167

Nancy Galdi

Nanuet Outdoor Education Center Director

ngaldi@nanuetsd.org

The OEC is part of the Nanuet School District that provides opportunities in outdoor learning for students K-12.  The outdoor education is a means of curriculum extension and enrichment through outdoor experiences.  It accommodates a wide variety of programs for the personal, social, and educational development of students.

This year I started creating the school garden as an outdoor learning environment offering a rich context for exploring science, nutrition, social studies, math, art, language arts plus more.  It is a true outdoor classroom where students learn valuable lessons and explore units such as seed germination, plant parts, life cycles/metamorphosis, the water cycle, habitat, temperature, weather/climate, and environmental science.

In the school garden, we follow the path of sustainability.  We support organic gardening methods and conservation of resources through various sustainability practices.

Another outdoor learning program centers on the Environmental Sciences Research Pond where the Nanuet High School Environmental Classes spend time at the pond using scientific skills to identify and analyze environmental issues.

The Environmental Sciences classes also participate in the Audubon Great American Bird Count program at the OEC. This program helps measure the quality of the bird’s habitat.

We look forward to the future development of the OEC classroom kitchen program in conjunction with the school garden to further provide students with a comprehensive food-based education.  Once crops are harvested from the garden, students can prepare fresh meals (farm-to-table), explore kitchen science, and learn about the history and science of food.  They can explore diverse food cultures and traditional methods of preparing and preserving foods.   Students learn that the way we grow, harvest and consume food has a huge impact on us nutritionally, in our community and future of our planet.

As we continue to move through the 21st century, a great challenge of our time is to create ecologically sustainable communities in which we can meet our needs without compromising the chances of future generations to meet their own needs.