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Connections with the Natural World in Action

Outdoor school is a rite of passage for Crook County sixth graders, who spend five days in fellowship with nature and their new camp ‘family.’

It’s a five mile hike around gorgeous Suttle Lake in central Oregon—quite a trek for the sixth graders from the Crook County School District.

But it’s all fun at outdoor school. With Bingo cards in hand, the students chart different plan species they find. They spot a bald eagle, then another, and a dramatic chase plays out before them. Even a rotten log comes to life with a careful eye.

For 57 years, the Crook County outdoor school has returned to this same location, the Suttle Lake Camp, to...

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.

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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...

From Kindergarten, Butte Creek Elementary students have their eyes set on sixth grade outdoor school at the Oregon Coast—but they need a little help getting there

A close encounter with a seal thrilled sixth-graders from Silverton, Oregon, during a recent trip to Outdoor School. Some of them had never even been to the beach before!

Butte Creek Elementary is a rural school located outside of Silverton, Oregon. Each year, the school sends their sixth graders to Camp Westwind just north of Lincoln City. With sea caves, incredible vistas, and an estuary of the Salmon River, it’s no wonder the school has returned to this site year after year.

At camp, hands-on is...