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EYC. Environmental Youth Connections. Connie Abert, Waupaca County UWEX & Gretchen Marshall, UWSP JCEP Conference April, 2011

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slide1

EYC

Environmental Youth Connections

Connie Abert, Waupaca County UWEX & Gretchen Marshall, UWSP

JCEP Conference April, 2011

University of Wisconsin, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Wisconsin counties cooperating. UW-Extension provides equal opportunities in employment and programming including Title IX and ADA.

slide2

Purpose of EYC

To provide a direct connection between

environmental and outdoor learning &

local parks, trails and natural areas.

needs addressed through eyc
Needs addressed through EYC
  • UW-SP graduate study:
    • 88% of teachers indicted a need for more in-service/training and curriculum;
    • 63% of teachers indicated a desire to increase outdoor use;
    • 77% of teachers would like to greater utilize community and school properties;
    • 79% of teachers need environmental education equipment.
  • The UWEX survey results:
    • 60% did not know areas close to the school were permissible to use;
    • 66% would be interested workshop that connected learning and natural areas.
    • 80% were willing to use local forest for outdoor education;
goals to address eyc needs
Goals to address EYC Needs
  • In Fall 2007 UWEX invited public stakeholders countywide to develop goals that addressed identified needs:
    • to serve more youth and citizens in natural resource areas;
    • to have access to more places, resources and volunteesr;
    • to have training opportunities for staff and volunteers to develop age appropriate lesson plans for local natural areas;
    • to find support for these efforts through education, outreach, and grants.
slide5

National Research &

Wise Old Principal

  • Play is essential to child development
    • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Nature Deficit Disorder
    • Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv
  • Better stress coping skills when in homes connected to nature
    • 2003 Cornell University Study
  • City life can lead to less emotional control, ↑ level of aggression
    • How the City Hurts Your Brain, Jonah Lehrer
  • Psychological benefits linked to diversity of its plant life
    • University of Queensland, Richard Fuller
  • Childhood Obesity – access to places increases activity
    • American Association of Recreation Professionals
educators response
Educators Response
  • Grant
    • for professional development connected to local natural areas
  • Workshops and lesson plans
    • Leaf (uwsp), Project Wet – Wild - Learning Tree, KEEP
  • Site Visits and Visioning
    • Each school / community
  • School Forest Designations & WEEB Workshop
    • WEEB grants
slide7

Enriching Students. Sustaining Forests.

The Wisconsin K-12 Forestry Education Program

slide9

Education

Understanding

Sustaining

slide11
LEAF…..
  • Is Wisconsin focused
  • Is long-term and comprehensive
  • Incorporates current educational needs
  • Connects to schools, organizations, and agencies
leaf services
LEAF Services
  • Consultation
  • Curriculum Resources
  • Professional Development
  • School Forest & Outdoor Classroom Support
leaf opportunities
LEAF Opportunities

Workshops & Courses

School In-services

Forestry Field Days

On-line Networking

wi school forest program
WI School Forest Program
  • Registered under WI Community Forest Law; established in 1928
  • 380 school forest parcels owned by:
    • 209 different Public School Districts (363 parcels)
    • 9 Private Schools
    • 8 Higher Education Institutions
  • Parcels range from 2 to 748 acres

Public School Districts with School Forests

benefits for registered school forests
Benefits for Registered School Forests:
  • Eligible for grants
  • Free DNR forest management assistance
  • Free trees
  • WI School Forest Education Specialist assistance
  • Resources on School Forest Website
slide18

WI School Forest Support

WI School Forest Specialist provides information, assistance, and resources for districts developing and growing their school forest programs.

Contact: Gretchen.Marshall@uwsp.edu

715-346-2633

outdoor classrooms
Outdoor classrooms…

…allow students and teachers to:

  • Gain an appreciation and awareness of natural resources
  • Learn core subjects
  • Build self-esteem, skills, and knowledge
  • Develop life-long critical thinking skills
  • Encounter real-life situations, outside
  • Be engaged by lessons
wi center for environmental education
WI Center for Environmental Education

Other resources:

  • KEEP (WI K-12 Energy Education Program)
  • Resources Library
  • Education for Sustainability
  • WEEB (Wisconsin Environmental Education Board)
where are we now
Where Are We Now
  • Submitted WEEB grants for 5 of 7 school districts
  • Designated over 20 properties as school forest
  • Curriculum connect to School Forest
  • Sustainable Plans for Forest
what do we expect
What do we expect?
  • Academic Success
  • Better Stewards
  • Health Improvements
  • Sustainable Forest
slide23

The Wisconsin K-12 Forestry Education Program

Gretchen.Marshall@uwsp.edu

715-346-2633

Waupaca County UW-Extension

Environmental Youth Connections

connie.abert@ces.uwex.edu

715-258-6226