Outdoor Classroom Field Trips are Back in Full Swing
BBy Frances Sanchez
With over 160 acres of green spaces and natural beauty, bringing children to the Cibolo for field trips on the land is an inspiring way to keep students engaged in their studies. Local area students are back on school buses after a year of pause, and they are headed to the Cibolo to take breaths of crisp fall air under the majestic cypress canopy.
In our Outdoor Classroom field trip program, students have a front-row seat to nature with customized experiences on the Cibolo’s two campuses—Herff Farm and the Cibolo Nature Center. We provide opportunities for students to learn science, math, and critical thinking skills away from their desks and without the distraction of technology.
Students can expand their minds by performing engaging activities such as water quality testing, conducting insect surveys, going on hikes, and exploring our gardens and ecosystems. The Cibolo Center for Conservation’s Outdoor Classroom program is more than just a day out in nature. Students are interacting with wildlife with the help of our staff, and nature provides opportunities for students to learn about themselves through these experiences. There are no wrong answers, and students can feel safe knowing our trained professionals will ensure they have nothing but positive experiences.
“Our programs allow students to take a break from their routines and be themselves against the beautiful backdrop of the Cibolo. Just walking through our trails will relax them and make for a pleasant learning experience,” said Laurie Brown, Cibolo’s Director of Programs.
We recognize that in-person field trips are not always feasible for every school or class. We seek to expand nature education to more students by offering two alternative Outdoor Classroom options–virtual field trips with live, interactive adventures and our new program where our staff goes to Title 1 schools to provide outdoor learning on urban school campuses. In both programs, we offer community science projects fit for the outdoors at their schoolyard, home, local park, green space, or should they choose to visit the Nature Center or Herff Farm on their own.
The Cibolo recently hired a Children’s Education Manager to train teachers on these activities, leaving teachers more equipped to lead their students on nature adventures through the Cibolo’s campuses.
“We want our teachers to know we have their backs in many ways when it comes to bringing nature to their students,” said Brown.