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The Potential for Schoolyard Outdoor Education Presented by: Samuel H. Sage, Atlantic States Legal Foundation
About Atlantic States LegalFoundation Onondaga Creek Revitalization Project Education Initiatives with the Dunbar Association Environmental Health Projects including lead education
Onondaga Creek RevitalizationProgram ASLF, OEI, SUNY-ESF, community members and other organizations are developing a creek revitalization plan The results of this plan can incorporate outdoor education initiatives Fowler High and Clary Middle are perfectly located to utilize neighboring creeks
What other School Districts are doing Forest Kindergartens in Europe, since the 1950s Berkeley school system, Edible Schoolyards Project Finger Lakes National Forest and Hillside Children’s Center Boston Schoolyard Initiative, www.schoolyards.org Missoula, Montana, schoolyard habitats Springfield, Ohio, curricular gardens Many thousands more!
Why do this here? Syracuse City schools are becoming ‘greener’ A connection with nature is essential to a child’s mental and physical well being Addresses growing concern about our children’s ‘nature deficit disorder’ Engage students more with the community and the natural world Hands-on learning experiences
Syracuse is the 17th Greenest City inthe U.S. – National Geographic’s Green Guide Great Green things are happening here Immense potential for increased learning Schools, community and environment can be linked through education
Building the Outdoor Classroom Involve students in planning and design of a schoolyard habitat Grow native plant gardens Take advantage of existing natural areas (i.e. Harbor Brook and Onondaga Creek) Build butterfly gardens
Cross- curricular learning Involve all studies Map soil, survey existing plants and animals Design and build gardens, pathways, etc. Create outside curriculum for each grade level
How Children will Benefit Reconnect children with the natural world Correct the “nature deficit disorder” as described by Richard Louv Take advantage of great educational opportunities presented by school grounds Extend and expand ‘green’ efforts already being done in Syracuse schools
Potential for Outside Funding More than 100 schools will receive grants from Lowe’s Charitable and Education Foundation www.lowes.com/community National Forum on Children and Nature Many others
How ASLF can help Create outdoor education programs Provide program assistance Work with school officials to secure outside funding Help build collaboration with other local organizations Integrate the schoolyard classroom program with greening the schools and the safe route to school initiative