Robin Moore to deliver keynote at Outdoor Learning Environments Conference

Happy Outdoor Fun Friday! As you may have heard, we are hosting our first Outdoor Learning Environments Conference here in Ames on June 18th. We are very excited to announce that our Keynote speaker will be Professor Robin C. Moore from North Carolina State University, College of Design. Robin Moore has worked in landscape architecture as an educator, researcher, and consultant. He is an international authority on the design of children's play and learning environments, user needs research, and participatory public open space design. Moore has been involved in many large projects for outdoor spaces including the Nature PlayScape at the Cincinnati Nature Center, the Blanchie Carter Discovery Park at Southern Pines Primary School, the Playspace family play center in Raleigh, NC, just to name a few. More information about Moore and his work can be found here. Please don't miss this fantastic opportunity to see Robin Moore and learn more about how to implement, maintain, and use Outdoor Learning Environments. Make sure to...
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Outdoor Learning Environments Grant Program

An outdoor learning environment is a space that can enhance understanding about the natural world and provide a thinking space to explore. Greater complexities can stem from this idea, but the core concept begins with the space itself. The challenge being, how to facilitate the development and long-term maintenance of a space which is appealing and safe to inspire use and support from the whole community. These intentional spaces of learning and growth in the outdoor environment are more important than ever for people of all ages. They provide a gateway to those who are more timid to exploring in wilder spaces and provide a safe environment for learning and the developing an appreciation for our living environment. In partnership with the Iowa Living Roadways Trust Fund, we are launching a NEW Outdoor Learning Environment Grant Program. This new three-phase grant program will first help you develop a strong base of community-wide support and create a framework for planning, implementation, maintenance, and future...
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The Leadership Institute: Full of Wonder

Prairie Rivers of Iowa recently sent 3 staff members, Annie Fangman; Natural Resources Educator, Kayla Hasper; Watershed Educator, and Ash Bruxvoort; Local Foods Coordinator to the Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom Project Leadership Institute in Nebraska City, NE to enhance our work with outdoor learning environments. It was an intense 3-day conference nestled in the beautiful surroundings of the Lied Lodge and Conference Center, as well as, the Arbor Day Farm along the Missouri River. The first session started off with a lesson on spiritual development in natural outdoor classrooms from Ruth Wilson. She presented a number of different quotes, poems, and findings, but one poem, Fueled by Marcie Hans, resonated especially well and perfectly describes the idea that wonder and amazement can be found in seemingly small acts of nature if we simply care to pay attention. She also suggested to check out the Child and Nature Network webpage and research library where they have a lot of different resources. Fueled;  Fueled by a million man-made wings of...
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