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Educational Process, Principles and Guidelines

Environmental Education on Kenai Nature Trail

Environmental education is a process designed to teach citizens and visitors the history and importance of conservation and the biological and the scientific knowledge of our Nation’s natural resources. Through this process, we can help develop a citizenry that has the awareness, knowledge, attitudes, skills, motivation, and commitment to work cooperatively towards the conservation of our Nation’s environmental resources. Environmental education within the Refuge System incorporates on-site, off-site, and distance learning materials, activities, programs, and products that address the audience’s course of study, refuge purpose(s), physical attributes, ecosystem dynamics, conservation strategies, and the Refuge System mission.

The guiding principles of the Refuge System’s environmental education programs are to:

A. Teach awareness, understanding, and appreciation of our natural and cultural resources and conservation history.
B. Allow program participants to demonstrate learning through refuge-specific stewardship tasks and projects that they can carry over into their everyday lives.
C. Establish partnerships to support environmental education both on- and off-site.
D. Support local, State, and national educational standards through environmental education on refuges.
E. Assist refuge staff, volunteers, and other partners in obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities to support environmental education.
F. Provide appropriate materials, equipment, facilities, and study locations to support environmental education.
G. Give refuges a way to serve as role models in the community for environmental stewardship.
H. Minimize conflicts with visitors participating in other compatible wildlife-dependent recreation activities.

The environmental education opportunities we offer depend on available resources and staffing and must support the refuge’s management purposes and objectives. We advance and support the Refuge System mission and goals by developing programs based on the following guidelines:

A. Connect people’s lives to the natural world around them;
B. Advance environmental and scientific literacy through an interdisciplinary approach to learning;
C. Strengthen the Refuge System by fostering public knowledge about environmental conservation;
D. Help participants experience wildlife, wildlife habitat, and cultural resources;
E. Stress the role and importance of refuges in fish and wildlife conservation and emphasize the relationship between wildlife and their associated ecosystems; and
F. Instill a sense of stewardship and an understanding of our conservation history.
Last Updated: Feb 27, 2014
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