San Diego Unified School District has an unprecedented opportunity to give children access to nature as part of their Vision 2020 process of envisioning the schools of the future. You can be part of the process, too! You can enter comments for the SDUSD Vision 2020 forums. Go to http://www.sandi.net//cms/module/selectsurvey/TakeSurvey.aspx?SurveyID=1095 , and indicate that 0 will attend the March 10 forum, and then enter comments in the box. The last meeting is on Monday March 10, 7-9 pm at Crawford High School. 4191 Colts Way (92115).
Anne Fege, with the San Diego Children and Nature Collaborative sent these comments to SDUSD members, encouraging them to take advantage of local resources to help children access nature:
“SDUSD has an unprecedented opportunity and obligation to provide the next generation with outdoor experiences that help them develop their curiosity and inquiry, a healthy lifestyle, a love of nature, and environmental awareness. The “green schoolyard” movement is gaining momentum globally and locally, and has the potential to improve the lives of every child, every day. Extensive existing capacity can be harnessed to work together, to invest in and transform quality Outdoor Learning Environments for students and teachers in every SD Unified school that support these Vision 2020 goals:
Schools will be safe, attractive neighborhood learning centers: Enhanced schoolyard habitats can be established in partnership with local businesses, community and environmental groups. They can be “cross-generational” places where teachers, students, local gardeners, and other community members learn about gardens, natural areas, and outdoor play together.
Schools will extend beyond the school site: Quality natural learning environments can extend into neighborhoods in parks, street trees, canyons open space, and playgrounds. Field trips introduce students to the wonder of nature at the coast, nearby shrublands, canyons, mountains, desert, and nature centers.
Community volunteers and partnerships will augment the work of teachers in helping each student: The local community-based capacity includes Master Gardeners, local landscape architects and other planners, the San Diego Chapter of the California Native Plant Society, about 200 trained naturalists, and nature educators in the San Diego Children and Nature Collaborative.
Anne S. Fege, Ph.D., M.B.A., Program Manager, San Diego Children and Nature Collaborative
A Program of the San Diego Science Alliance