Summer Outdoors Day Camps
Since 2015 we have had the privilage to spend many long summer days playing, exploring, and learning outdoors with over 450 children from Forest Grove, Hillsboro, Tualatin, Sherwood, Portland, and even as far as Coosbay! This year we will be saying goodbye to summer camp as we breathe our energy into our other programs. Thank you so much for the time you have spent with us each summer and for this opportunity to grow our most impactful programs. We could not have done it without you.
Although we are discontinuing our summer camps at this time, we are expanding in other important areas. See below for information on our other initiatives.
This year we are excited about dedicating our time and resources to growing the programs you love! Here is a an update about what we’ve been up to and where we are going.
Nature Days Forest School
Nature Days Forest School is now offered two days each week on Monday and Tuesday. This year we moved to our new home in the woods of Helvetia at Edible Stories Farm. We have also welcomed Michelle Alameda as one of our new instructors. The children have spent the fall and winter building a wigwam and developing our fort village, swinging from natural ivy vines, honing in on their knife and hatchet skills, discovering the rich biodiversity of the forest, exploring how water moves through and effects the land, and so much more. Through their play and exploration they have been polishing their problem solving skills, expressing their unique creativities, and are learning to communicate effectively while regulating emotions.
Leadership by Design at the Community Alternative Learning Center
This fall we took a group of high school students in our Leadership by Design course white water rafting with Adventures Without Limits as a kickoff team building day to begin the course. Not only did we have a blast but we also learned to work together and trust each other. In the following 10 weeks, students worked with ceramics, visited local farms, built metal foundaries, and made ceramic bowls for an Empty Bowls fundraiser at Pacific University. In the 2019/20 academic year we will expand the program and increase our course enrollment capacity due to a new partnership with Forest Grove School District. We could not be more grateful and excited about this opportunity to provide hands-on, project-based learning for the CALC community!
Outdoor Classrooms for All
Last year we partnered with Pacific University to bring in extra hands and expertise to design and build an outdoor classroom at Harvey Clarke Elementary School. This spring, through the same community stakeholder and permaculture design process, students and faculty at Pacific University are working with teachers, students, parents, and community members to create a learning garden classroom at Cornelius Elementary School. Be on the lookout for an announcement for the groundbreaking party this spring!
This year we have also welcomed Michelle Alameda as our new School Garden Coordinator. She has a background in farming, environmental and outdoor education and leadership, and ecology. Through a new partnership with Forest Grove School District, we will be expanding the School Garden Coordinator’s position in order to provide more hands-on learning for the students in FGSD. We look forward to growing this program and the community partnerships that make it possible.
In December 2018, we ran a Seed Campaign fundraiser and raised nearly $2,000 for the Outdoor Classrooms project. Thank you for your generous contributions! We also received a $4,992 grant from Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District. Thank you, thank you! Additional grant funding from the Community Enhancement Program through the City of Forest Grove and from the Forest Grove Sustainability Commission have contributed to making all this good work possible. We are grateful to all our community partners!