The National Parks: America's Best Idea Just Got Better

Upcoming Trips

January, 2020

1st Annual Trip to Dry Tortugas and Everglades National Parks

with Breakthrough Miami

Program Itinerary:

Everglades National Park/Keys

Students will explore the fascinating landscape of Everglades National Park, including the remote 10,000 Islands section, where they will have a chance to see pods of dolphins, roseate spoonbills, white pelicans, manatees, stingrays, and more animal and bird species.  Through a combination of boating, driving, and walking tours, they will learn about the area’s rich history, as well as the geology, flora, and fauna of the Everglades.

After exploring Coral Castle, the students will go kayaking (led by a marine biologist guide) through the seagrass flats and out to an island off the coast, and then back into an old growth mangrove forest trail. This area is a fish nursery. There is the chance to see manatees, small sharks, a wide variety of fish and birds, marine iguanas, sea turtles and more.

Connection of the Keys to the Everglades: Some of the upper islands of the Keys are part of Everglades National Park. And all of the upper Keys are part of the Everglades system - the health of the reefs off the Keys is connected to the flow of fresh water and quality of water moving through the Everglades and into the Florida Bay. On this trip, our students will  witness first hand how these systems are all connected together.

Big Cypress National Preserve

Time for some more wildlife spotting.  Even at the visitors center, large wild alligators can be spotted! Students will take a nature walk led by a master naturalist, followed by a 1-hour airboat ride, co-led by a Native American family company guide, where they will have the opportunity to see large alligators, baby alligators, rare birds, and more. A stop at a Native tree island village will provide insights into the culture of those first inhabitants of this land. 

Dry Tortugas National Park

Besides the natural beauty of the boat ride to and from the park and of Dry Tortugas National Park, this stop also provides a historical tour and a fort to explore! The boat check in is at 7 a.m., and it leaves at 8 a.m. We will return at about 5:30 p.m. The boat ride out to Dry Tortugas National Park takes a little bit more than two hours, and on the way the veteran captain will fill us in on the natural and cultural history of the park. We will have almost five hours to explore the park — time for birding, beach walking, and, of course, touring the amazing Fort Jefferson, which holds an interesting slice of American history.  For those accomplished swimmers, there may be a chance to swim during this portion of the trip.

August, 2020

2nd Biennial Trip to Joshua Tree and Sequoia National Park

with Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano


Inaugural Trip

In partnership with Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano, Birthright America was proud to provide the educational and emotional enrichment that comes from exploring their country’s bountiful National Parks and from the learning opportunities connected to that exploration to a group of 20 students in August of 2018.  

Program​ ​Overview

  • Students will experience the power of awe as they explore California's varied landscapes, learning about the history and geology of these magnificent national parks.

Program​ ​Itinerary

  • Joshua Tree National Park
    • Students will explore the fascinating landscape of Joshua Tree National Park, which contains more than 700,000 acres, two deserts, two ecosystems, and a unique habitat including the ancient Joshua tree.  Through a combination of driving and walking tours, they will learn about the area’s rich history, as well as the geology, flora, and fauna of the California desert.  
  • Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks
    • In the “Land of Giants,” students will discover a land of diversity and beauty—huge mountains, deep canyons, vast caverns, and the world’s largest trees! They will visit the famed General Sherman Tree, spend time at the Visitors’ Center, and, in the evening, enjoy stargazing under the brilliant California sky. 
  • Yosemite National Park
    • Students will enjoy two full days exploring one of the nation's oldest parks.  Yosemite is a wonderland of spectacular lakes, cascading waterfalls, lush forests, giant granite domes, pinnacles, and mountains rising more than 4,000 feet above the valley floor. Students will study the history, geology, animal and plant life of the park, watch the Spirit of Yosemite film, visit the park's museums, and take hikes to learn about the eco-system, nature and fauna of Yosemite. 

    Benefits of Travel:

  • Provides students with a new perspective
  • Broadens students’ horizons
  • Students gain confidence through increased independence and responsibility
  • Increases students’ understanding of and pride in their country
  • Connections and lasting bonds are formed between students and mentors/chaperones
  • Mentors and chaperones model and teach best traveling practices

Benefits of Integrating Travel into Curriculum:

  • Studies demonstrate that students truly learn - and retain what they have learned - when the content piques their curiosity, connects with them on an emotional level and has relevant context in their lives.
  • Birthright America, led by a lifelong educator, recognizes and values the opportunity to connect these traveling experiences to the academic curriculum by providing scholars a chance to explore science, history, literature, physical education, the fine arts, all organically connected to the students’ explorations of the National Parks. 

Your support will enable us to fulfill our mission to bring the national parks to life for those who would otherwise never have the opportunity to learn from and within them.  Your generous donation will make a profound difference in the lives of America's children.