Leveraging Land Manager-Educator Partnerships to Overcome Barriers to Outdoor Environmental Education
Keywords:outdoor education, environmental education, program development, manager-educator partnerships, K-12 education
Land manager-educator partnerships provide opportunities to overcome barriers associated with outdoor and environmental education within the United States’ K-12 education system. This case study reviews the design and implementation of a novel outdoor environmental education program for kindergartners called Forest Fridays that involved half-day excursions to a local forest. Forest Fridays emerged from a unique partnership between three kindergarten teachers and a forest manager in Flagstaff, Arizona that removed resource and planning barriers in order to facilitate program establishment and operation. Immersive observation and informal program review with the program coordinators informed recommendations that may support the establishment of similar partnerships and programs elsewhere.