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Connections with the Natural World in Action

A workshop empowers teachers to bring nature writing to their classrooms, resulting in students getting published in an established anthology

Not many second graders can say they’re published authors. But thanks to a Nature Writing Workshop at the Straub Environmental Center in 2014, a large group of Salem-area youngsters can boast just that.

For more than a decade, the Straub Environmental Center (SEC) has been a leader in environmental education in the Mid-Willamette Valley. It provides teachers with resources for environmental literacy, holds family nature nights, and leads outdoor retreats and summer day camps, among other programs.


Linn-Benton Salmon Watch Succeeds at Educating Local Area Students

Sweet Home, OR | September 30, 2015 – A group of students from Timber Ridge School in Albany stands gathered around an outdoor laboratory temporarily setup along the banks of the South Santiam river. They watch and listen to their leaders for the day, volunteers from OSU and the City of Albany, as they lead the wide-eyed group through testing water samples for dissolved oxygen, temperature, pH, and turbidity. Minutes later they are discussing how these parameters are linked to conditions in the watershed and how they affect the aquatic habitat including the health of...

Day-long field trips allow fifth and sixth graders experience the diverse terrain of near-shore environments and take home a new perspective of their coastal home

How does the ocean influence you, and how do you influence the ocean?

If you’re a fifth or sixth grader living on the coast in Lincoln County, there are few better places to discover this than the Beaver Creek Natural Area, part of South Beach State Park.

Here Oregon State Parks has established a biologically rich learning laboratory where trained staff lead about 120 students each year in hands-on exploration of the near-shore environments.

A 2014...

From Removal To Restoration - Invasive species activities should include the restoration of native habitat

The connected article provides an overview of a restoration project that extends activities past rehabilitation to include long-term monitoring, continued stewardship and community support. The restoration site at Evergreen Middle School in Hillsboro, Oregon was originally an English ivy desert, covered entirely with Hedera helix. Eighth grade students and two teachers, aided by the district’s facilities personnel, removed the ivy and root stock, added commercial top soil, planted native trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants with a follow-up planting in...