About learning landscapes
Getting Kids Outside in Nature
If you’re like us, you love nature today because during your childhood, some experience opened the window to the wonder of nature. Maybe you chased butterflies through the lot next door or went camping or planted a seed in cup. Learning Landscapes opens that "wonder window" for children, the future stewards of the Feather River country.
the Learning Landscapes Model
Learning Landscapes is the Feather River Land Trust’s conservation and education program designed to greatly enhance children’s contact with the natural world, place-based learning, and hands-on stewardship experiences.
We partner with public schools and visionary landowners to conserve and enhance natural areas as “outdoor classrooms” within a 10-minute walk of every public school in the Feather River Watershed and support teachers to “teach from the land.”
The Learning Landscapes model employs best practice strategies to bring about the greatest support possible for teachers and the deepest impact for children. These practices are:
- Proximity - Placing an outdoor classrooms on every campus and an adjacent property within 10 minutes of every school creates the opportunity for a field trip on any day of the year.
- Frequency - The convenience of proximity encourages repeated use by teachers and increases environmental self-efficacy among those students who are regularly in contact with the natural world.
- Infrastructure - Developing a campus or off-campus site is based on specific teacher input and seeks to improve safety, identity (signage), access (entry & trails), comfort (seating), and learning (interpretive signage).
- Instructional Resources - High quality resources are provided for teachers that apply locally and to each grade-level. These include field kits, science and stewardship tools, and nature-based literature.
- Independence - We work with every teacher in the region to grow their personal connection and professional capacity to teach outside on their own. This has expanded use of Learning Landscapes from from 20% of teachers to 100% of teachers, and increased the quality of teacher instruction and student learning.
at a glance
3 school districts
2,500 schoolchildren annually
LEARNING LANDSCAPES MISSION: To conserve riparian, meadow, and forest lands adjacent to every school in the Upper Feather River, while supporting teachers to independently use these “Learning Landscapes” effectively and sustainably.
LEARNING LANDSCAPES VISION: All students in all schools in the Upper Feather River are engaged in quality outdoor education and the stewardship of their local environment.
A land conservation and stewardship ethic is grown by minutes, hours, days, and years. By conserving lands near public schools where rich, daily outdoor education experiences can occur, we create the opportunity for every schoolchild in the region to forge their own lasting relationship with the ground at their feet. Our hope is that no matter where they eventually settle, children from the Feather River Country will have learned how to get to know a place, to love a place, and to take care of a place.