El Paso, Texas
Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) Learning Landscapes Collaborative has been designated a valued partner as a Conservation Wrangler by Texan by Nature for the creation of native habitats as learning centers as part of a multi-school district initiative in South Texas.
The LRGV Learning Landscapes Collaborative attempts to promote the stewardship and cultural pride of the natural resources of the LRGV to local youth and members of the community. As such, the LRGV Learning Landscapes Collaborative will engage students, teachers, administrators and parents throughout school districts of the LRGV to instill respect and a deep appreciation about the multiple benefits of the local ecosystems and encourage the preservation of this valuable resource through the creation of learning Landscapes and the pursuit of National Wildlife Federation Certified Schoolyard Habitats® Districts. The LRGV Learning Landscapes project is made possible by the collaboration of entities dedicated to promoting environmental stewardship in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, these members include Friends of the Wildlife Corridor, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District, Quinta Mazatlán, and South Texas National Wildlife Refuge Complex (USFWS).
“The next best thing to bringing children to nature is bringing nature to children,” said Allen Williams, landscape habitat specialist for the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District. “Schoolyard native habitats or learning landscapes reflect the unique culture and history of the people, the schools, and the communities they serve.”
“Scientific research tells us that children and adults must reconnect with nature for mental and physical well-being,” said Tina Buford, Texan by Nature’s board president. “This collaborative provides a framework for students to learn about native habitats and ecosystems as well as improve their academic skills through hands-on inquiries into the natural world.”
In an effort to gradually instill a dose of nature and promote stewardship throughout the school districts of the LRGV, the LRGV Learning Landscapes Collaborative commits to:
LRGV Learning Landscapes Collaborative has hosted the initial 3 teacher workshops (one more to come), hosted 4 groundbreaking or kick-offs (one more district on Feb 8th, 2018), and will implement the pilot of the curriculum that was developed by 4 school districts this spring.
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