ECO is a North Branch Nature Center Program that helps reconnect children with the natural world and foster stewardship in their communities. Through collaboration with public schools, ECO helps to open doors to the joy of learning outside in all kinds of weather. By using city parks, public lands, and other local green spaces, ECO engages children in the natural inquiry-based learning of their surrounding environment. Through this type of active learning children gain a healthy respect for nature, their communities, themselves, and for one another. By helping to foster a relationship with nature at an early age, children are given the chance to have a multi-sensory experience that will help them to retain knowledge in a more effective and meaningful way. ECO provides an opportunity for teachers and children to apply integrated academic curricula beyond the classroom to the outdoors for exploration, experimentation, creativity, and personal growth.