Childrens' Forest of Central Oregon

Children’s Forest Awards

The Children’s Forest Awards Luncheon celebrates the inspirational work by community organizations, businesses, public agencies, teachers, and youth to connect children and families with the wonder, science, and adventure of nature. This event will showcase the innovation and collaboration in our region around ensuring that all children and youth in Central Oregon are inspired by nature to become healthy individuals and create a sustainable future. This year is the 1st Children’s Forest Awards Luncheon, which will be held biannually.

Date: Thursday, June 21, 2018 from 12:00-1:30 PM
Location: Aspen Hall, Bend
Attendees: Educators, teachers, administrators, natural resource professionals, community leaders, and youth
Tickets:  $30 (includes lunch).  Purchase tickets here.

Thank you to our event sponsors!

Nominations are due by May 4, 2018. 


Teacher of the Year

This award goes to a K-12 teacher who demonstrates innovative practices to engage their students in outdoor learning.  Nominees should embed outdoor learning into their curriculum, engaging their students in interdisciplinary learning about the natural world and encouraging stewardship of natural resources and the environment.  We encourage nominations for teachers that have overcome additional barriers to outdoor learning and who have found innovative solutions to these challenges, as well as teachers who might be new to implementing outdoor experiences for their students.

Environmental Educator of the Year

This award goes to an educator working in non-formal educational settings that has demonstrated exceptional commitment and creativity for developing the next generation of stewards and problem-solvers.  Nominees should engage children and youth in inspiring programs that bring the wonder and science of nature to life, and embed best practices for environmental or outdoor education into their programs.  We encourage nominations for staff and volunteers from non-profits and public agencies across central Oregon.

Inclusion Award

This award goes to an individual, organization, or project that has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to developing programs that are inclusive of all children and youth.  By building new bridges and implementing innovative approaches to outdoor education, nominees should have connected underserved audiences with meaningful outdoor experiences that promote equity for this field in Central Oregon.

Outstanding Youth

This award goes to an individual between 16-24 years old who has demonstrated a commitment to making positive change in the world, either locally or globally, by connecting kids to nature or promoting stewardship of natural resources.  Nominees should have the qualities of leadership, working collaboratively, dedication to stewardship, and a passion for the outdoors.  Nominees can be current or past participants in natural resource career pathways programs (both in and out of school) or served as an intern, volunteer, or staff in the field of natural resources or outdoor education.

Innovation Award

This award goes to a project that has “broken the mold” with the goal of exploring new directions and strategies for connecting children, youth, and families to nature.  Projects should focus on making a deep impact on participants, inspiring healthy lifestyles and environmental stewardship through connection to nature, or the development of systems that create lasting community-level changes.  Projects must be currently underway or piloted within the last two years.

Children and Nature Supporter

This award goes to a business or individual that has demonstrated a strong commitment to connecting children and youth to nature, either through financial or volunteer support.  Nominees will have provided significant support to one or more Children’s Forest partners, or other organizations that share our mission.  Businesses or individuals should share our passion for providing all children and youth impactful experiences in nature, that inspire them to become healthy individuals and create a sustainable future.

Nominations can be submitted using this online form.  Nominations are due by May 4, 2018 and award winners will be selected by June 1, 2018. For questions, contact Katie Chipko at or (541) 383-5592.