Here we provide links to
resources for teachers interested in exploring ways to integrate outdoor learning experiences
into their work with students of all ages. Teachers and nonprofit educational organizations
are invited to send us pictures and stories from the outdoor
classrooms and learning activities they create. The picture at the right was sent to us from
the newest addition to our list, the Endangered Species Media Project in Houston, Texas.
See their listing below for details and a link to their website.
Seed Grants for Texas
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center has partnered with Native American Seed to provide Seed Grants to Texas schools, non-profits, and other worthy educational or child-centered organizations for creating wildflower demonstration areas on their campuses, enhancing existing wildflower plantings or other educationally directed projects. Seed Grants are not available for projects in private residences.
Seed Grants provide recipients with a gift certificate between $100 to $500 to purchase native wildflower and/or grass seeds from Native American Seed.
A short application is required.
How to Make Seed Balls
Fun activity for kids or adults! Please be patient, takes a moment to load. This can be printed.
L.A.N.D.S. Program Texas Wildlife Association
Available year-round to Texas educators and organizations. Hands-on, curriculum-enhancing, natural resource materials and lessons. "Trunk" kits include: Animal Adaptions, Bats-A-Billion, Bird is the Word, Butterflies Flutter By, Let's Talk Turkey, More Than a Drop Aquifers Uncovered, Texas Critters.
Parks & Wildlife Department
Be sure to explore all around the education section of
the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department site. There
are virtual tours, listings of free seminars, ways you
can connect with other teachres, and a host of ideas you
can use to bring nature into the classroom, and the classroom
into nature. Don't overlook the Teacher
Tool Kit, which has some very specific lesson plans
you can use, with back-up information and resources.
Museum School Resources
For teachers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the Heard
Museum is a wonderful resource. Go to this page for information
about their education programs, and details how to contact
them about programs you are interested in.
Elm Fork Education Center
Affiliated with the University of North Texas, the mission of
the Elm Fork Education Center is "to develop and implement premiere
environmental education programs" that engage students in field activities and
Their Outdoor Environmental Learning Area (ODELA) is pictured above, and is a
7,000 square foot aquatic, geological, and archaeological classroom designed for hands-on
exploration by students of all ages. Visit their website to learn more about ongoing and
special programs, and about the unique ODELA facility.
One way that many schools have integrated environmental
studies into their curriculum is to start a "native
habitat" on the school grounds. From planning to
planting to taking care and watching it grow, it can grow
into a great hands-on learning lab available just outside
the door. This site has all kinds of useful tips to start
a "backyard habitat" that can be applied anywhere
a little bit of dirt exists along with the willingness
to dig it up and help something to happen there. Be sure
to check out the short video on Certifying your Yard or school garden as a wildlife garden.
MuseumOpal B Roberts Landscape of Hopes and Dreams
A fun and educational "build your own prairie" site that will help your kids
learn more about prairie ecology, including the mammals, reptiles, insects and
birds that live there.
This school landscape was constructed in 2009 by community and student volunteers in memory of an exceptional teacher. Full of lessons, the landscape provides beauty while conserving water. Rainwater, from downspouts in front of the building, is captured by seven individual rain gardens. In addition water is conserved through the use of a drip irrigation system, deep mulch, and native and adaptive plants.
Endangered Species Media Project (ESMP)
Thanks to a Texas Education Agency Science Outreach grant, ESMP is working with student volunteers in cooperation with university boanists to restore urban forest canopies and understories in Houston with native grasses and wildflowers. Their projects include combined removal of invasives with the extensive use of perennial native vegetation to further control invasives. ESMP also provides inner city students the opportunity to discover science in nature by taking them in canoes along Buffalo Bayou habitats.
Us Your Address!
We are happy to add links to any online information you
have about your school-related outdoor classroom projects,
by the way. Send an email with the link and a description
and we will add them to this list.