“For generations, America’s great outdoors have ignited our imaginations, bolstered our economy, and fueled our national spirit of adventure and independence. The United States holds a stunning array of natural beauty — from sweeping rangelands and tranquil beaches, to forests stretching over rolling hills and rivers raging through stone-faced cliffs. During Great Outdoors Month, we rededicate ourselves to experiencing and protecting these unique landscapes and treasured sites.” – President Barack Obama, May 31, 2011 excerpt from the Great Outdoors Month Presidential Proclamation.
There are numerous treasured landscapes within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. This month, get your class outside to learn about your local estuary and celebrate Great Outdoors Month! In addition to the Presidential Proclamation, there are many state proclamations supporting Great Outdoors Month. Use the National Park Service’s Views Chesapeake Bay website to find an educational site and plan your class’s trip into the Great Outdoors. Many field programs also offer the opportunity to do just that. You can use Bay Backpack’s Field Studies page to find an outdoor education program near your school, or take a look at these featured programs:
- Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Student Field Programs: The Chesapeake Bay Foundation offers a variety of single and multi-day field programs in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, DC. Celebrate Great Outdoors Month on a working farm, a river, or the Chesapeake Bay with these programs.
- Irvine Nature Center: The Irvine Nature Center in Owings Mills, MD offers 10 different field trip programs. During most trips, students work in small groups to make observations, collect data, compare and classify organisms, and draw conclusions.
- Delaware Nature Society School Programs: The Delaware Nature Society offers field trips for students from PK to high school. Teachers may want to select their class’s field program this helpful list that alignments each trip with Delaware curriculum.