Sycamore Land Trust’s Environmental Education Program may be just what you need. We have offered an outstanding, award-winning educational outreach program to teachers, students, and parents since 2005. Sycamore Land Trust protects important natural areas and family farms across southern Indiana and also invests in the future by helping children learn about and appreciate nature.
The objective of the Environmental Education Program is to interact with students in the elementary, middle school, and high school grades to enhance their appreciation of the natural environment and to increase their understanding of how that environment works for the sustenance of living and nonliving systems, and for humans’ place in those systems. Our lessons reinforce school curriculum and provide hands-on activities. We also offer programs for families and the community. We believe nature is the ultimate educator.
Our educational program encompasses three basic approaches:
- Individual teachers and classes: Working with individual teachers and classes, we do outdoor discovery activities, hiking, exploring, identifying, and free play. We may use the school property, a nearby park, or take a bus trip to somewhere special. Our activities may include math or science lessons, reflective writing, or physical activities such as fox and rabbit chases.
- Larger scale projects: Working closely with a teacher, we may design a larger scale project with more complex detail and a product delivered to stakeholders. An example is our large watershed study project on Beanblossom Creek, using Sycamore sites in Brown and Monroe counties.
- Cooperative projects: Working with other organizations creates a synergistic ability to conduct larger field days involving many students for extended time periods. Field days (such as Leonard Springs Nature Days) involve multiple stations, topics, and presenters, creating a dynamic learning environment.
What can our program do for schools? We can design an outdoor activity for your grade level based on your school setting, recommend materials and resource people, design a field trip and help you figure out how to pay for the bus, and advise you on establishing and maintaining a nature trail or outdoor lab on your school grounds.
For detailed descriptions of the lessons we offer, please check out the Sycamore Environmental Education Curriculum. Click here to download a copy now.
After this program, students should come away with enrichment in the three primary educational domains:
- Cognitive – the development of skills sets in the knowing of information.
- Functional – the development of using, performing, and evaluating information and its utility in solving problems.
- Affective – an appreciation component internally linking them to the fragility, beauty, and urgency of caring for our planet.
What can we offer you? Our program is adaptable to meet your teaching objectives, so we encourage you to contact us to discuss the possibilities. Almost everything we do can be linked to state standards in education and we will be glad to work with you in determining the specific standards addressed. The Science Literacy concepts emphasizing experimentation, collection of data, analysis and interpretation will link to our activities. Also, the Indiana Core Standards will provide an overarching set of objectives when completed.
The service area for our Environmental Education Program is limited to some extent by travel distances. Please inquire about your location. Our programs are provided at no charge at the present time. We have supplies and equipment to conduct all lessons.
Current counties and school corporations being served:
- Monroe County Community Schools
- Richland-Beanblossom Schools
- Spencer-Owen County Community Schools
- Eastern Greene County School Corporation
- North Lawrence Community Schools
- Mitchell Community Schools
- Orleans Community Schools
- Salem Community Schools
- Shoals (Martin Co.) Schools
- Bartholomew County School Corporation
- Evansville Community Schools
Educator and Family Resource Links:
Indiana Department of Education Academic Standards
Burris Elementary GT Classes (an example of one of our schools)
Children and Nature Network
Take a Child Outside
NWF – Back to School: Back Outside!
National Environmental Education Week
Indiana Geological Survey
USGS – Indiana Water Resources
World Water Monitoring Challenge
USDA Plants Database
USDA Web Soil Survey
Learning to Give – Save the Earth
The Earth Store
Wesselman Nature Society Program Guide (PDF)
Archangel Ancient Tree Archive
Morgan-Monroe State Forest Carbon Sequestration
Children and Nature Network
Young Explorers Educational Products
Outdoor Nature Child