Parents & Teachers
Connect young people to the outdoors!
Adults play a key role in connecting young people to the outdoors. Below are resources and tools for you to build skills, find activities, and develop lesson plans to foster a deeper relationship with the outside world.
- Trees are Amazing | Los árboles son increíbles – An observation-based activity about trees. The activity is available in Spanish and English.
- Making Observations – Learners use words and drawings to practice this important skill, just like scientists and those who care for our forests and grasslands.
- Native Plants – Have fun while learning about their importance. Includes an optional video and a hands-on activity for making seed balls to spread native plants. Choose either:
- Fire Ecology – Forest Service curriculum for K-12 students.
- From Ponderosa to Prickly Pear and other curricula about plants (From Institute for Applied Ecology)
- Woodsy Owl – Woodsy's ABCs: A nature-inspired book to practice your ABCs.
- Smokey Bear – Smokey for Educators : Resources for teaching about Smokey Bear and fire prevention.
- Discover the Forest | Descubre el Bosque – Family-friendly activities for enjoying the outdoors.
- Natural Inquirer – Free science education materials for pre-k through high school.
- Project Learning Tree – Tree Environmental education program for indoor and outdoor classrooms.
- Better Environmental Education, Teaching, Learning and Expertise Sharing (BEETLES) – Resources for student-centered, nature-centered science programs. "I Notice, I Wonder, It Reminds Me Of" is a great place to start. (From the Lawrence Hall of Science)
- iNaturalist – Practice your observational skills by recording different plants and animals in habitats around your home and across the world. See what others nearby have shared. Connect with experts to help identify your observations.
- BudBurst – Monitor seasonal changes in plants with a national network of citizen scientists.
These organizations provide trainings, certifications and other professional development opportunities in the fields of place-based and conservation education, and interpretation.
- North American Association of Environmental Education (NAAEE)
- Environmental Education of New Mexico (EENM)
- Arizona Association for Environmental Education (AAEE)
- Project Learning Tree - Online and in-person trainings in their instructional materials.
- National Association for Interpretation
- proValens Learning – Online courses in interpretation.
Every Kid Outdoors - Get Fee-Free Entry!
Every Kid Outdoors is a nationwide program that encourages 4th graders to get outside and visit their federal public lands and waters by offering a free pass their entire 4th grade year.
This pass allows free admission at sites that charge entrance or standard amenity fees at over 2000 federal lands and waters for a full year beginning September 1 and ending August 31. It does not cover expanded fees so please inquire at the location you will be visiting for more information on pass acceptance. Call your local forest service office for exact details on how the pass applies to your adventure.
By participating in the Every Kid Outdoors Program, you can connect with nature and learn about your heritage while exploring millions of acres of federal lands and waters for free. Bring your family and friends to check out prehistoric dinosaur tracks, explore ancient sites, hike around a volcano or sit quietly and see what animals you observe in their natural habitat.
Each pass holder is eligible for a free Christmas tree permit as supplies allow.