Program Development

graphic of logic model

Developing high-quality conservation education programs is a major undertaking!Starting your development with your end in mind is key to effective education programming.

The information and links on this site will help you as you start down the long, but rewarding, road for program development.

LOGIC MODELS -- An effective planning tool

What is a Logic Model?

A logic model is an effective planning tool that provides a roadmap or simple illustration of a well-planned program or action.  It displays the sequence of actions that describe what the program is and will do – how investments link to results. Logic Models often include 5 core components of the program action:

  1. INPUTS: resources, contributions, investments that go into the program
  2. OUTPUTS: activities, services, events and products that reach people who participate or who are targeted
  3. OUTCOMES: results or changes for individuals, groups, communities, organizations, communities, or systems
  4. Assumptions: the beliefs we have about the program, the people involved, and the context and the way we think the program will work
  5. External Factors: the environment in which the program exists includes a variety of external factors that interact with and influence the program action.

The University of Wisconsin Extension Service provides a terrific resource for learning how to complete logic models. Through their website, you can take an online course in logic models AND download template materials and targeted 'how to' guides.

UWEX Logic Model Web Site

Guide to Logic Models - W. Kellogg Foundation

The W. Kellogg Foundation also provides a terrific guide to developing logic models. Go to their website to download this free guide.

Nonformal Environmental Education Programs: Guidelines for Excellence (NAAEE)

The Forest Service-Conservation Education program has been an early and strong supporter of the national Guidelines for Excellence initiative of the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE). The project provides professional guidance on the development and evaluation of effective environmental education programs and materials. These guidelines are vital tools to help guide program development, and help evaluate and refine exisiting programs and materials.

Especially helpful in our FS work is the Guidelines for Excellence in Nonformal programs.

Adopt the Guidelines!

The Forest Service has been an active partner in the effort to 'adopt the guidelines' and use them as tools to improve our work. Learn more about this effort, and to learn how to become part of the growing cadre of FS educators who are making a difference.

North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE)
The North American Association for Environmental Education is the professional organization for environmental education. The organization provides materials for K-12 classrooms, universities (materials for both instructors and students).The NAAEE has been creating opportunities for its members  to advance and refine skills in environmental education for more then 35 years.

Click here to learn more about the NAAEE National Project for Excellence in Environmental Education.

Interpretive Project Guide

Developed in the late 1990s by the USFS-Pacific Northwest Region, the Interpretive Project Guide provides solid guidance for the development of education programs and materials too.

Developing Environmental Education Programs (Washington State)

Washington State developed this useful handbook to provide guidance for developing environmental education programs. Click here to download this helpful resource.

A How-to Guide for the Developing  Environmental Education Projects (EPA)

A How-to Guide for Developing Environmental Education Projects provides a practical and useful roadmap to developing environmental education projects. 

  • Project Planning
  • Project Development
  • Project Delivery
  • Evaluation

How to Develop an Environmental Education Web Site (EPA)

The EPA-Environmental Education program has developed a terrific site that provides practical guidance on developing effective educational Web sites. Go to their Web site for advice and guidance.