Children, Nature & Schools Symposium: Finding New Ways to Help our Students Thrive
Monday, March 13, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Green School Tour
Tuesday, March 14, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Symposium cost: $50 general; $40 for Intertwine Alliance partners and school district employees
Green School Tour cost: $30
Thank you to sponsors the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, FamilyCare Health and Play & Park Structures.
The Intertwine Alliance invites you to a full day of educational and strategic sessions during which we'll think deeply about how to best leverage our schools and the time our children spend there to develop students who are physically active, achieve more academically, and become more deeply engaged stewards of our environment.
National, regional and local leaders will share their innovative ideas as we catalyze a movement to help all children thrive. School administrators and facilities staff, teachers, PTA members, community school advocates, environmental/informal education professionals, nature play and recess advocates, landscape architects, child healthcare professionals and anyone else interested -- this event is for you!
We're pleased to welcome keynote presenter Cam Collyer (shown above), Executive Director of Programs at Evergreen, a Canadian organization with the mission of “Inspiring action to green cities." Cam oversees Evergreen’s national suite of programs that focus on the design, stewardship and animation of public lands, including the award-winning national school-ground greening program Toyota Evergreen Learning Grounds.
Cam will speak on the topic of "Small Wonders: School grounds that nurture play, learning and child development – lessons from Canada and the world." There is untapped potential for school grounds and parks to be vibrant landscapes for play and learning, where children can explore nature on a daily basis. Case studies from Canada, the U.S., Asia and Europe will be featured to stimulate the discussion with a particular emphasis on connecting children with nature, hands-on learning, self-directed play and the role of risk in play. A design framework will be shared that makes tangible links to children's developmental milestones as well as to local ecology and community.
The symposium includes lunch, along with a networking wine and beer reception.
Full agenda at left.
Note to educators: Portland Public Schools has given approval for professional development days and funds to be used for this event. If you are a PPS teacher, please speak to your principal about using a PD day or PD funds. Teachers in other districts may have these resources available as well; please consult with your principals. Portland Teacher's Association also has sponsorship spots available. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire.
Professional Development Units or Continuing Education Credits are available for this event.
Audubon Society of Portland
Center for Earth Leadership
City of Gresham
Clean Water Services
Earth Art Ag
East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District
Ecology in the Classroom and Outdoors
Gray Family Foundation
Gresham-Barlow School District
Pleasant Valley Elementary School
Institute of Permaculture Education for Children
Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership
National Wildlife Federation
Nature Play Designs
Park & Play Structures
Portland Parks & Recreation
Portland Public Schools
Sunnyside Elementary School
Portland State University
The Intertwine Alliance
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Vancouver School District
Hough Elementary School
GREEN SCHOOLS TOUR
Please also join us the day after the symposium for a tour of projects highlighting green school successes.
Participants will visit three local schools, each of which has implemented green initiatives such as gardens, outdoor classrooms, stormwater planters, restoration, and natural play areas.
The sites, all on Portland's east side, are:
Sabin K-8 School – which features a garden program, outdoor classroom, nature play space, and stormwater project
Sunnyside Environmental School – organized as an environmental school, it includes a small nature play area, garden, and natural building
Atkinson Elementary School – features a significant garden program, unique outdoor classroom space, and a small nature play area.
Along with an introduction to the green schoolyards process, we'll take a look at the long-term feasibility of each project. We'll examine teaming, design, construction, costs, maintenance and use by students. Participants will have a chance to ask questions and take pictures of the schoolyards.
A box lunch will be served at the end of the tour, and we'll have some additional time then to share info and ideas.
Participants should meet at Sabin School at promptly 8:45 a.m.
4013 NE 18th Ave, Portland, OR 97212
There is no parking lot, so you'll need to find street parking, which is very limited. Please allow a few extra minutes in case you have to walk a few blocks. The best place to look is on the south side of the field or up the hill on the east and west sides. It is neighborhood parking, with no time limit, so please be courteous.
We'll meet on the west side at the garden gate. The location should be very visible.
Thanks, and see you there!
Photo courtesy of The Toronto Star, thestar.com.