Every Oregon student attends a week of Outdoor School.
Friends of Outdoor School is dedicated to increasing student access to Oregon Outdoor School programs that contribute to educational development, inspire youth, and promote personal growth.
How We Do It
We accomplish our mission through advocacy, fundraising, and community engagement. Friends of ODS is the key connection between Outdoor School and the larger community of individuals, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies that support Outdoor School programming.
Created from a grassroots movement in 2003 to save the MESD Outdoor School program for Portland Public Schools, Friends of ODS has grown to become the lead organization in Oregon supporting Outdoor School.
In 2015, Friends of ODS helped to pass Oregon Senate Bill 439, which established the first-ever statewide Outdoor School program, administered by Oregon State University Extension.
In 2016, we established and led a coalition (the Oregon Outdoor Education Coalition) to secure state funding for a week of Outdoor School for all fifth- or sixth-grade students in Oregon via a citizens’ initiative, Ballot Measure 99. That November, 67% of Oregon voters passed the measure into state law. However, due to a $1.5 billion state budget shortfall, the $22 million per year that the measure designated for the new state program was cut to $12 million.
Friends of ODS continues the fight for the full $22 million to be reinstated, and for the funds to remain a permanent part of the state budget.
Friends of Outdoor School