June 10, 2019

Educators and resource specialists can get free outdoor leadership training and skill enhancement

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — If you work with or teach children and want to incorporate or enhance the outdoor education you provide them, Southern Illinois University Carbondale has just the thing for you.

EdVentures for Educators is a two-day forum set for Sept. 21-22.

Knowledgeable natural resource and forestry professionals and outdoor education experts will provide K-8 educators and resource specialists the chance to train, obtain professional development experience and enhance their outdoor leadership skills for free.

Hands-on learning

Participants will receive training in the award-winning Project Learning Tree program and will learn how it fits state and national standards. Led by natural resource and forestry specialists and Touch of Nature’s environmental education staff, they will also enjoy hands-on classroom and field experiences.
Touch of Nature is fitting setting

Touch of Nature Environmental Center, near the Shawnee National Forest, provides a great backdrop for this program. Participants will enjoy field experiences indoors and out among the center’s 3,100 acres. The site is located along Little Grassy Lake in the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge and encompasses forests, rolling hills and waterways.

No cost to attend

The Environmental Education Association of Illinois is hosting EdVenture for Educators and there is no cost to be part of the complete two-day learning adventure. Thanks to a Sustainable Forestry Initiative grant, four meals, lodging, training and take-home materials are provided for free.

Participants will stay overnight at Touch of Nature’s Little Grassy Lodge. Rooms are double occupancy.

Those attending must bring a laptop or tablet so they can connect to Wi-Fi for the Project Learning Tree education unit curriculum. Sharing is not recommended.

While there is no cost to attend, educators must attend the complete event, set for 8 a.m. Sept. 21 until noon Sept. 22, in order to receive the curriculum, educational resources and 12 professional development Continuing Education Units.

Sign up now

The registration deadline is Sept. 13. Space is limited, so early registration is encouraged. Sign up online at eeai.net/trainings--events.html.

For additional information, visit the website or contact Abbie Enland, EEAI executive director, at executivedirectoreeai@gmail.com.

Touch of Nature Environmental Center is located on Giant City Road, about eight miles south of the SIU campus. For more information about the center, visit ton.siu.edu, call 618/453-1121 or email tonec@siu.edu