Outdoor Education Resources
Friends of Outdoor School and other committed partners have created and continue to develop a statewide network that continues to generate public support for outdoor education programs and place-based, hands-on education.
In the course of our work supporting outdoor education programs, we have complied resources that may be helpful for program providers, facilities that host outdoor education opportunities, schools, teachers, and participants. Many are shared below. Feel free to let us know if there are additional materials we can share that may benefit others.
Forest-based Resources for Oregon Educators
The Oregon Forest Resources Institute offers a wealth of resources to help educators use our forests as a context for teaching to enrich student learning and extend it beyond the walls of the classroom.
Water Resources Education
The Portland Water Bureau offers a wide variety of educational resources around water resources and water supply, such as onsite visiting options along with supporting curriculum (including Bull Run Watershed tours and Water Bureau Operations facility tours), school assembly and classroom visit programs, field trip options, and more. Access here!
Honoring Our Rivers
Honoring Our Rivers is a program of Willamette Partnership, a Portland-based conservation nonprofit. Since 2000, HOR has been publishing student (K-college) art, photography, poetry, prose, and foreign language translations related to Pacific Northwest Rivers. The mission of Honoring Our Rivers is to encourage stewardship of river watersheds and to nurture the next generation of civic and conservation leaders by engaging the creative capacities of our youth.
Developed in partnership with the Portland Metro STEM Partnership and Straub Environmental Center, this Toolkit for Educators helps teachers tie their environmental education lessons to art and writing activities that align with the state Common Core, Next Generation Science Science Standards, and Oregon Environmental Literacy Plan. The toolkit includes resources, writing prompts by grade level and subject, and teacher-test lesson plans—all tied to state standards.
Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom
The Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) Foundation provides curriculum, resources and training to K-12 teachers. The program promotes using agriculture to teach science, math, history and nutrition across existing curriculum. AITC’s resources are standards-based and use an integrated, hands-on approach to learning. Free downloadable lesson plans as well as a lending library are available online for all educators.
The Children & Nature Network Research Library
The Children & Nature Network curates and summarizes peer-reviewed literature exclusively and updates their collection regularly. The offer a monthly Research Digest to update readers on the latest additions to their research library.
Health and Outdoor Education Guideline
A new Health and Outdoor Education Guideline has been released by the Health and Outdoors Initiative, a partnership between the Oregon Public Health Institute, Willamette Partnership, Oregon Community Health Workers Association, Oregon Healthiest State, Portland State University, and the Intertwine Alliance that works to increase access to, and use of, outdoor areas, particularly among communities of color, people with disabilities, and low-income people in rural and urban areas of Oregon.
This Health and Outdoor Education Guideline is designed to assist outdoor education providers in incorporating human health considerations into their programming. It is intended for use in any outdoor education program currently or potentially engaging K-12 populations facing health inequities and lack of access to outdoor recreation.
The OutdoorStories Project
In spring 2016, Friends of Outdoor School's OutdoorStories Project began collecting, recording, documenting, and disseminating more than 100 personal stories from Oregonians of all ages and backgrounds. These narratives tell of the impact of Outdoor School and outdoor education in each of their lives. Please submit your own!
Oregon Zoo Education Center Partnerships
The Oregon Zoo’s Education Center seeks to advance conservation education in the region by providing a connection between zoo visitors and other conservation and education organizational partners. These partnerships give visitors the opportunity to learn more about the natural world from experts around the region, make a difference by volunteering, and sign up for classes and programs.
Safety, Health & Consumer Council
This group has developed a guide for Outdoor Safety and Health. The benefits of outdoor recreation are not only physical, but social, emotional and intellectual as well. However, keeping adults and children safe outdoors requires some special precautions. This guide, combined with a little common sense, can go a long way.