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COVID-19 Response Strategies

The OSU Extension Service Outdoor School Program's response to the ongoing COVID-19 threat is detailed in our Response Strategies and associated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). For information about how Friends of Outdoor School, the Gray Family Foundation, and the OSU Extension Service Outdoor School Program are supporting outdoor school during this time, please see our Partner Letter and recordings of webinars we hosted for schools/districts and providers/sites. If you have additional questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us at outdoorschool@oregonstate.edu.

Our Mission

Together, we empower and support inclusive, impactful, and high quality Outdoor School experiences for Oregon's youth.

Our Vision

Oregon Outdoor School will be the most successful, high-quality outdoor education program in the nation.

Our Values

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Relationships, Innovation, Integrity, and Quality are central to how we approach our work.

Oregon Outdoor Recreation launches new
"Take Care Out There"
Campaign for Responsible Outdoor Recreation

The campaign encourages outdoor recreationists to “Take Care Out There” with trip-planning advice, safety tips and preservation guidelines, while also connecting with local communities to enrich their experience. The industrious beaver, Oregon's official state animal, known for its restorative conservation practices, is the campaign's ambassador.

Educational collateral is available at Oregon’s eight welcome centers and select retail establishments, including KEEN and REI. In addition, a sweepstakes on traveloregon.com offers a chance to win a “Ten Essentials” gear pack and annual passes to Oregon State Parks and National Parks.

The Take Care Out There toolkit encourages visitors to “Prepare, Care, Connect,” providing a thoughtful framework that ranges from packing the right gear, to staying on the trail, to visiting local cultural centers.

A new public education campaign to nurture a statewide ethos of responsible outdoor recreation is launching today in celebration of Oregon’s 161st birthday. This effort will help ensure protection and preservation of Oregon’s bountiful natural spaces for present and future generations.

The campaign is a result of the collaborative work of the Oregon Outdoor Recreation Network, comprised of statewide, federal and private partners. 

“This incredible public/private partnership means we’re all in this together, working to welcome all visitors eager to embrace the outdoors, while ensuring the safety of both people and ecology, and nurturing a spirit of respect and goodwill,” said Travel Oregon CEO Todd Davidson. 

Access the toolkit to help share the Take Care Out There message through social channels, websites, newsletters and at your business. 

Check out this month’s First Monday Update to learn more about the importance and relevance of land acknowledgements.

Interim Vice Provost Anita Azarenko asked Dr. Spirit Brooks, Dr. David Lewis, Jane Waite and Luhui Whitebear to join her this month to increase our understanding of respectful ways to acknowledge the contributions Native Americans continue to have on our communities and the natural world around us. Land acknowledgements are one way to honor the indigenous peoples that have for millennia stewarded the land we occupy. Acknowledgements also are an invitation to learn more about Native American culture and a first step to create and strengthen connections with tribal nations and members.

Outdoor School Annual Reports

The 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 Outdoor School Annual Reports are available. Please take a moment to review them online, download them, or contact us if you'd like a printed copy.

Outdoor Stories Project

Storytelling is uniquely human. It helps us to make sense of our experiences, pass on knowledge, express big ideas, and connect to others and to our environment in meaningful ways.

That’s why Friends of Outdoor School is collecting stories—personal and powerful memories from people of all backgrounds and ages.

The Outdoor Stories Project shares the important ways that Outdoor School and other outdoor education experiences positively affect individuals and their communities.

These storytellers may have realized something new within themselves. Discovered a career path. Experienced wonder. Found a community where they truly belonged. Learned something mind-expanding. Realized they could learn, by learning in a different way than possible in their classroom.

Whether it’s about personal transformation, the chance to lead others, receiving safe refuge or a kind voice when needed most, learning about our unique Oregon heritage with their own two (muddy!) hands, or the timeless tradition of singing songs while bonding around the campfire, many Oregonians have important stories to tell about the outdoor educational experiences that changed their lives in positive and often substantial ways.

But don’t take our word for it. Spend some time here! Learn their stories. Hear their voices. Be changed, too!

Students look at trees

Ticket2Ride

Since 2016, this program has been supporting under-served students across the state by funding field trip transportation to State Parks. For many youth, these outdoor experiences aren’t accessible – due simply to the high cost of transportation. That's why this program is so important.

Students at outdoor school

Every Kid in a Park

Every Kid in a Park passes are available for 4th Grade Students. These passes are honored nationwide at all Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and US Fish & Wildlife Service sites. They admit the pass holder and any accompanying passengers in a private non-commercial vehicle, and at per-person fee areas, they admit the pass holder and up to 3 people who are 16 and older (for a maximum of four people). Anyone 15 and younger is free of charge.

Students smiling

Get Out There Together

The Oregon State University (OSU) Extension Service Outdoor School program, in Partnership with Oregon State Parks, is working with the Oregon State Parks Department to design our second year of the Get Out There Together program. When the program is launched, students who participated in outdoor school using Measure 99 funds will be able to apply for Oregon State Parks passes for use with their family.

Questions?

Please don't hesitate to contact us at outdoorschool@oregonstate.edu or 541-737-4391 if you have any questions about the Outdoor School Program!