As our lives become more technologically advanced and driven, many students at EFWMA, like their urban peers, have very little access to a natural habitat in their neighborhood. The steady growth of urbanization has led to the disappearance of neighborhoods, neighborhood streams, grasslands, and open spaces, birds, and wild animals. Most parents in urban communities have to travel a long distance to take their children to nature centers for them to experience animal and plant life in their natural habitat. There is ample research that shows that students and adults who have access to "nearby nature" and open spaces are more relaxed and less stressed. (Kaplan and Kaplan, 1989).
Young children develop their sensory, cognitive, gross and fine motor skills while in relationship to the natural world. "...the function of the school is to supply students with interesting information and motives for action. A child, who more than anyone else is a spontaneous observer of nature, certainly needs to have at his/or her disposal, materials upon which he/or she can work" - Dr. Maria Montessori