Embedding sustainability into daily life in Central Oregon

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At The Environmental Center, we believe it’s important for kids to spend time learning and growing in the great outdoors. Research shows that kids who build strong connections to nature are more likely to make pro-environment choices as adults.

That’s why, since 2009, we’ve been helping local teachers get their students outside. Our programs give students time to explore, learn and understand the natural world. They ask questions, explore new topics and ideas, and relate their findings to everyday life.

Teachers turn to us because we organize and deliver outdoor school experiences that they and their students value.

I was shocked at how much I learned on this trip. The students and parents also learned a ton while enjoying some much needed time in nature!

I liked that I was actually hearing a few birds. I felt relaxed on the silent hike and learned a lot about nature and how peaceful it is.

Unfortunately, we have the resources to deliver only 10 outdoor school days per school year. We turn teachers away every year.

Will you help us say “Yes!” to more teachers and get more kids outside in the 2016-2017 school year?


Your gift will be matched by the Children’s Forest of Central Oregon, one of our key regional partners in getting kids outside.

With your financial support, we will:

  • Double our outdoor programming from 10 to 20 days. We’ll focus specifically on 6th grade students entering middle school. Our staff have had real success with this age group, developing leadership and team work and fostering a sense of belonging to the human and natural systems to which they belong.
  • Create four (4) outdoor school day kits for experienced teachers to use on their own. After working with a subset of teachers for several years now, they are able and eager to run outdoor school days on their own. We’ll develop kits they can borrow that contain all the necessary elements for a successful outdoor day: curriculum guides, binoculars, soil sample kits, maps, compasses, skulls, magnifying glasses and more. We’ll continue to support the success of these “old hands” while also reaching new teachers and their students.

Youth need first-hand experiences outdoors to recognize and understand how they impact our environment. The kids that get those experiences develop a life-long ethic of environmental stewardship.

Please help us make sure more local kids have access to outdoor experiences next school year.

Make a donation today!

And don’t forget—your donation will be matched by the Children’s Forest of Central Oregon.