$30 Million Outdoor Learning Center in California: Environmental Education for All

In a previous post, I discussed the great importance of educating our children about the environment and environmental ethics. A new facility in Southern California will help many with this process when it opens its doors on July 28th. The Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center is a $30 million outdoor learning center which was funded by local businesses and private donors and has taken twelve years to create. The center is an ideal facility for the type of environmental education that gives hands-on experience with the natural world. The facility looks to combine intellectual knowledge with experience to leave a lasting memory of awe, respect, and understanding for the natural world.

This 21-acre site includes an aquatic center, a nature center, a 2-acre rope COPE course, and three themed camps – an Astronomy camp, Ranching camp and Mining camp.

The Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center, a non-profit organization owned by the Orange County Council Boy Scouts of America, is not only championing environmental education for the rich, though. It is especially geared towards providing an affordable place for schools and youth organizations. Thus, it effectively combines environmental goals with equity goals, a key of sustainability in practice.

Programs offered by the center meet California State Education Standards and make field trips possible for administrators and youth groups without a wallet full of money. As the organization states, “(the center) was developed to provide local youth the opportunity to learn about the Southern California natural environment through first-hand wilderness experiences above, at and below ground level and to teach environmental awareness, conservation and leadership along with science, history and local cultures.” It looks like a full-service, well-rounded, environmental education facility that meets the needs of future generations and today.

For more information on the Outdoor Education Center, visit it’s website here.

Image credit: angela7dreams via flickr under a Creative Commons license

  • http://www.yahoo.com Bobby B.

    The fact that this center “was funded by local businesses and private donors” is a good thing. Who says that all education has to flow from the central authority?

  • JH

    Am glad to hear that the Boy Scouts of America is taking on this project. Just wish they would change their policies about atheists and homosexuality.