why now?
    Our children are losing their connection to the outdoors. COVID-19 had deep impacts on children. 66% of Minnesota principals say they need mental health support for students, and spending time outdoors reduces stress by 30%.
  • Minnesota Legacy
    We must ensure preservation of Minnesota’s rich outdoor heritage like hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation for future generations.
  • Improved social & academic learning
    Spending time in nature enhances educational outcomes and leads to better social skills, increased self-esteem, and enhanced health.
  • Equity
    Children of color and low income families are less likely to have access to the outdoors and its benefits.
  • Why are funds needed?
    Currently only 29% of Minnesota students are able to access Outdoor School. Teacher surveys indicate that funding is a top barrier to accessing Outdoor School programming. Outdoor School for All Minnesota will provide crucial funding to help close the access disparity gap.
  • Who is eligible?
    All Minnesota public, private, and, tribal and home schools serving grades 4-8 are eligible.
  • How is funding used?
    The legislation provides state funding to ensure every student in the state has the opportunity to experience an accredited overnight Outdoor School Program at some point between grades 4-8, at no cost to students’ families.
“Our students benefit from an outdoor education experience because they primarily come from low income families who reside in an urban setting. Many of our families do not have access to such opportunities or trips outside of [Outdoor School].”

- 5th grade teacher, Minneapolis

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Outdoor School for All MN in the Media

WDIO - Duluth

"Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center supporting bill that would fund nature-based learning for all Minnesota students"


Northern News Now

"Lawmakers introduce bill to teach students Minnesota’s outdoor traditions"


Lakeland PBS

"Northwoods Experience: Long Lake Conservation Center Supports ‘Outdoor School For All’ Bill"



"Pine County Board Signs Letter of Support for Program to Help Children Get Outdoors"


Minnesota Public Radio

"Minnesota kids love outdoor learning. Lawmakers are paying attention"


Aitkin Independent Age

"LLCC champions nature-based bill"


Mille Lacs Messenger

"LLCC champions nature-based bill"


Root River Current

"Eagle Bluff Champions Outdoor School For All Bill"


Fillmore County Journal

"Fillmore County Supports Outdoor School Legislation"


Brainerd Dispatch

"Minnesota kids love outdoor learning. Lawmakers are paying attention"


WJON - St. Cloud

"Bill Introduced for Outdoor School For All Minnesota Students"


KVLY - Fargo

10:00PM news TV clip


Fox 9 KMSP

"Bill pushes for outdoor education for all Minnesota kids"


Mesabi Tribune

"Learning life skills outdoors"


Grand Forks Herald

"Minnesota kids love outdoor learning. Lawmakers are paying attention"


WXOX - La Crescent

"Bipartisan effort in Minnesota wants to fund outdoor schooling"


WXOW - La Crescent

"MN bill introduced to teach students to hunt, fish"



"Minnesota Live with Pete Smerud of Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center"


KYMN - Northfield

"Representative Kristi Pursell discusses Outdoor School for All Bill"


WDIO - Duluth

"Another push for the Outdoor School for All bill"

For media inquiries: Please contact Christine Lekatz at 

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Our Partner Organizations

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eagle bluff logo
long lake logo
osprey wilds logo
Wolf Ridge logo
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