Farms As Outdoor Classrooms
Farms are one of our region’s best classrooms. They connect students with real-world experiences and provide valuable context when learning about ecology, sustainability, and healthy eating.
Snoqualmie Valley schools are using local farms as an extension of the classroom to provide a broader learning experience for their students. During the 2015-2016 school year, Riverview Learning Center and Two Rivers School piloted a new on-the-ground educational program called ‘Farming the Future.’
High school students spent one Friday a month at a local farm, engaged in hands-on science learning that incorporated local ecology and sustainable agriculture, tying back to in-class lessons. Topics included sustainable farming, local ecology, healthy eating, and stewarding the natural world.
Farming the Future’ gave them a chance to connect to their community and heritage, and gain an understanding of sustainable farming and healthy eating. Using all of their senses—sight, smell, touch, taste, hearing—while learning keeps students interested and engaged and helps them achieve a deeper and longer lasting understanding.
Throughout the school year students experienced the changing seasons at the farm, from seed to harvest. Skills learned in the farm fields translated to developing their own school gardens, taking what they are learning and applying it back at school. Two Rivers students also learned how to make their own seed starter soil mix and now make their own for their school garden in North Bend.
After a successful first year, ‘Farming the Future’ will continue to bring students out each month during the 2016-17 schoolyear. For more information about the program contact ‘jennifer.mckeown (at) mtsgreenway.org’.
This program is a collaboration with Camp Korey, Oxbow Farm, Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, Snoqualmie Valley Community Network, and the Snoqualmie YMCA.