Outdoor Education Programs
Central Oregon and its amazing array of beautiful rivers, bountiful snowpack, diverse vegetation, and fascinating geology gives teachers and students unlimited opportunities for using the natural world as an outdoor classroom. Studies have shown that learning in the outdoors can increase enthusiasm for learning, promote teamwork, build social and emotional skills, and even increase standardized test scores.
The Children’s Forest was created to introduce and engage all students in Central Oregon to the wonder, science, and adventure of nature. One of our primary objectives is to provide all youth first-hand connections with nature by providing meaningful, inspirational, and interdisciplinary education programs. Together our network of partners offer over 30 different outdoor education programs that connect students to nature, engage students in science practices, and deliver content knowledge about local natural resources issues.
New Resources for Teachers and Schools
A list of all Outdoor Education programs in Central Oregon for K-5th grade, organized by grade level, including alignment to Next Generation Science Standards.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Organizations may offer programs to more grade levels than are listed in this guide. In an effort to reduce duplication across grade levels, we’ve listed programs where we feel there is the strongest alignment to NGSS Performance Expectations.
A list of all Outdoor Education programs in Central Oregon for 6th-12th grade, including alignment to Next Generation Science Standards.
NGSS and Outdoor Education: Grade Level Guides
A two-page guide for incorporating outdoor learning into NGSS including essential questions to guide units of study, schoolyard and classroom activity ideas, links to lessons and resources, interdisciplinary connections, and a list of Outdoor Education Programs in Central Oregon that best align with NGSS for that grade level.
A complete toolkit for elementary schools to create an Outdoor Learning Map that sets up a sequence of units and Outdoor Education Programs. If schools need assistance with this process, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Environmental Education Program Providers
The Children’s Forest of Central Oregon offers NatureHoods Educational programs in nearby parks or schoolyards. These programs consists of a free science curriculum, offered as a four-part series (four one-hour lessons), as a way to get kids outside and learning in their local park or schoolyard. These lessons align with Next Generation Science Standards and reinforce science learning done in the classroom. Activities aim to get kids engaged with the flora and fauna in the area and help them to make observations, ask questions, and draw conclusions. The program is open to all K-2 classes in Central Oregon and there are three grade-level appropriate themes:
To Learn more about NatureHoods and how to schedule a program at your school click here.
The Children’s Forest of Central Oregon believes that accessible opportunities with nature must be provided for children and youth of all abilities, backgrounds, and ages. The Children’s Forest welcomes students and participants of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, military or marital status, age, sensory, physical or mental disability to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students and participants of our programs.