Our future leaders need to be equipped for tomorrow’s challenges and it is our role as educators, parents, and the community to properly prepare them to inherit this earth. This requires a commitment on all our parts when it comes to providing Environmental Education (EE) to enable our youth to become good earth stewards. We are in the midst of a profound societal shift in history when it comes to indoor education – this does not just mean within the classroom. Children spend more time indoors watching television, engaging in social media, working on tablets and computers than they ever do learning in nature’s outdoor classroom. With this shift we must shift our priorities as well. Raising an environmentally literate generation of problem solvers will ensure that our future decision-makers are equipped for the challenges they will be facing when It comes to our environment.
EE engages learners and allows them to not only understand biodiversity, how nature works, the intricacies of ecosystems, but also allows learners to see the critical impact humans are having on this earth. EE should be hands-on, interdisciplinary, and empowering. This will provide positive impact on academic performance and relationships. Outdoor classrooms like those found at Beaver Ponds allow experiential learning, while also offering the ability to be customized for standards-based learning, which is sometimes a school district requirement.
What can we all do to increase EE learning within our communities? Start in your own backyard! There are a wide-variety of activities that can be done as a family. Our schools also need more encouragement, resources, and time to devote to EE. This will enable outdoor learning experiences to become a part of everyday lesson plans. Volunteer and educate! The best way we can teach our youth for tomorrow is to lead by example today.
Interim Executive Director
Director of Development