To advocate for all 6 million public school students to have equal access to quality outdoor education.
A California where ALL students have access to the Golden State’s unique natural treasures through outdoor learning as part of their educational experience, making them happier, healthier, and better prepared to succeed.
HOW WE STARTED
A private family foundation has provided The Escondido Creek Conservancy (Conservancy) with funding to organize a campaign for statewide outdoor education (CalSOL) so that all California school children can experience outdoor learning at every grade level, and that such opportunities are an integral part of California public education. In 2020, the Conservancy launched the first year of what will be an ongoing campaign to achieve this goal.
This is an equity issue. Currently, receiving the benefits of outdoor education is a bit like winning the lottery. If you live in an area that has prioritized these programs, you may be lucky, but rarely will all children receive equal access to programming. Additionally, as programs are funded year-by-year through grants and short-term gifts, funding for outdoor education programs is unpredictable. Dedicated outdoor education funding at the state level would mean programs align with state and national education standards and all public-school children receive the benefits.
The first year of CalSOL will focus on identifying and organizing stakeholders around a central funding strategy and building an advocacy coalition that will be deployed in Sacramento and across the state. The Conservancy is also currently working with the California Legislature to secure more immediate-term funding that would provide the opportunity to implement pilot programs around the state to set the stage for statewide funding. Stakeholders are already stepping up to assist. Please help us make outdoor learning for all California public schools a reality by supporting CalSOL, joining our mailing list, and signing our pledge of support.