Date of this Version
The Morris Arboretum, a 92-acre historic public garden and educational institution, seeks to enhance people’s awareness of their interdependence with plants. To support this mission, the Arboretum formed a partnership with the USDA Forest Service and developed the framework for More Kids in the Woods (MKIW) – a two-year pilot and grant-funded program intended to serve underrepresented youth in the Philadelphia region. As Education Intern, I have had the privilege to help support the first stages of the grant. In this report, I summarize the challenges, programming, and goals of MKIW. Additionally, I briefly reference the developmental stages of children’s relationship to nature – as well as discuss the theory of “nature” – to provide context and acknowledge the unequal access to nature across cultures and socio-economic classes. The intended audience is anyone interested in fostering an environmental consciousness in youth and/or implementing a federal grant to achieve this purpose. It is my hope that certain initiatives will become established through the implementation of MKIW, such as an annual outdoor career symposium for high school students. Through the cumulative efforts of all department heads and financial supporters, the Morris Arboretum can begin to pave the way for educational programming that is socially, culturally, and economically inclusive.
Date Posted: 09 September 2019