Outdoor Education: A Community Forum in Old Lyme on November 29

The Old Lyme forum will explore ways to engage young people in the outdoors. Photo copyright Connecticut Audubon Society.

An expert panel of environmental educators, activists and outdoors advocates will join Connecticut Audubon Society for a community forum to discuss ways to improve outdoor education for children, on the evening of November 29, in Old Lyme.

The forum is co-sponsored by the Old Lyme Land Trust, the Lyme Land Conservation Trust and Connecticut Audubon Society. It originally was scheduled for October 30 but was postponed because of the storm.

The forum is set for 7-9 p.m. at the First Congregational Church, 2 Ferry Street, Old Lyme.

It is free and the public is encouraged to attend and participate in the discussion.

The goal of the forum is to engage the community in an in-depth discussion of the issues raised in our Connecticut State of the Birds 2012 report, Where Is the Next Generation of Conservationists Coming From? The report concluded that because children today do not spend enough time outdoors, they will not have the education, experience and connection with nature to become committed conservationists as adults.

This will be the fifth community forum we’ve organized on the topic this year. The discussion will be moderated by Milan Bull, Connecticut Audubon Society’s senior director of science and conservation. Michelle Eckman, Connecticut Audubon’s director of education, will discuss what our organization is doing to address the issue. Other panelists are:

  • John Sargent, and artist and retired teacher who is active in the New London Environmental Educators Coalition.
  • Emily Gerber Bjornberg, who started the Lyme Land Trust’s Trekkers youth group.
  • Arthur Lerner, executive director of F.R.E.S.H in New London. F.R.E.S.H. stands for Food: Resource, Education, Security, Health.
  • Heather Fried, science teacher and adviser to the Environmental Club at Lyme-Old Lyme High
  • Ian Hamilton, outdoor educator at the 2 Coyotes Wilderness School and the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center
  • Isabel Ritrovato, junior at Lyme-Old Lyme High

Our four spring community forums successfully brought together well over 100 people to discuss the issue and propose solutions. You can read our final report on the spring forums by clicking here.

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