Center for Nature & Place (Prescott)

The Prescott College Center for Nature and Place-Based Early Childhood Education was established to support and expand training for early childhood educators, pre-service teachers, administrators, and program directors in developmentally appropriate nature and place-based pedagogy. Founded in 2016 with support from the George B. Storer Foundation, the Center is housed in and integrated with Prescott College’s Department of Education and Teacher Preparation.

The Center focuses on designing innovative nature and place focused professional development opportunities and course curricula for undergraduate and graduate programs. It offers residential professional development institutes and outreach workshops that provide training and experiential learning opportunities for early childhood educators across Arizona and beyond, including the Summer Institute for Nature and Place-Based Early Childhood Education. Learn more at: www.prescott.edu/sifece

The Center provides opportunities and support for student research on the effectiveness of nature and place-based early childhood teacher education and outdoor learning activities in order to add to current professional knowledge in the field. The center actively seeks opportunities to collaborate with other higher education institutions, schools, and organizations in implementing nature and place-based teacher training initiatives and related research projects.

Nature Play Learning (Statewide)

Nature Play Learning offers design consultations, professional development, and project management services to help you maximize the potential of nature play landscapes from concept to installation to pedagogy and use. A design consultation with NaturePlayLearning will begin your site’s journey toward a sustainable, safe, and sensory-filled naturescape perfect for connecting any age to nature. As your process of transformation is underway, I offer professional development and front line delivery appropriate for all levels of stakeholders from the kids themselves to the staff to the administrators and funders. Presentations and workshops can include any aspect of nature play design, planning and use. I will work with you to decide what will directly meet your site’s and your audiences’ needs.

 

USA National Phenology Network and Nature’s Notebook Citizen Science Program

Observing phenology, or plant and animal life cycle events, through Nature’s Notebook citizen science program from the USA National Phenology Network offers place-based, hands-on learning opportunities, provides a collaborative platform for site-based educators, and promotes cross-subject engagement while addressing standards of learning.  Their formal and non-formal education resources can be used to help students of all ages plug into real-world scientific research questions addressed by many researchers, natural resource, land manager and educational groups. Phenology is an excellent lens for teaching about the natural world.

Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research (Tucson)

The primary mission of the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research is to remain in the forefront of world dendrochronology through the use of tree rings as natural chronometers and recorders of change in the environment with which human society is inescapably linked. The Laboratory makes significant contributions to understanding natural environmental variability in climatic, hydrologic, geomorphic, and ecological systems.

They are committed to promoting public awareness (and understanding) of science and making informal contributions to science education. As part of their Outreach program, they strive to inspire new connections and nurture existing connections among our community, which includes visitors to and residents of Tucson, and the K-12 educators and students communities.

AZ Dept. of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) | Children’s Environmental Health (Statewide)

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is sponsoring a new recognition program to help individual schools become Arizona Environmentally Healthy (AEH) schools. This program recognizes policies and actions taken by schools to help ensure a healthy and safe learning and teaching environment. This checklist is to be used by school principals, or their designees, to certify to ADEQ that the school has taken action to safeguard their students, faculty, and other personnel against environmental pollutants and other potential environmental risks.

Gardens for Humanity (Sedona)

Founded in 1996, Gardens for Humanity works for ecological education to help give our children and all members of our community the values, tools and experiences needed to seek and regain balance with the natural world.

Current projects include assisting in the development of home and community gardens, school gardens, art and environmental education and being a resource for the development of local agriculture and sustainable food systems.

Sedona Recycles (Sedona)

Sedona Recycles is a non-profit community recycling center dedicated to environmental education. They offer free classes for any grade or age level to schools, clubs, and other organizations. Classes are specific to teachers’ desired goals, and educational tours of the facility are an excellent tie-in. Recycling conserves energy, water, and land as well as other natural resources so many facets of curriculum can be addressed. They have done recycled art classes with materials provided from the center, and even marine biology classes including information on the effects of plastics in the ocean.

Phoenix Zoo (Phoenix)

A visit to the Phoenix Zoo opens a wondrous world of curiosity, imagination and discovery. For more than half a century, the Zoo and its animals have amazed guests from across Phoenix and around the globe. Whether you are on the lookout for awe-inspiring Asian elephants, on safari to spot the great Sumatran tiger or seeking towering giraffes roaming the Savanna — a day at the Phoenix Zoo offers adventures like no other place in the Valley of the Sun.

The Phoenix Zoo is home to more than 1,400 animals, including 30 species that are endangered or threatened. There is so much to be learned about the animals that live here, and we encourage you to explore!

In addition to learning from a visit to the Phoenix Zoo— they also offer animal fact sheets, camps, and other programs that offer opportunities for further onsite learning and fun! The animals that live at the Phoenix Zoo and in the wild are endlessly intriguing and inspiring, and will leave you with a greater understanding and care for the natural world.

Desert Botanical Garden (Phoenix)

For nearly 80 years, Desert Botanical Garden has been teaching and inspiring visitors from the local community and around the world, providing research, exhibits and more designed to help us understand, protect and preserve the desert’s natural beauty.