Outdoor Environmental Education
Programs that offer open-air learning experiences, particularly for schoolchildren, that promote appreciation for and understanding of local ecosystems and our fundamental connections to the world around us. Activities may include identification of plants, insects and animals and exploration of their habitats, learning about weather and its relationship to environmental processes, geological history and demonstrations of the importance of biodiversity and sustainability. Students may investigate the life cycles of animals in a pond; observe the growth and reproduction of common plant species; examine the form and function of leaves, stems, roots and flowers and how these features help to classify plants; consider the interrelationship between predator and prey; learn how different animals grow and change with the seasons; learn and practice compass navigation and other outdoor skills; and/or make other discoveries which foster engaged and responsible environmental citizenship. Outdoor education programs may be provided through schools, conservation authorities or other organizations and depending on the program and the materials they incorporate, parents and/or caregivers may have a role to play in the process.