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Guidance & Resources for Outdoor Learning

Outdoor Spaces

Resource Library

National School Ground Greening Resources


How to Conduct an Outdoor Space Inventory

Teens to Trails

Outdoor Classroom Design and More

Green Schoolyards of America

Outdoor Infrastructure Cost Estimate Tool

Green Schoolyards of America

Outdoor Classroom Procurement Checklist

Portland Public Schools Outdoor Learning

Materials Options for Outdoor Classroom Infrastructure

Reid Anderson, Outdoor Consultant

How to Build an Easel

Portland Public Schools Outdoor Learning

Guide to Advocating for Outdoor Classrooms in Coronavirus-Era School Reopening


How to Create an Outdoor Classroom in the Era of COVID-19

Laura Blaisdell, MD/MPH

What Summer Camps Have to Offer

Summer Camp Resource List

Maine Summer Camps membership

Maine Summer Camps

Models, etc.


The Ecology School

Draft Outdoor School Model Schedules

Green Schoolyards of America

Draft Learn Outside Instructional Model

Green Schoolyards of America

Example Schedule and Curriculum Ideas

Inside-Outside New England


Additional Resources

Maine Environmental Education and Outdoor Learning Resource Directory

Teach ME Outside

National Environmental Education Guidance to Schools

Maine Environmental Education Association

Learning Lab

The Climate Initiative

Draft Maine Back to School Framework

Department of Education

Diverse Resources for Outdoor Learning

Includes vast array of Articles (why do this), Activities (how do this), Strategies, etc.

Learning for Nature by ME

From Anecdotes to Evidence: Demonstrating the power of environmental education

eeWorks, North American Association for Environmental Education

Outdoor Learning: A Solution for Schools During COVID 19

Natural Start Alliance

A recording of a panel of experts (outdoor educator, administrators, and a pediatrician) who share the hows and whys around outdoor learning as a response to reopening in this uncertain time.

COVID-19 Green Schools Guide

Natural Resources Council of Maine

Winter Resources

Learning in Winter Position Statement

WinterKids Guide to Active Outdoor Learning


WinterKids Resources for Educators


WinterKids Winter Games


Registration is now open for Maine teachers and families (hybrid and remote learners) to participate in the fourth annual WinterKids Winter Games, a 4-week series of fun outdoor physical activity and nutrition challenges for kids.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do you like what you see? What excites you about the potential of this network?
    Resources Additional funding Share resources/learn lessons 3 goal areas Connections Network Reduce isolation Synergy- by meeting/talking with others in the field Whole more than sum of parts Leverage effort (small orgs. Part of network) Vision Vision is possible Desire for inclusivity Yes! Excited about a greater collective impact; being able to engage people [differently] and helping people overcome apprehensions re: the outdoors Power of network to address systemic challenges/opportunities Collaboration across disciplines/sectors Connection of NBEC to other networks Tone of learning, listening, emergent Impacts Advocacy NBEC is (intends) taking the role of advocacy (frees up orgs. from that responsibility)
  • What challenges do you see?
    General NBE Challenges Transportation, especially in rural and underserved communities Community partners = How to engage/support.empower them to use curriculum that has been created Combination of simultaneous approaches Funding Mandate Need support models for teachers Timing Many groups advocating to get funding Network ChallengesIndividual/Organizational Capacity and Other Barriers Competition with our core work and weight of yet another network Time to do this since I am so busy in my own job BUT if we keep having these opportunities to meet with a little informal time, I get a HUGE benefit of synergy that makes my work efficient Sustaining individual energy and maintaining the energy to keep involving others in the work Lack of capacity (community partners) Everything else is prioritized even if this is a priority Time, space equity to part of this group Messaging Carefully choose words/messaging to involve/excite people (esp. Around risks) Breaking barrier that this is “extra” Terminology Understanding what outdoor learning is - clarity Specific enough but broad enough to be inclusive Network Building How to approach populations whose basic needs are not being met? Including everyone who needs to be at the table What are the opportunities? Blending user groups Identify unlikely (or natural) allies - One size fits all will not work Time to create a network of community partners for teachers
  • What ideas do you have in regards to NBEC’s large-scale work in Communications, Advocacy, Policy, etc.?"
    Communications? Creating consistent messaging with no jargon How not to duplicate efforts/step on each others toes/distribute resources evenly Continue the Journey “Passport” to link all our orgs - schools, library, parks, land trust, nature orgs by several themes. Every child gets passport Advocacy? Top down, government led advocacy versus bottom up family Advocacy for resources for public schools, e.g. outdoor education system Advocate for flexibility on trip leading requirements (LD 1932) EE/Outdoors across school curriculum this group supports to develop Raising up teachers within schools Policy? Incorporate outdoor teaching skills into teacher policy training Policy tied to teacher education/certification Reward credits on grants for schools tied to nature-based opportunities Keep government staff in loop regarding policy development Other? Umbrella of inclusivity - build understanding that includes sport, recreation, etc. Connect this work to jobs & health Funding connections Certificate programs for any major Involve Parks & Recreation Departments and Maine guides Sustainability support Many hands make light work Grant writing & projects More energy Teachers swapping time Teacher training (and in education programs) = Nature based integration Connect teachers to community partners, make sure there are partners in all communities Connecting nature-based ed with careers Resilience building avenue for schools dealing with childhood trauma Outdoor experiences as skill builders for at-risk youth
  • Do you have any other questions?
    How will NBEC define “outdoor learning?” How big can the tent be and still be effective? Is this about specific curriculums (hunting, fishing, etc) or about connecting with nature in general? Who would be eligible for funding? What criteria? What points of contact/champions of this do we have/can we develop in Aroostook County and other areas farther from Southern Maine? How can we coordinate/connect across the continuum of exposure/play/learning? Clarify purpose & outcomes of programs Equitable & Consistent quality around the state What about NBEC isn’t in the role of MEEA - worry about too many networks and ability to participate in all How do we know if we’re successful? More kids outside? More $ flowing? Connections in network? What’s actually measurable? What is the plan for reaching partners who are not here/at the table? NBEC will be answering these questions and more on the website in detail in weeks to come.
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