Pacific Southwest RegionCalifornia, Nevada and Klamath Basin
Connecting People with Nature
About the program…
What does it mean to be connected with nature? The feel of grass beneath your feet, the rain on your face or even the sensation of beach sand running through your fingers - all of these things are part of our relationship with nature. When was the last time you went outside to simply sit and listen to a morning chorus of birds or to the steady rumble of wood frogs in some distant forest pool? For many of us these experiences are simply brief escapes, moments of peace in an otherwise busy and stressful day, but for our children these moments are the world. Taking the time to introduce our children to nature and to educate them about the wonders of the environment they live in allows them to develop a sense of place, an understanding of the natural world that will continue to teach and inspire them for a lifetime.
Take your students outside
Educators are an important link between children and their parents. Studies show that schools that use outdoor classrooms and other forms of experiential education produce significant student gains in social studies, science, language arts and math. Educators can use the broad context of the natural world to enliven teaching and learning, weaving nature related concepts through curriculum at all levels.
"As a teacher, your ability to creatively engage your students with the natural world in their everyday lives can make a huge difference in their health, well-being, and capacity to learn.” - Children and Nature Network
Lesson Plans and Activities
The following files are in .pdf file format.
Camp Robbers (81KB)
Nature Calls (74KB)
Otter Steals the Fish (103KB)
Urban Tracking (80KB)
Wildlife Challenge Course (66KB)
- Reducing roadside invasives (4.15MB)
- Reducing roadside invasives (lesson only) (204KB)
- Intro to local wetland and roadside invaders (Powerpoint | 1.39MB)
- Lessoning Loosestrife outline (201KB)
- Impending invaders and climate: Web investigation (142KB)
- Best management practices for roadside invasive plants (1.31MB)
- Q & A: Best practices for preventing the spread of invasive species (191KB)
- Invasive plan ecology curriculum timeline (83KB)
Take your kids outside
These days, the primary means for children to spend time outside is during organized team sports. Kids spend little "free" time outdoors connecting with the natural world, yet, there are great benefits for doing just that! How do we convince kids to get outside and just play? See the links below to a variety of resources that will help you and your children get started on the road of reconnecting with nature.
"What if more and more parents, grandparents and kids around the country band together to create outdoor adventure clubs, family nature networks, family outdoor clubs, or green gyms? What if this approach becomes the norm in every community?" -Richard Louv, author and Chairman, Children & Nature Network
Play outdoors in nature
Do you like to build snow people, make snow angels, look for wildlife or hike mountains? Then spend time outside this fall and winter exploring your backyard, neighborhood park or a National Wildlife Refuge. Be sure to bring a friend and an adult with you to share the excitement. Unsure of what to do while you are out there? Below are links to websites that will help you find locations and give you ideas on how to keep having fun outside.
FieldNotes showcases the activities, events and conservation work of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service here in the Pacific Southwest Region. The articles inside are written by our employees and reflect the efforts of the Service and our partners in conserving and preserving the unique natural resources here in California, Nevada and the Klamath Basin. After you've visited FieldNotes, follow us on these social media channels...