“Advancing innovation in collaborative conservation for the stewardship of our national system of parks and special places."
Best Practices for 21st Century Relevancy
Engaging an increasingly diverse population is critical to the future of our national system of parks and special places. The Institute, the Northeast Region Office of Interpretation and Education and the University of Vermont together are sponsoring research through a doctoral fellowship project to identify best practices for engaging new diverse audiences.
Park for Every Classroom (PEC)
Park for Every Classroom (PEC) was created in 2011 to encourage education partnerships and community engagement. The purpose of PEC is to build collaborations among National Park Service staff, local community and educational partners, and teachers to engage students in place-based learning that promotes stewardship of parks and communities.
This program is a partnership between the National Park Service’s Northeast Regional Office, Interpretation and Education, Shelburne Farms, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller NHP and NPS Conservation Study Institute.
Currently there are eight PEC pilot teams in the Northeast: Fort McHenry NM & HS, Gateway NRA, Weir Farm NHS, Valley Forge NHP, Salem Maritime NHS, New England NST, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller NHP, and Morristown NHP. The parks developed case studies to reflect on their experience in the program and provide insight for people interested in applying this strategic model to their own parks.
Link to the full report.
Engaging Community & Youth
The Institute and its parnters developed Beyond Outreach Handbook: A Guide to Designing Effective Programs to Engage Diverse Communities(pdf 798kb). This handbook represents an important new tool to assist National Park Service (NPS)
managers and practitioners and their partners in developing programs that successfully connect diverse communities with
their local national parks. It guides practitioners through an assessment that identifies gaps in readiness and informs the development of an effective engagement strategy.
The Institute, working with the Northeast Region Office of Interpretation and Education,
and partners completed a web-based civic engagement manual, Stronger Together: A
manual on the Principles and Practices of Civic Engagement (pdf 1.0MB)
The Institute is also developing evaluation programs to support engaging young adults in sustainability and conservation related careers. See the related narrative and PowerPoint presentation for details of evaluation research to Support National Park Service 21st Century Relevancy Initiatives.
Evaluating & Replicating Place-based Education Programs
In partnership with Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller NHP, Green Mountain National Forest, Shelburne Farms and Northeast Office of National Wildlife Federation, the Institute participates in a place-based education evaluation collaborative to evaluate and support replication of programs such as:
A Forest for Every Classroom
The Benefits of Place-based Education: A Report from the Place-based Education Evaluation Collaborative
(2nd Edition) pdf 748 kb
"...place-based education fosters students' connection to place and creates vibrant partnerships between schools and communities. It boosts student achievement and improves environmental, social, and economic vitality."
Conservation Study Institute
National Park Service
54 Elm Street
Woodstock, VT 05091