Earth Day: KIDS Get Dirty, Get Better Grades!

Jeff Giesen, the North Cascades Institute’s acting executive director, sees the beneficial effects firsthand in North Cascades National Park. When children come to such outdoor programs as “Mountain School,” the difference in their attitude is almost instant, he says.

“You can talk a little louder. You can move a little more freely. You’re not stuck into your chair. You’re not stuck in the classroom. So, you see a big change in kids when they realize that there’s a lot of open space for them to explore.”

For children and parents, the Washington Department of Ecology is keeping a list of this weekend’s Earth Day events around the state at

The report, “The Dirt on Dirt: How Getting Dirty Outdoors Benefits Kids,” is online at