About Walden West

For over 60 years, Walden West has provided hands-on, outdoor school experiences in the environmental sciences for the children of Santa Clara County. Walden West's main facility, in the Saratoga hills, and a second location in the Cupertino hills use the outdoors to teach science concepts while introducing students to natural environments. Annually, Walden West serves over 12,000 students during the school year and 2,000 more during the summer.

All Walden West programs are based on the Next Generation Science Standards and integrate Common Core objectives. In addition to a respected week-long residential program for fifth and sixth-grade students, Walden West offers created and operates Growing Gardens for Growing Minds to engage students in outdoor garden-based lessons at their own school sites.

The popular summer programs and facility rental revenues support Outdoor School programming. Wild Things (K-1), Trail Blazers (3rd-5th), World of Wonder (2nd-7th), Trail Blazers/Trail Blazers Beyond (3rd-6th), Leaders in Training (8th), Junior Counselors (9th) and Family Camp are led by Walden West naturalists, aided by volunteer summer counselors.

Almost 1,000 high school and college students receive community service hours each year for volunteering in the summer and during the school year at Walden West.

Walden West Mission and Goals

Mission: To empower the children of Santa Clara County to develop a life-long passion for science, engineering and environmental stewardship.


  • Provide students of all ages, across all demographic backgrounds, an opportunity to learn the natural sciences, sustainability and environmental stewardship in a setting that encourages personal growth, emotional maturity and respect for others
  • Support existing school year and summer programs by creating and maintaining strong connections amongst the Walden West Foundation, Santa Clara County Office of Education and the local community, including businesses and individuals who have the varied knowledge, skills and professional expertise to provide assistance
  • Work together to develop partnerships to raise funds and write grants that promote and enhance Walden West facilities and programs