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Environmental Education Oregon/Washington BLM



Environmental Education

Inside Passage Articles
Environmental Education

Public lands in Oregon provide a variety of climates, landscapes, habitats, and educational opportunities. High desert, mountains, the Pacific Ocean shoreline—Oregon and Washington has it all! BLM District and Field Offices in the region have several innovative partnerships with schools, focusing on educational programs ranging from history and culture to fisheries and watersheds. Two of the best BLM programs are:

RAP Camp

The RAP Camp program provides high school students, ages 13-18, a chance to learn about natural resources. Over the course of a week at camp Esther Applegate, students learn about the diverse natural resources that make up an ecosystem. Participants spend their days on field trips and hands-on outdoor activities learning about natural resource disciplines such as forestry, fisheries, wildlife, range, riparian, geology, recreation, fire, wetlands, wilderness, and cultural resources.

RAP Camp is a natural resource education program that aims to engage children in nature based activities. It has evolved over the years, gaining the support of many different government and non-government agencies and organizations.

Download the RAP Camp Brochure

Download the RAP Camp Brochure (PDF)!

Click on the BLM District below to find out more about the super-cool environmental education programs in YOUR area!

School Programs

Burns District

Burns District Office, Phone: 541-573-4400

Classroom Weed Curriculum

These lessons on invasive plants fit naturally within mandated national science curriculum standards; many of the activities integrate social studies, art, language arts, and math components. The lessons provide students with a comprehensive introduction to invasive plants: definitions, locations, origins, means of spreading, adaptations, impact on desirable plants, and the broader consequences for the environment.

Coos Bay District

Coos Bay District Office, Phone: 541-756-0100

Tsalila: the Umpqua River Festival
Tsalila (pronounced sah-LEE-la) celebrates salmon, watersheds, and natural and cultural resources. The program includes field trips, education days, hands-on activities, learning stations, and creation of posters. A two-day festival for the public allows families to visit learning stations and displays, listen to music, etc. A professional storyteller conducts assemblies and teaches classes on storytelling at the high school level.

Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area

During on-site programs at Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area, students learn about elk and how the area is managed, as well as Leave No Trace principles.

Natural Resources Days
Six field days are offered for fifth-graders to learn about forests and wildlife. First, a Project Learning Tree/Project WILD teacher workshop is held; then, those teachers may bring their students to one of the resource days. Students rotate through six to eight learning stations focusing on plant identification, succession, tree measurement, soils, elements affecting tree growth, and wildlife habitats and adaptations.

Environmental Education at New River Area of Critical Environmental Concern
Each spring, naturalists take 3rd-12th grade classes to New River ACEC for hands-on learning activities. Topics include the western snowy plover, habitat, water quality, land management, invasive species, macroinvertebrates, water sampling, birding, etc.

Specialists in the Classroom
Natural and cultural resource specialists make presentations to classrooms upon request. Topics covered include bats, Leave No Trace, geology, wildlife, etc.

Eugene District

Eugene District Office, Phone: 541-683-6600

Salmon Watch
This program allows students to view salmon in the fish’s natural spawning habitat along nearby Whittaker and Fish Creeks.

Students create natural resource-themed water color painting for display in the BLM office.

Klamath Falls Resource Area

Klamath Falls Resource Area, Phone: 541-883-6916

Expanding Your World - Careers in Archaeology
Information on careers in archaeology is presented to eighth-grade girls as part of a career program offered by the local school district.

Fire in the Forest
This presentation to the Klamath Outdoor Science School teaches about the hazards and benefits of fire in forests.

Science Fair
BLM staff judge fourth- to sixth-grade science fair projects.

Proper Stream Function
Students are provided information on, explanations of, and examples of the proper functioning of streams and how they contribute to overall watershed health. This program is presented at Resources and People (RAP) Camp.

Archaeological Resources Protection
Act This program offers students of Klamath Community College both an overview and a detailed explanation of the ARPA and its applications.

What is an Archaeologist?
This pre-K program provides a basic explanation of what an archaeologist does along with some of the tools they use and objects that they find. The program includes a discussion of why it is important to protect cultural resources.

Wood River Wetland Ecology
Tailored to the level of first-graders, this program was designed to introduce youngsters to the role of wetlands and all the amazing functions they perform.

Wood River Wetland Project
This program for sixth-grade students at Klamath Outdoor Science School addresses the functions of wetlands and specifically the restoration of the Wood River Wetland.

Lakeview District

Lakeview District Office, Phone: 541-947-2177

Recreation Poster Contest
This school poster contest at Fremont-Hay Elementary School encourages students to learn about responsible recreation.

Appreciating Bats
Wildlife specialists offer a presentation about bats to students at Fremont-Hay Elementary School.

International Migratory Bird Days
This program comprises three one-day events for third-grade students in Lake County. Activities include bird identification, bird house construction, migration games, learning how to use a field guide, and nature art.

Medford District

Medford District Office, Phone: 541-618-2200

McGregor Park Environmental Education Program
School groups visit the Rogue River to learn about natural and cultural history and regional land management issues. Students participate in education stations, guided walks, hands-on, interactive kits, and a variety of other environmental education activities on salmon biology, watershed health and the riparian zone, noxious weeds, fire ecology, forest management, wildlife biology, Native American history and culture, and botany.

Table Rocks Education Program
The Table Rocks Environmental Education Program teaches school groups about the Table Rocks Area of Critical Environmental Concern. The program offers pre-hike, preparatory classroom presentations, an educational website, accompanying curriculum, and guided, interpretive hikes and field trips. Participants learn about geology, fire ecology, Native American history and culture, forest management, botany, noxious weeds, general ecology, wildlife biology, and more.

Bear Creek Watershed Symposium
In partnership with the Bear Creek Watershed Education Partners, BLM environmental educators staff an interactive display and activities for this event for K-12 students, which takes place at Southern Oregon University. The symposium works with schools throughout the region and teaches them about watershed health.

Hoover Elementary School Partnership
A longstanding partnership with Hoover School has provided a variety of environmental education opportunities primarily for 4th-grade students. On an annual field trip, students rotate through four to six stations, covering such topics as wildlife, tree identification and planting, and post-wildfire study. BLM specialists are also involved in judging of the school’s annual science fair in which more than 300 students participate.

Josephine County Tree Plant
Agencies and organizations come together to teach K-12 grade students about planting trees, the environmental importance of trees, and the importance of lending a helping hand. Groups of students come from several area public, private, and home schools to replant a public land site that is devoid of trees because of a devastating natural event.

Prineville District

Prineville District Office, Phone: 541-416-6700

The Wildlife Investigator Series, Volume 1
This program incorporates PowerPoint presentations, activities, and posters about three wildlife topics: skulls, antlers, and horns; the value of snags (dead trees); and a “day in the life” of a field biologist.

Ochoco Creek Days
This natural resource awareness and appreciation program comprises three field days with fourth- and fifth-grade students from Crook County.

Roseburg District

Roseburg District Office, Phone: 541-440-4930

Education Outreach
This program responds to requests from schools and the general public to provide talks and presentations on a variety of topics (e.g., forestry, wildlife, fisheries, archaeology, etc.).

Eastwood Nature Trail
Third grade students cycle through six interactive educational stations with topics on the Salmon Life Cycle, Water Cycle, Web of Life, Wetlands Ecology, Riparian Zones, and Native American Story telling.

Mildred Kanipe Aquatic Education
Yoncalla high school students collect data to monitor the effectiveness of stream restoration projects at Mildred Kanipe Park. Students work with professionals from the BLM, Wildlife Safari, and Douglas Soil and Water Conservation District to collect pebble count, cross-section, and aquatic macroinvertebrate data.

Alder Creek Children’s Forest
The non-profit Alder Creek Children’s Forest (ACCF) offers a place, partnerships, and programs for young citizens to learn to work together to create healthy, sustainable forests, watersheds, and communities. ACCF is based in a 78-acre forest within a 2,300-acre watershed. Students perform terrestrial and aquatic inventory of the watershed, intended to establish a baseline for watershed management, restoration, and monitoring.

Douglas County School Forestry Tour
Fifth-graders are provided an introduction to forest management, forest products, tree identification, wildlife, fisheries, fire, and archaeology.

Glide Middle School Water Quality Monitoring
BLM- and USDA Forest Service-trained student leaders and students use water quality meters to collect water quality data once a week. BLM and USFS hydrologists periodically calibrate equipment and monitor students. Students collect data on stream temperature, pH, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, and total dissolved solids. This data is then shared with the BLM and USFS and used in classroom discussions.

Learning Opportunities Booklet
Learning opportunity sessions are described for educators, schools, clubs, and others desiring BLM speakers. Each presentation identifies the program’s title, learning objectives, activity, length, age range, time of year for project, minimum/maximum group size, distance and directions to site or facility, suggested pre-study, and BLM point of contact. Learning opportunities can last from a few hours to a few months.

Resources and People Camp
BLM and U.S. Forest Service co-sponsor this outdoor natural resource management program for students and educators. Conducted annually in June, the program includes a night sky talk, presentations on topics such as hydrology, wildlife, fisheries, recreation, rangeland resources, botany, fire ecology, and cultural diversity, and a field trip to Crater Lake. BLM-Roseburg typically offers scholarships for Douglas County participants interested in attending. In-service credit for teachers is also available through Southern Oregon University.

Salem District

Salem District Office, Phone: 503-375-5646

Cascade Streamwatch Program at Wildwood
The collaborative Cascade Streamwatch (CSW) program provides under-served schools with a comprehensive, science-based resource education program focusing on watersheds and fisheries at the CSW site, an outdoor interpretive facility in Wildwood Recreation Site along the Salmon Wild and Scenic River.

Molalla RiverWatch Field Days
Molalla RiverWatch (MRW) is a non-profit BLM partner organization that offers natural-resource-related educational activities at Aquila Vista Environmental Educational Site in the Molalla River corridor. Activities focus on wildlife, plants, water, and fish.

Larch Mountain Field Days
Corbett School District utilizes BLM's Larch Mountain Environmental Education Site for hands-on, forest-based, outdoor, natural-resource-related educational activities that focus on subjects such as wildlife, plants, and aquatic ecosystems. The program is available to other schools or groups upon request.

Salem District Arboretum
Project Learning Tree activities and custom-designed activities are used in the District office on-site arboretum. The arboretum contains one example of every tree species that grows on Salem District lands, plus a variety of species from around the world. The range of available activities provides hands-on learning opportunities for K-12.

Project Archaeology: Exploring Oregon’s Past
This activity guide for educators, developed for BLM’s Project Archaeology, is correlated to the Oregon Standards and Benchmarks at the 4th- and 8th-grade levels. Annual teacher workshops introduce the guide, which uses archaeology, history and paleontology to teach lessons in social science, language arts, science, math, art, and problem solving. The guide stresses respect for resources and the importance of cultural resource sites.

Heritage Education
Designed primarily for 4th and 6th grade students, this presentation focuses on the atlatl/dart and arrow technology, drilling technology, dentalia and obsidian trade, cradle boards, preservation in sites, context, and inferencing. The program includes a hands-on replica artifact display, outdoor atlatl/dart throw, two-ply cordage-making, and bull-roarer demonstration. Paper activities focus on stratigraphy, dating sites, and ethnographic analogy.

Vale District

Vale District Office, Phone: 541-473-3144

Oregon Trail Education Resource Guide
Educational activities have been compiled into a resource book for teaching Oregon Trail history. Activities are designed for classroom use and for use on a field trip to the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. The book is available in hard copy and on CD, and is downloadable from the Center’s website.

Educational Handouts
Educational worksheets related to Oregon Trail themes are downloadable from the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center website for use in classroom or on a field trip to the Center.

Interpreter to the Classroom
Living history presentation on either the Oregon Trail or Lewis and Clark are delivered by a BLM interpreter, who travels to classrooms within a 100-mile range of the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. Replicas of typical artifacts and worksheets are included.

Explorers of the Pacific Northwest Guide
Educational activities have been compiled into a resource book for teaching the history of explorers who preceded the Oregon Trail. Activities are designed for classroom use and for use on a field trip to the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. The book is available in hard copy and on CD, and is downloadable from the Center’s website.

Specialists in the Classroom
Specialists provide educational presentations that tie to classroom modules or site visits involving plants, animals, ecology, and other topics pertinent to BLM’s Vale District. The number of presentations varies each year and depends greatly on specialist availability to handle the requests received.

Educational Trunks
“Explorers in a Box” addresses early explorers and fur traders; “Oregon Trail in a Box” is about Oregon Trail pioneers. Trunks include reproduction items representing typical tools, household items, clothing, etc., of historical eras as well as illustrations and classroom activity books. The trunks are available for loan to schools within a 100-mile radius of the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center.

Wenatchee Field Office

Wenatchee, WA, Field Office, Phone: 505-665-2100

Plants for People Curriculum
This two-part slide show and curriculum guide with activities was developed for fifth-grade students to introduce the student to the many uses of plants, particularly the traditional uses by Native Americans. The program has recently been turned into a video.

Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area

Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, Education Office, Phone: 541-574-3122

“Rain, Rutabagas and ‘Rithmetic” – 3rd/4th Grade, (spring)
How did Yaquina Head lighthouse help Willamette Valley wheat farmers? What would it be like to live at a remote 19th century lighthouse? Costumed lighthouse keepers teach students to work with the keeper’s tools, learn to read navigation charts, send signals to passing ships, grow rutabagas, and keep a journal.

“Find Me a Zone!” – 4th and 5th Grade (May, June)
These ranger-led programs at Yaquina Head’s Cobble Beach Intertidal Area are two hours in duration and take place Monday through Friday during low tide. Fourth-/fifth-grade activities use a “hands-on, minds-on, hearts-on” methodology to teach the concept of habitat as expressed in the intertidal zones and to instill a stewardship ethic within students, teachers, and chaperones.

“Where Does the Energy Flow?” (May, June)
Students and adults receive instruction in low-impact tidepoooling skills before entering the tidepool area. Sixth-grade students are challenged to determine how energy flows through the intertidal ecosystem. Using plankton tows, microscopes, and other media, students determine the number of organisms at each trophic level.

Resource Education Internship Program – college, post-college (April through October) Four internships in resource education and interpretation are offered each year. Interns receive training and coaching in interpretive and educational methodologies and theory. Interns instruct the spring education programs and lead the summer/fall interpretive programs. A stipend and free housing are provided. Successful applicants to this seven-month internship to the BLM have been senior year college students, graduate school students, and recent graduates with a focus on interpretation, environmental education, recreation, natural science, and history.

Teacher-Guided Tidepool Explorations – 3rd grade through college (Sept through April)
Teachers or field trip coordinators from visiting groups lead tidepool explorations. Rangers provide an orientation to the tidepools including tidepool safety, and tidepool etiquette/expectations. Rangers are available for questions during group activities.

Home School Day (early spring)
Each year Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area offers one day of education programs specifically for home school groups. Activities include tidepool explorations, lighthouse tours, and self-guided “Quests.”

Beyond School

Coos Bay District

Coos Bay District Office, Phone: 541-756-0100

Elk Spoken Here
During the summer season, when volunteers are available, visitors to the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area can hear presentations on the elk, geese, waterfowl, and other wildlife at the site.

Loon Lake Recreation Area Children’s Program
Environmental education programs for 6-12 year-old children are held at the campground during the summer season. Typically drawn from curricula such as Project WILD and Project Learning Tree, the children’s programs are intended to cover the same topic as the evening interpretive program, to further complement and reinforce the information received.

Evening Programs at Loon Lake
Naturalists and guest speakers conduct evening programs at the Loon Lake campground throughout the summer season. Topics may include salmon, bats, defensible space, forestry, wildlife, GPS, Dutch-oven cooking, lighthouses, etc.

Summer Naturalist Program at New River Area of Critical Environmental Concern
During the summer months, guided nature walks, roving interpretation, and special events take place at this Watchable Wildlife site.

Eugene District

Eugene District Office, Phone: 541-683-6600

Fishing Derby
This free rainbow trout fishing event takes place at the Fourmile Quarry Ponds located in the Klamath Falls Resource Area.

Current Cultural Resources Work
A discussion on the cultural resource work that is currently taking place on BLM lands within the Klamath Falls Resource Area.

Horse Packing and Wilderness Skills Clinic
BLM participates in this clinic, held at Klamath County Fairgrounds each year. A young “halter-broke” mustang is raffled off to promote BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro program.

Healthy Stream Function
An explanation of stream function takes place at International Migratory Bird Day festivities held at Veterans Park.

Wildflowers of Devils Garden
Staff conduct a tour and help with identification of the wildflowers of the Devils Garden area.

Fun With Fungi
Staff conduct a day-long presentation and hike to teach about fungi in the local area.

Waterfowl of the Klamath Basin
Presentations about the waterfowl of the Klamath Basin are given at several events, including a horse-packing and wilderness skills clinic and at a meeting of the Klamath Packing Club.

Wetland Ecology and the Wood River Wetland (WRW) Project
Program to educate members of the Klamath Tribes, ages 13-16, on the ecology of the Wood River Wetland.

Medford District

Medford District Office, Phone: 541-618-2200

Catch a Special Thrill (CAST)
Children with special challenges learn about the outdoors and how to fish. The youth enjoy several hands-on learning activities as well as being mentored about how to fish. Many volunteer organizations assist in the annual event.

Josephine County Fair Learning Booth
A hands-on watershed health learning booth features an informative display with hand-outs for adults, as well as an interactive watershed table exhibit for children. The watershed table is full of sand, rocks, miniature animals, houses, trees and shrubs. The children are taught what it takes to make a healthy watershed by creating, step by step, the components of the watershed.

KTVL Kids Day
This multi-partner event focuses on natural resource learning. Children in grades K-8 participate in many hands-on learning activities throughout the day.

Latino Kids and Bugs
This annual event introduces Latino youth to watersheds. It is a bilingual program that works in partnership with a variety of organizations throughout the region. Program participants explore a watershed through hands-on, interactive stations, kits, and a variety of activities.

McGregor Park Visitor Center Programs
The Visitor Center houses displays and interactive exhibits on watershed health, noxious weeds, fire ecology, botany, Native American history and culture, wildlife, forest management, OHV use, Leave No Trace ethics, and more. Staff is on hand to answer questions and provide information about the area.

Safe Kids Day
This is an annual multi-partnership safety event for kids. The focus is to reduce injury to children ages 1-14 by teaching safety techniques at hands-on learning booths sponsored by different organizations.

Shady Cove Wildflower Show
A BLM educational display and booth at this annual show is complemented by interpretive talks on botany and ethno-botany.

Campfire Programs
BLM environmental education staff deliver campfire programs for Valley of the Rogue State Park’s summer campfire talk series. These presentations help the public learn about the natural and cultural history of the region.

Bats of the Basin
This is one of many presentations given during the Winter Wings Festival held every February in Klamath Falls.

Earth Day
BLM staff work with many partners to plan and coordinate the annual Earth Day celebration at North Mountain Park. In addition, they develop and staff an environmental education booth that includes a display and interactive activities.

Free Fishing Day
Held at Hyatt Lake in the Medford District, this program is part of the National Free Fishing Day.

Summer Program for Kids Unlimited
BLM staff provide interactive, educational activities for the Kids Unlimited Summer camp.

Salmon Festival at North Mountain Park
This annual festival features a BLM hands-on, interactive display on watershed health and two BLM-led walks that explore the riparian zone.

Roseburg District

Roseburg District Office, Phone: 541-440-4930

“Diversity Endangered” Poster Exhibit
Up to 15 posters exploring the topic of biological diversity are available for loan to museums, libraries, schools, and other public facilities. Subjects range from interrelation of species to tropical rainforest, wetland, and coral reef habitats, as well as conservation practices, management tools, alternatives to the loss of species and habitats, and the importance of zoos, botanical gardens, and national parks in preserving biodiversity.

Linking Girls to the Land Partnership
This partnership has resulted in numerous programs, including the Women in Natural Resources” (WINRS) weeklong day camp event. The requirements for the plant life, birds, wildlife, digging through the past, and eco-action badges are used to guide presentations by BLM staff. Camporees and career events are also held.

Umpqua Valley Migratory Bird Festival
This yearly program follows national objectives and themes of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service program known as International Migratory Bird Day. Presentations and hands-on activities related to bird biology and habitat needs take place at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.

Salem District

Salem District Office, Phone: 503-375-5646

Annual Know Your Newport
A booth is set up at this annual event to share information about Yaquina Head with the general public. Topics include lighthouse restoration and tidepools.

Evening Campfire Programs
BLM rangers present two programs per week at State Park Campfire Amphitheaters. Topics include interrelationships between people and tidepools; the history of Yaquina Head Lighthouse (family life); parenting techniques of gray whales; how the moon affects the tides; common murre life cycle and ecology; bat education and conservation; defense mechanisms of tidepool animals; and marine mammals of Yaquina Head.

Head to the Bay Run During this “fun run and walk” from Yaquina Head Lighthouse to Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, participants are given keeper-led interpretive tours of the lighthouse and ranger-assisted tours of the intertidal area.

Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area

Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, Visitor Information Center: 541-574-3100

“Tidepool Discovery Time” (year-round)
A tidepool hands-on education table teaches visitors about tidepool animals, safety, and etiquette. Teaching tools, such as identification charts and kid’s activity sheets, are given out to be used and returned. Additional staff help guide visitors through the tidepools to teach about animals and the intertidal ecosystem, and answer questions.

“Lighthouse Tours” (year-round)
Self-guided lighthouse tours are offered daily year round between noon and 4:00pm, 110 stairs. Keeper-led Lighthouse Tours are offered daily on summer mornings. Pick up free tour pass at the lighthouse from one of the keepers. Limit of 15 people per tour. 30 min, 110 stairs. Children may enter the bottom floor of the lighthouse but must be 42” tall to climb the stairway to the top.

“Yaquina Head Quest” (year-round)
Are you ready for an adventure through history? Follow the directions within one of the two “Quest” booklets and collect the letter clues to find the hidden “Quest Box." Along the way, you’ll explore the history and natural resources of Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area.

Interpretive Center Scavenger Hunt (year-round)
Pick up a Jr. Ranger Scavenger Hunt worksheet at the Interpretive Center information desk and use it to explore an indoor coastal island and view the inside of a replica lighthouse lantern. The interpretive center is a short 15-minute walk from the tidepools and lighthouse.

“Flippers, Flukes, and Feathers” (spring, summer, fall)
Three new outdoor education stations are set up at Yaquina Head’s ocean vistas. Rangers and volunteers assist visitors in observing whales, seals, and seabirds with spotting scopes and learning the stories behind these coastal residents. Resource management issues are presented and stewardship behaviors emphasized.

Saturday Morning Jr. Rangers (summer)
Saturday morning programs for children (7-12 years old) at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area cover such topics as Tidepool Discoveries, Pollinators, How Tides Work, Bats, Slugs, Surfing, and Beach Safety.

Keeper-Led Lighthouse Tours (summer)
Daily tours are given by costumed interpreters (lighthouse keepers) from 9:00 – 10:30 am; the 30-minute tours are limited to groups of 15, with tickets available on first-come, first-served basis. Self-guided tours are available daily from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. Costumed interpreters are stationed at locations within the lighthouse to provide informal interpretation.

“Twilight Lighthouse Tours” (summer)
The lighthouse doors are opened to the public 2 ½ hours before sunset and costumed keepers provide tours of the lighthouse each Saturday evening from July to September. Staff dressed in 19th century attire explain the role of Yaquina Head Lighthouse in westward expansion, family life at the lighthouse, and the keeper’s duties.

“Whale Watching Spoken Here” (late December, late March, mid-August)
Three times each year trained volunteers gather along the Oregon coast to assist visitors in observing whales. Volunteers at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area use spotting scopes and whale education kits to teach visitors about gray whale ecology.

The Yaquina Century Bike Race (mid-August)
This annual bike race begins and ends at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. Participants pedal along the coastal highway and inland along the scenic Yaquina Bay Road.