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Old 10-26-2016, 04:49 AM   #1
IndLk_Brett
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Article on State Funded Outdoor Education

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/10/26...l-program.html
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Old 10-26-2016, 08:45 AM   #2
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" a curriculum that includes the study of plants, animals, soil and water; discussion of the role of natural resources in the state economy; and lessons on the relationship between economic growth, natural resources and conservation."

I can only foresee benefits produced from an environmental education. As one sees, touches, and learns, they develop a bond, a love, and a penchant to protect.
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Old 10-27-2016, 12:37 PM   #3
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I can only foresee benefits produced from an environmental education. As one sees, touches, and learns, they develop a bond, a love, and a penchant to protect.
I very much agree with you. There is such a huge difference between telling a kid about something and actually having them engaged and experiencing it for themselves.

I believe interacting with nature and being involved, even if only for a short while, enables a much bigger impression to be made. I think this is very evident in the quote of the young girl at the end of the article, "It's definitely better out here," said 11-year-old Maya Herring ... "You can actually feel the nature. It's not just saying, 'This is what this fern looks like.' You can actually feel the fern for yourself."

Also, a lasting impression had obviously been made on the parents who had themselves been through similar programs in their youth. So much so that the overwhelming majority seem to be voting to implement the new funding for the outdoor program in Oregon in large part thanks to the positive memories of their own experiences.

I realize the reality in today's America makes extensive outdoor education programs such as this one very much a pipe dream, but it would be great if they were more the norm rather than a rare exception. Especially since population growth, resource availability and many other factors will only make environmental issues become ever more pressing and important in the not too distant future.

Last edited by IndLk_Brett; 10-27-2016 at 01:58 PM..
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Old 10-27-2016, 03:47 PM   #4
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I've worked for several seasons as an Environmental Educator through Georgia 4-H, first at Rock Eagle in the Oconee National Forest, then at Camp Wahsega in the Chattahoochee National Forest. We provided education to visiting school groups on a wide variety of subjects, include lake/stream ecology, forest ecology, mammalogy, herpetology, ornithology, pioneer life, astronomy, survival, leave-no-trace, etc. All classes were as hands on as possible- for example, in stream ecology we would collect aquatic invertebrates and talk about how the presence/absence of certain species could tell us how clean the water was, for herpetology we'd bring out snakes and turtles for the students to see up close, for forest ecology the students would collect leaves and learn how to ID a few tree species in the area, in pioneer life students would get to use a cross cut saw in addition to cooking corn bread on an open fire, and so on. We also facilitated challenge course and ropes course classes as well.

Each school group came for 2-3 days. It was obvious for the vast majority of students that the trip was the highlight of their year in school, and not just because they weren't attending classes. I think a lot of the students really enjoyed being able to learn in that hands-on environment.
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Old 10-27-2016, 05:27 PM   #5
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Each school group came for 2-3 days. It was obvious for the vast majority of students that the trip was the highlight of their year in school, and not just because they weren't attending classes. I think a lot of the students really enjoyed being able to learn in that hands-on environment.
And as such I'm sure many of them will remember it fondly for the rest of their lives. Hopefully, as a result, they may start to become influenced in an environmentally conscientious way as well.

Personally, I still have vivid memories of doing a similar type of program in a National Park near where I grew up. Stuff like that can really stick with a kid.

Those sound like great programs you were involved in. It must be a fun and rewarding experience for you as well as the students.

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Old 10-28-2016, 09:30 AM   #6
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I saw this recently in ADK Almanac. While not the same as a comprehensive education program, it might be the only opportunity to get some of these kids out of the classroom and into our parks. I realize $500k is "budget dust" to NYS, but it's better than nothing.


http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/20...eds-photo.html

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) has announced grant opportunities for public schools throughout New York State to fund field trips to state parks and historic sites for environmental, history and physical education programming.

Funding for the $500,000 Connect Kids to Parks Transportation Grant program comes from the state Environmental Protection Fund’s enhanced Environmental Justice programming approved in the 2016-17 State Budget. The grant is available to Kindergarten-12th grade classes in Title 1 public schools.

To date more than 120 schools across the state have applied for the grant. The grant application is available online and is reviewed on a rolling basis for field trips anytime in the 2016-17 school year. For more information, e-mail parksbusgrant@parks.ny.gov.

State Parks also announced that New York will extend the “Connect Kids to Parks” free 4th grade entry to state parks in 2017. New York State Parks, as well as day-use areas operated by the Department of Environmental Conservation, accept the National Park Service’s Every-Kid-In-A-Park pass upon presentation for vehicle entry into all State Parks as long as the fourth grader is present in the vehicle. The pass will also be accepted at State Historic Sites for the pass holder and up to three adults for house tour fees.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 180 state parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by 65 million people annually. For more information on any of these recreation areas or programs, call (518) 474-0456
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