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There is rapidly growing research on the multiple benefits of nature-based experiences. Some institutions of higher education have incorporated these types of experiences in areas such as building design, travel offerings, residential programs, green spaces, field trips, wellness centers, and freshman orientation programs. Unfortunately, urban community college students often do not receive the chance to participate in these type of experiences due to lack of opportunity and lack of time outside of class due to their multiple responsibilities. One way to help mitigate some of these challenges, is for community college faculty to embed nature-based learning experiences into their courses. This paper presents a case study of a nature-based learning experience that took place at the Central Park Zoo as part of a required first year course.


This work was originally published in the Community College Journal of Research and Practice, available at



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