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Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.

— John Muir

Explore. Discover. Grow.

The Outside Institute was founded in 2017 in the Upper Delaware Valley to foster a greater connection to the natural world. By nurturing humanity's powers of observation and innate affinity for all living things, we hope to inspire joy and passionate stewardship of the land. Our year-round program includes nature walks, forest bathing, sustainable foraging, field trips and workshops. We collaborate with expert guides, craftspeople and educators to offer instruction in botany, herbalism, mixology, tracking, birding, plant dyes, natural cosmetics and more.

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Food is also an important component of The Outside Institute. Our gatherings typically include a celebration of nature’s bounty through lovingly prepared locally farmed and sustainably foraged ingredients that tell the story of our region.

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Laura Silverman, a writer and branding consultant, is the Founding Naturalist of The Outside Institute. A desire to share her passion for the wonders of the natural world inspired this venture. From 2010-17, Laura wrote Glutton for Life, a blog that explored Catskill living, including cooking with seasonal and foraged foods, gardening and communing with nature. She is a regular contributor to Edible Hudson Valley, The River Reporter and WJFF, and was a speaker (“On Foraging”) at Bitten 2018. Laura is available for private excursions and retreats, mixology events, editorial projects and speaking engagements.