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Outdoor School in the News

Multnomah County Education Service District

Outdoor School another casualty of COVID-19

One of the countless casualties of the coronavirus pandemic has been Outdoor School, but the Multnomah Education Service District is creating and distributing Outdoor School kits for students to use as a substitute for the much-loved tradition.

The MESD is handing out 7,500 nature science kits to students across the county who would have gone to Outdoor School this year as an alternative for the cherished nature experience. Read more here.

Leilani Sabzalian (Alutiq) (left) and Spirit Brooks

New resource infuses Indigenous studies concepts into outdoor education

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Shortly after the end of the inaugural workshop to incorporate Indigenous studies into Oregon outdoor education, a Portland-area educator approached the presenters.

Her school district held an annual fourth-grade overnight trip that centered on the Oregon Trail was rooted in the white settler experience.

“The curriculum was presented as if nobody lived in Oregon prior to white people,” said Spirit Brooks, research, evaluation, and assessment coordinator with Oregon State University Extension Outdoor School. Read more here.

Kitty Boryer, Outdoor School Student Services Specialist

6th Graders To Receive 7,500 Science Kits from Outdoor School

Multnomah County 6th grade students will receive 7,500 science kits from Outdoor School this December. 

Since students cannot attend an ODS site this year, ODS will be going to students thanks to ODS staff who determined what would be needed to provide rich ODS-style learning opportunities for students despite schools operating in comprehensive distance learning mode.

Jeff Dallas, Program Specialist, set about ordering and coordinating supplies, assembly and delivery of the kits. Read more here.

Gilchrist State Forest. Submitted photo/ Oregon Department of Forestry

Oregon forest and ocean conservation, businesses suffer during pandemic

State legislators heard a parade of woes ranging from ruined businesses to crippled conservation education programs to the likelihood of devastating wildfires, all during a fast-paced hearing on Thursday.

The House Interim Committee on Natural Resources held a teleconference that included spoken or written testimony from nearly 30 people on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. They were representatives of state agencies, businesses, unions and advocacy groups involved with Oregon’s forests, oceans, rivers and other natural places. Read more here.

Gilchrist State Forest. Submitted photo/ Oregon Department of Forestry

Photo by Lynn Ketchum, Oregon State University.

Website offers lessons for Oregon students who missed out on Outdoor School this year

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The sudden end to in-person learning in Oregon's K-12 schools canceled many Outdoor School opportunities.

Nearly 38,000 students took part in Outdoor School in 2018-19, and organizers expected 43,300 students this year – until the spread of COVID-19 led Gov. Kate Brown to issue a statewide order to close schools. Read more here.

Photo by Lynn Ketchum, Oregon State University.


Photo by Lynn Ketchum, Oregon State University.

OSU Extension Outdoor School provides resources for families during stay-at-home order

CORVALLIS – The statewide Oregon State University Extension Service Outdoor School program is offering resources to engage children in learning about nature while adhering to Oregon’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” order.

Extension Outdoor School added a webpage – “Educational Resources for Stay Home, Save Lives” — to its website where parents, guardians and teachers can find links to resources to support outdoor learning experiences while schools are out of session. Read more here.

Photo by Lynn Ketchum, Oregon State University.


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