Outdoor Education Toolkit

Friends of Outdoor School and our partners created a statewide network that built public support for outdoor education programs and place-based, hands-on education. This included a series of Outdoor Education Summits in key regions across the state. 

Held in 2016-2017, the three regional Outdoor Education Summits advanced the case that outdoor education is not only an essential part of who we are as humans and as Oregonians, but also the key to having healthy communities, skilled workers, and high-performing students. 

A key takeaway for participants was the Outdoor Education Summit Toolkit for incorporating outdoor education into local programs.

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Educator Resources

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.

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. Feedback from educators is greatly appreciate and can be submitted online here.

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.

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Advocacy Tools

Public Policy Advocacy: What, Why, & How
Tools and Resources by the Nonprofit Association of Oregon

Everyday Advocacy

Tools and resources by the National Council of Nonprofits

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Additional Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ: Oregon Outdoor School & Outdoor School Grant Program



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.

Oregon Environmental Literacy Program (OELP)

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

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.

2016-2017 Outdoor Education Summit Resources

 A collection of resources and slides from the statewide outdoor education summits.: