Annual Report 2018-2019
www.childrensforestco.org (541) 383-5592 A proud partner of the U.S. Forest Service
Inspiring lifelong connections to nature for all kids
Dear Friends and Supporters, This past year has been a powerful year of growth, reflection, and change for the Children's Forest. The Children's Forest has continued to offer our core programs and services to over 22,000 kids and families across Central Oregon, while also taking a deeper dive into our work around equity and inclusion. We know that many children and their families don't necessarily feel at home in the outdoors, and we see our work as listening to the community, asking ourselves hard questions, building new partnerships, and collaborating to find new ways that bring all the benefits of the outdoors to kids who might not otherwise have these experiences. We're inspired by the amazing work across our network of partners, who are thinking deeply about these issues and changing how they do things to better connect with youth of color, youth with disabilities, and other underrepresented groups. We also know that this is just the beginning of a long journey ahead to help create outdoor spaces where all feel welcome and connected to all of the gifts that nature provides. Sincerely, Rika Ayotte Board Chair
Katie Chipko Executive Director
Board of Directors Rika Ayotte (President) Sue Boettner Linda Bonotto Zavier Borja Kevin Cole (Treasurer) Hayley Etnier Tamarra Harris Lynnanne Hayes Anna Higgins
Gwen Jones (Secretary) Tory Kurtz Kinsey Martin Kolleen Miller (Past President) Kileen Mitchell Jill Nishball Robi Phinney (President-Elect) Lauren Williams
Our Partners Bend Forest School Bend-La Pine Schools Bend Park and Recreation District Camp Fire Central Oregon Camp Tamarack Central Oregon Pediatric Associates Central Oregon STEM Hub City of Redmond Deschutes National Forest Discover Your Forest Heart of Oregon Corps High Desert Education Service District High Desert Museum Latino Outdoors
Middle Deschutes Watershed Council Mosaic Medical Ochoco National Forest Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Redmond School District Redmond Area Park and Recreation District Sisters School District Sunriver Nature Center The Environmental Center Trout Unlimited Upper Deschutes Watershed Council Wildheart Nature School
Why A Collaborative?
Tackling issues like rising rates of childhood obesity, screen time, and declining environmental literacy is complex work that can't be done alone. We know that we will be much more successful in having an impact on these societal trends by working collaboratively. Together, we can leverage each other's strengths, address barriers more effectively, and work to create a movement in our community.
Childrenâ€™s Forest Impact Highlights
students learning outdoors, a 181% increase since 2011
student days in the field, across 16 partners
participants in free family nature programs, including Tiny Explorers, Discover Nature Days, and Discover Nature Festival
students attending field trips funded by the School Engagement Fund
students utilizing equipment from the Resource Co-op
youth of color and youth with disabilities participating in week-long outdoor programs
out-of-school program leaders who learned skills for bringing STEM and outdoor learning to their programs
invested in program development and expansion for underrepresented populations
26 partners reaching 22,203 participants
Focusing on Equity and Inclusion The Children’s Forest’s efforts around diversity, equity, and inclusion have included both program development for underrepresented populations and building capacity within our network to offer programs that are culturally relevant and inclusive of diverse populations. Highlights this year have included: Equity Trainings. The Children’s Forest hosted a full day training for 30 educators from 14 partner organizations about developing culturally relevant, responsible, and responsive outdoor programs. This training was one of many steps to ensure that programs are inclusive of all students, and content is relevant to their lives. Youth Engagement Projects. With support from the U.S. Forest Service, seven special projects were funded that connect underrepresented populations with the outdoors. Projects ranged from a Winter Wellness camp for Jefferson County Middle School students to a yearlong nature program for Head Start and early childhood special education students to watershed stewardship programs for Title I schools to a natural resources job training program for youth with disabilities. Bilingual Programming and Resources. The Children’s Forest is beginning to offer bilingual programming, including our Birds Without Borders event, translating outreach and program materials to Spanish, and providing support for ¡Vamos a Acampar!, a camping program with Oregon State Parks for Latino families.
Our Work Planting Seeds for Families The Children’s Forest has the goal to inspire families to make outdoor time a routine part of their lives. In addition to raising awareness in the community about all of the health benefits of spending time outdoors, the Children’s Forest offers a variety of free family programs that connect families to nature. Highlights this year have included: Tiny Explorers. This volunteer-run program for families with children, birth to age 3, reached over 900 participants this year. The program is offered at a different park each week and provides families with ideas for outdoor activities to do with their infants and toddlers. Kids On-the-Move. Through a partnership with OSU-Extension, the Children’s Forest provided eight weeks of summer programs for La Pine families with young children. Discover Nature Days. The Children’s Forest offered 23 free family programs this year, reaching 728 participants. Programs were diversified to focus on recreational activities in addition to nature education. Discover Nature Festival. Reaching over 1,800 participants, this fun all-day free event allows families to try new outdoor activities.
Kids in Parks! The Children’s Forest launched
a new program this spring, establishing 5 TRACK trails in Madras in Prineville that provide self-guided activities on local trails. Kids can earn prizes for logging their adventures online. This summer, the Children’s Forest is launching TRACK Rx at health care clinics, where pediatricians prescribe time outdoors, utilizing the program. This project is part of the national Kids in Parks program, which has 190 TRACK trails in 12 states.
Forging Trails for Teachers The Children’s Forest partners with teachers and schools to enhance learning through outdoor education, giving students a learning experience that textbooks can’t provide. Our focus is on promoting access to outdoor learning for students that might not otherwise have these opportunities. The Children’s Forest provides resources that address barriers to outdoor learning, like funding for transportation costs and teacher professional development, and also expands programs for underserved schools and communities. Highlights this year have included: NatureHoods Education Program. Providing a nature-based learning experience right in the schoolyard, this free 4-week program reached 758 Kindergarten to 2nd grade students. 73% of students reached were from underserved schools.
“Thank you for teaching me about nature. You have made me love it more. I play outside more than I ever have.” -Nature Hoods Program Participant, Buff Elementary
Our Rivers, Our Forests. Our partner, Discover Your Forest, expanded its yearlong nature-based preschool program to Early Childhood Special Education classes, in addition to Head Start classes and other rural preschools. Afterschool Clubs. A s part of a large grant from the Environmental Protection Agency for Oregon spotted frog stewardship, the High Desert Museum piloted a Wildlife Biology afterschool club for middle school students as a new model for engaging this age group in complex environmental issues. Students in Jefferson County participated in similar programs with the Middle Deschutes Watershed Council.
"I really like having class outside. Something about the fresh, crisp air makes me feel better. It clears my head." -Field trip participant, Marshall High School
Financials Revenue Forest Service
Grants School District, ESD, Other Partner Funds Donations, Sponsorships, Events Total revenue = $267,557
Programs Services for Schools Marketing, Fundraising, Administrative Total expense = $255,003
Major Funders U.S. Forest Service Bend-La Pine Schools Central Oregon Health Council Environmental Protection Agency High Desert Education Service District Redmond School District Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) Oregon Bottle Drop Fund (OCF) Mt. Bachelor, Inc. Crook County School District Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation Juan Young Trust
Anonymous Gray Family Foundation Central Oregon Latino Partnership Program (OCF) Autzen Foundation Sisters School District 10 Barrel Brewing Company Miller Lumber Bonotto Family Science Education Fund (OCF) Bruce Abernethy Paul Andrews PacificSource Visionary Homes