An idea sprouted
Looking out from the front steps of her childrens’ elementary school was a pivotal moment for founder Shannon Rozea. Set in a seaside landscape, she could see Bristol Harbor in the distance and Silver Creek meandering past the school towards the ocean.
What an amazing landscape for outdoor learning she thought to herself.
There was one glaring problem; the children were rarely taken outside to enjoy and learn from this landscape. And when they did go outside for recess they played on asphalt surrounded by a chain link fence.
Shannon knew something had to be done. All young people should be given the opportunity to thrive through outdoor learning and nature play. It’s their right.
The seeds were sown
Shannon had always thrived outside. It started as a kid. Something changed in her as she stepped outside and breathed in the fresh air. Outdoors was freedom. Imagination. Beauty. Over time she developed a close relationship with nature.
In school, her outdoor experiences shaped her as well. Whether it was launching hand-made rockets, planting dune grass, or later as a college student studying landscapes, those hands-on, outdoor learning experiences inspired her. She went on to become a landscape architect and environmentalist.
Change is blooming
Today, many children are not given the opportunity to thrive outside. Our culture has become increasingly indoor-oriented with much focus on technology and extra-curricular activities. At school, the days are planned to the minute. Recess periods are cut short and time outside to learn is often considered a luxury most teachers cannot afford.
Shannon embarked on a journey to change the landscape and learning at her children's school. As a result, today there is an outdoor learning environment there called the Discovery Garden, and the teachers often take their students outside for learning in all subjects. The children enjoy their outdoor time and they are learning and building their own unique relationships with nature and the outdoors.
Thrive Outside is born!
Thrive Outside was born of this experience and the desire to help young people everywhere to build a relationship with the outdoors and to THRIVE through outdoor learning and nature play.