July 2015 - The Intertwine Alliance Portland-Vancouver Regional Eco-Blitz Series is a multi-partner effort to establish ongoing species-identification events throughout the region, and to make the data collected easily accessible through iNaturalist. The series aims to raise awareness of biodiversity; generate appreciation of natural resources; establish a shared effort among science professionals, educators and the general public; and create a shared database of regional species and natural resources. The first event is set for Saturday, September 26, at Vancouver Lake.
Conservation Education Council Updates
June 2015 - For a second summer, community members are invited to participate in OakQuest, an effort to map Oregon’s imperiled white oak trees.
The Intertwine Alliance Oak Mapping Work Group, a partnership of Portland metropolitan area parks and natural resource agencies, non-governmental organizations and others, is working to develop better maps showing the distribution of Oregon white oak across the region.
"Oregon white oaks are at about 7 percent of their historical population in the Willamette Valley, and that number is even lower in the Portland metropolitan area,” says Metro Natural Resource Scientist Lori Hennings. "We want to map where those oaks are to help identify opportunities for increasing connectivity of oak habitat, which provides refuge and home for the western gray squirrel, white breasted nuthatch and many other species.
"Additionally," Hennings says, "the cultural heritage and significance for Native American tribes from our region of the Oregon white oak is great, and we want to be able to preserve and honor that heritage with them." Read Hennings'Outside Voice blog post for more.
Volunteers are needed to help create a ground-truthed map with the OakQuest project, launching in mid-July and running through August. Trainings will begin soon, and anyone may participate, though youth under age 18 are invited with a supervising parent or guardian.
Take a short survey and sign up for more details about the project here.
June 2015 --The Intertwine Alliance held its third Health and Nature Forum on June 11. With about 65 people in attendance, we rolled up our sleeves and dug into the possibility of creating collaborative projects. There was enormous enthusiasm and interest, with many new voices joining the rich conversations.
Because this work could encompass so many efforts, we spent the bulk of our time in break-out sessions looking at potential projects in the areas of workplace wellness, the transformation of school properties, the medical-environmental connection, bike and pedestrian-related projects, and directly connecting with nature through hiking, restoration and education.
We examined activities currently taking place in our region and whether they might be expandable. Discussion also took into consideration barriers to these efforts, especially equity-related issues.
At the fall forum, we will take this discussion to the next level, beginning to flesh out a plan for implementation of a specific project or projects.
March 17, 2014 | Portland, OR -- The Oregon Conservation Education Coalition's organizing committee will meet on April 16th at the downtown Portland office of the Oregon Community Foundation.
The meeting will focus on identifying a sustainable funding source to support environmental literacy throughout the state of Oregon. Please contact Kim Silva at the Outdoor School to learn more.
March 10, 2014 | Portland, OR -- The Portland Children's Museum has announced that the official open of its innovative Outdoor Adventure area will be Earth Day, April 22nd.
Staff say that transforming the 1.3 acres of previously unused space on the museum's grounds into an ADA-accessible natural play area will be a wonderful introduction to nature play for the thousands of children that annually visit the museum.
Among the features of the nature play area will be a monumental natural material sculpture from internationally renowned artist Patrick Dougherty.
Visit the museum website for more information.
Join us at the Oregon Zoo, Cascade Crest from 9 AM - 2:30 PM for this year's Education Summit. The Intertwine Alliance is a dynamic and highly visible parks and conservation movement, making the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan region an even better place by encouraging conservation education and stewardship.
This year, the Intertwine Conservation Education Leadership Council is bringing conservation, sustainability and environmental educators and service providers together to share ideas and shape successful partnerships to strengthen our collective community efforts.
Look for registration info coming soon.
This year's Conservation Education Summit sponsored by these organizations:
Questions? Email the Consevation Education Council.
As captured by volunteer Dara Snyder.
The last Office Hours were hosted by the City of Vancouver's Water Resources Education Center onJanuary, 25th, 2013.
An opportunity to examine and exchange ideas regarding the most pressing issues arising from efforts individual education providers are undertaking. Topics covered include:
- a program’s overall evaluation strategy,
- data interpretation methods and
- program evaluation and refinement.
This is a productive space for dialogue and to have the provider community’s work examined by experts who act as coaches as well as teachers, as well as by conservation education peers in the field. An engaging roundtable, the ‘Evaluators’ Office Hours’ event accepts up to 12 participants, by prior arrangement. A dozen has proved over the past 5 meetings to be an optimal number of participants to balance participation and learning from the experience and perspectives of others. This event serves to re-ignite the provider community’s enthusiasm for their program delivery and inspire confidence and direction in all the work unfolding in the field.
The relevant topics and related concepts that were discussed include:
- Learn to demonstrate measurable differences as a result of program implementation/participation.
- Review and compare different measurement tools (such as Likert scales, proficiency scales and rubrics); engage in hands-on reviews of your own instrument (optional) as well as those of other roundtable participants.
- Refine and align your instruments to measure and extract the most relevant and compelling information. Engage in discussion around how to capture changes for participants that occur, even at a very subtle level. Examine sample questions and determine how to fine-tune them to be more aligned with program goals and needs.
- Review relevant concepts such as: pilot testing, pre and post- tests, triangulation, control groups, sampling methods, quantitative and qualitative methods, identifying evaluators, and the application of evaluation models such as Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels and Bennett’s Hierarchy of Program Effectiveness.
- Explore different ways of measuring and reflecting change, be they qualitative or quantitative (color coding; adjusting instruments to demonstrate change more clearly), as well as how to demonstrate the most subtle shifts that have occurred as a result of program implementation.
- Examine the strengths and weaknesses of your instrument.
Program Evaluation & Refinement
- Learn how to engage with current challenges in order to support program objectives and goals.
- Learn how to better align program implementation with meeting internal goals as well as goals of funders and other stakeholders.
- Network and tune in to the resources that you can tap into- those that the facilitators are aware of as well as the ideas of others at the table! Explore possibilities of strategically linking your work to established programs in order to access additional resources and streamline your efforts.
Next Evaluators’ Office Hours will take place in May, 2013. Interested in supporting this event? Location sponsors are needed that can host an evening meeting on a Friday afternoon. Please email the Conservation Education Council here to express your availability.
The Place Subcommittee is primarily engaged in the work of defining “Lifelong Connectedness to Nature” and identifying methods for measuring trends in regional LCTN in a manner that will be useful to the network of conservation education providers. The subcommittee has identified three primary constructs: Engagement, Identity and Taking Action and is proposing to hold a series of focus groups with providers to determine what information would be the most useful and meaningful to measure.
Jan 14 - 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Metro Regional Center room 501
March 11- 1:30 to 3:30pm Metro Regional Cener room 501
The Outreach and Engagement committee is working to strengthen the network of traditional and non-traditional conservation education providers, identifying tools that would allow providers to share resources and best practices, and supporting direct communication from the Conservation Education council to the network of providers. The committee is welcoming new members to help define and implement projects that range from the short-term such as monthly meet and greet discussion groups to long-term events such as an annual summit.
Jan 23- 4pm to 6pm, Metro Regional Center room 270
Mar 27- 4pm to 6pm, Metro Regional Center room 270
The Funding Committee's work has been to build and strengthen relationships between conservation education providers and funders. In support of that goal, the committee has been engaging new committee members, building a case statement for conservation education, and beginning to reach out to the funding community to learn more about their programs and how conservation education can help funders meet their goals.