With the depletion of our natural resources and growing consumerism, the number of visitors to our national parks continue to grow yearly with people and families escaping their material lives to rediscover nature, wildlife, and themselves. Nature’s simplicity reminds us what life is like without cell phones, computers, and TVs. What if there was a place where we could go to study this natural world? What if we could gain a better understanding of life that we share this earth with? What if we could leave our phones and remember what it is like to be outside? Blue Ridge Outdoor Education Center views environmental education as a process of opening awareness and gaining knowledge of our world through hands on activities and programs. We offer students of all ages the chance to see and touch the natural world around us, as well as understand the impact people have on our world. Building on this philosophy, we teach environmental programs, critical thinking, and problem solving skills to challenge students to grow into active citizens and conscious stewards of this natural world. Blue Ridge is nestled in the transitional zone between the Piedmont and the Appalachian Mountains and we have over 30 species of trees, abundant wildflowers and herbaceous species, providing habitat for a healthy community of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. This diversity is spread over 468 acres of forested ridges and shaded coves, including a wetland, waterfall and a creek flowing through the heart of campus. The inviting landscape and unusual ecosystems make Blue Ridge a rich learning environment.