EE Resources

Growing Up Naturally - May 20

  • Are you curious about how to implement nature-based lessons within your early childhood curriculum?
  • Are you interested in teaching about wildlife and water conservation with an outdoor focus that puts the learning in the student’s control?

Let’s strengthen our senses using intentional inquiry and the wonders of nature-based early childhood education! Participants will also receive Project WET’s Getting Little Feet Wet, and Project WILD’s Growing Up Wild activity guides.  

Getting Little Feet Wet is correlated to both Pre-K and K-2 educational standards including Head Start Learning Domains, NAEYC, NAAEE, NGSS and Common Core State Standards. Growing Up Wild is aligned with NAEYC standards, the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework, and the USDA's MyPlate guidelines for child nutrition. In addition, these early childhood curricula offer unique opportunities for you to implement the healthy practice of nature-based education throughout your classroom and larger school community.

Register here:


Teaching in Nature's Classroom: a free online course for educators

This course, developed as a companion to the book Teaching in Nature’s Classroom: Principles of Garden-Based Education, is an opportunity for educators new to outdoor and garden-based learning, as well as educators who are experienced in the field, to consider best practices and reflect on their own teaching practice in outdoor learning environments, with a focus on school and community youth gardens.

The coursework is intended to be useful and inspirational. You should plan for 30 hours total to complete the course. This course is designed to be flexible and self-directed so you can fulfill the course requirements according to your optimal timeframe and in relation to your concurrent teaching duties and other obligations.

If you have any questions about the course itself or registering for the course, please email [email protected]. If you have any questions about accessing and using Google Classroom, please refer to our FAQ page.

Upon completion of the course, participants will receive a Certificate of Completion.

More information and registration


My Place in Nature: 2021 Summer Institute

On May 1st, FIELD Edventures is opening their Fellowship Award Application to the general public. This fellowship can be applied towards attending the My Place in Nature: 2021 Summer Institute. A limited number of fellowships are available. Each individual or team member must complete this form by May 30, 2021, or until all fellowships are awarded, whichever comes first. Individuals not affiliated with a school team may still apply and will be considered for a fellowship award provided that the individuals are willing to join a school team in their geographic region for the learning and projects of My Place in Nature: 2021 Summer Institute. We will award fellowships within two weeks of application submission. Once fellowships have been awarded, the cost of the 4-day virtual and 1 day field experience will be $450-- a great value.
We hope that you or your team will take advantage of the fellowship opportunity and that we will see you online July 13, 15, 20, and 22! 

Linked is a draft of the My Place in Nature: 2021 Summer Institute's Schedule.

As a preview of the My Place in Nature: 2021 Summer Institute, FIELD Edventures will be hosting free Campfire Chats on Wednesdays, 4:00-5:00 PM, online, in May to give participants a taste of what the summer institute has to offer. Topics include iNaturalist, BioBlitz, Nat Geo Educator Certification, Community Bat Project, and Geo Inquiry. Please visit FIELD Edventures' ticket tailor site for free registration.

Young Writers Camps

GMWP young writers camps are open for registration! All sessions will be online this summer. We would LOVE your help getting your students into these incredible and enriching opportunities. 
If you have students who would like to participate but need financial assistance, just let us know or have them reach out to us - we will do everything in our power to make sure camps are accessible to any and all students who are interested!
Nature Writing Outside Your Door: The natural world has been an inspiration to writers since the beginning of time. Join us for a week that allows our surroundings to motivate our writing! Wherever you are, we will learn more about the flora and fauna just outside our doors and celebrate the nature of summer through writing together. 
  • Dates: June 28–July 2 (M–F)
  • Time: 9:00–11:00 a.m.
  • Age group: Students entering grades 5–9
Graphic Novel Writing: KaBOOM!!! Calling all Tween/Teen Graphic Novelists! If you love graphic novels and are a motivated artist who wants to draw all week, this is the writing camp for you! BAM!!! Draw interesting characters and tell compelling stories with images to create your own graphic novel. OH YEAH, ZAP!!!
  • Dates: July 19–22 (M–Th)
  • Time: 9:30–noon
  • Age group: Students entering grades 5–9
Youth Press Corps: Calling all future journalists! Join the Youth Press Corps to learn from experienced journalists, cover issues that matter to you, and publish your story! 
  • Dates: July 20–22, 27–29
  • Time: 1:00–3:30 p.m.
  • Age group: Student entering grades 9-12
Rise Up & Write: Use your voice. Change the world. Rise Up & Write is a youth advocacy writing camp for middle and high school students. Join other passionate young writers and activists to use writing to create change on the issues that matter to you. Participants will connect with empowering facilitators, meet new friends, and publish writing. 
  • Dates: August 3, 5, 10, 12
  • Time: 1–3:30 p.m.
  • Age group: Middle and High School

Climate Change Essentials for All Educators - Presidio Graduate School



We are on a mission to ensure that all students leave high school with essential knowledge of climate change and a clear understanding of what they can do to address it. To realize that vision, we have launched the nation’s first facilitated online course specifically designed to equip K-12 educators with the tools and confidence to incorporate climate change education into their current curriculum, no matter their grade level or subject. And as the leaders of a Green Ribbon School you are someone we are particularly excited to introduce to our program.

Teachers who enroll in the Climate Change Essentials for All Educators will:  
  • Engage with the key tenets of climate science; the human impacts of climate change, particularly for communities of color; and the paths to climate solutions  
  • Join a growing community of educators committed to climate change education   
  • Complete up to 60 hours of professional development in just nine weeks 

Our website at has more details on course content and structure, and I am linking a brochure here.


Upcoming funding opportunities

The Natural Resources Foundation is pleased to support the important work of our conservation and environmental education partners.
Teachers Outdoor Environmental Education Fund - due May 1st

If your NRF-funded project has been impacted by COVID-19, please keep us in the loop.
We are flexible and can work with you to adapt project timelines, activities, and report deadlines as needed.

Need to submit a project re
port? You can find our report template and instructions online here.

Apply for Funding



2021 Virtual Recharge Academy - KidWind

The 2021 REcharge Academy has gone virtual!  While we would have loved to bring a bunch of educators from all over the US together this summer -- it still seems like the world is not ready for that.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed that we can meet up together in 2021 - I am really hoping we can go back to RI again!

We found it hard to Zoom for 4 days in a row last summer so we are changing things up! Participants will be required to attend an initial orientation basics course and then over the summer there will be a variety of courses that you can select depending on your interests.

More inforamtion



The amazing evolution of a traditional public school kindergarten to a nature kindergarten.

Teaching Off Trail describes the transformation of Peter Dargatz*, a national board-certified teacher, and public school coordinator, from an anxious assessor and worksheet distributor to a fair and fun facilitator of learning while in the same public school system.

This book offers strategies for readers to implement Peter's unique teaching philosophy to increase opportunities for play, creative expression, and personalization in both the indoor and outdoor classroom. In his own classroom, Peter brought learning outside by creating a nature kindergarten program that emphasizes community partnerships, service learning, and meaningful and memorable experiences in the outdoors. He incorporates techniques often identified as more informal settings like Reggio or Montessori, and shows how they work within a public school system.

Teaching Off Trail aims to inspire educators, administrators, and parents across all levels to turn their outrage for today's educational system into outreach that promotes passionate and purposeful problem-solving. Teaching Off Trail is available for pre-order at  

* Peter Dargatz is a member of the WAEE Board of Directors


Snapshot Wisconsin

Snapshot Wisconsin is a partnership to monitor wildlife year-round, using a statewide network of trail cameras. The project provides data needed for wildlife management decision support.We have an activity that anyone can do from home. Many of the photos captured from these trail cameras are uploaded to a crowd-sourcing website where people can go and identify the animals present in the photos. 

Snapshot Wisconsin offers a fun and educational activity for anyone to do from home. This can be great for students or anyone looking to pass some time and enjoy Wisconsin’s wildlife.

Here is the link 


Making Use of Outdoor Spaces for Learning - Connecting People and Nature in the Time of Pandemic

More and more district leaders and educators are highlighting the importance of outdoor learning. Getting outside to move and spending time outdoors has profound impacts on students’ health and well-being, and also provides safer learning spaces during the pandemic.

Promoting Outdoor Learning


Equitable Access to Resilient Parks: Economic Impact Research & Tools Consultant Request for Proposals

About the National Recreation and Park Association

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is the leading not-for-profit organization dedicated to building strong, vibrant and resilient communities through the power of parks and recreation. With more than 60,000 members, NRPA advances this mission by investing in and championing the work of park and recreation professionals and advocates — the catalysts for positive change in service of equity, climate-readiness, and overall health and well-being.

Description of Project

NRPA is seeking a consultant(s) over a one and a half-year (~April 2021 – September 2022), potentially two year period to contribute to NRPA’s strategic research agenda to 1) build a robust body of research that quantifies the economic benefits provided by the physical and mental health benefits of parks and recreation and 2) equip park and recreation professionals with the tools and resources that advocate for increased investment and support from elected officials, philanthropic partners and the public.

Read more 


Outdoor Classroom News



Environmental Education for Kids


EEK! Environmental Education for Kids provides high quality, locally relevant information for students to learn about Wisconsin’s natural resources. Designed for upper-elementary and middle school students, EEK!’s student-friendly content is used by teachers as both a catalyst to connect, explore and engage in learning outside as well as a resource to deepen that learning. EEK has over 900 pages to help students learn about Wisconsin’s ecology and natural resources. 



The latest New, resources, and opportunities in the EE comunity.

Green & Healthy Schools Wisconsin Newsletter

Newsletter Archives


Why Outdoor Education Matters

Students who participate in outdoor, nature-based learning reap cognitive, academic, physical, and emotional benefits from their experience. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics1 , the American Medical Association2, the American Association of Ophthalmology3, the American Public Health Association4 , and the Centers for Disease Control, children who engage in outdoor, nature-based learning:

  • Perform significantly better on standardized tests
  • Increase academic performance by up to 27%,
    particularly low income students
  • Are better able to concentrate and have reduced discipline problems
  • Have better attendance and are less likely to drop out of school
  • Have improved creativity, problem-solving skills and critical thinking abilities
  • Discover increased cooperation, self-discipline, confidence and self-awareness
  • Have improved performance on college entrance exams
  • See a reduction of stress and mental illnesses including depression, ADD and ADHD
  • Develop improved immune systems & cardiovascular health and lowered obesity
  • Have improved classroom performance in math, science, reading and social studies
  • Have a greater respect for themselves, for others and for the environment.


The Pew Charitable Trust’s 1998 report: Closing the Achievement Gap: Using the
Environment as an Integrating Context (EIC), showed that children who participate in
nature-based education programs had better performance on standardized tests in
reading, writing, math, science, and social studies, reduced discipline and classroom
problems, and increased engagement and enthusiasm for learning. (Hein, 2014)

The American Institutes for Research’s report titled: “Effects of Outdoor Education
Programs for Children in California,” focused on “at risk” youth, showed a 27% increase in
mastery of science concepts; enhanced cooperation and conflict resolution skills, improved
self-esteem, classroom behavior, problem solving and motivation to learn. (Hein, 2014)

“When engaging children in an outdoor forest restoration project, a teacher pulled my wife aside
and remarked at the way a particular student was lighting up and leading her class that day. The
teacher simply said: ‘She’s special.’ My wife replied, ‘That much is obvious. She’s running the show
out there.’ The teacher choked up a little and said, ‘No, you don’t understand. She’s special needs.
I’ve never seen her like this. It’s just…amazing.’ – Frank Hein

1 American Academy of Pediatrics, “The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-ChildBonds,”
2 Burdette, H., et al. “Resurrecting Free Play in Young Children.” Children and Nature Network. 2005. 22 Oct. 2012 <>
3 Sherwin, J, et al. “The Association between Time Spent Outdoors and Myopia in Children and Adolescents.” US National Library of Medicine
National Institutes of Health. 2012. American Association of Ophthalmology. 22 Oct 2012. <>
4 Kuo, PhD, Frances E., & Andrea Faber Taylor, PhD. “A Potential Natural Treatment for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Evidence From
a National Study.” American Journal of Public Health 94.9.Sept. 2004. 22 Oct. 2012.