Dora Ann Hatch | 9/21/2016 6:41:10 PM
Take away the electronics and take your child to an outdoor classroom. The classroom can be the park, your backyard or on a nearby farm that offers agritourism activities.
So what is an outdoor classroom? The outdoor classroom is a place where students of all ages explore and play in an uncontrolled outdoor environment. The classroom does not have walls, air-conditioning or lighting and depends on Mother Nature for activities.
How do you create an outdoor classroom? First, get access to an outdoor location like a park, a backyard, a playground or a nearby farm. The classroom should have the basics: trees, grass, water, plants, open spaces and a shelter from the sun.
The outdoor classroom is a great idea for agritourism operators to incorporate into their existing enterprise. Agritourism operators can use outdoor lessons to explain their connection to their farming operation. The LSU AgCenter has online materials available to help develop your lesson plans on topics such as: horticulture, forestry, school gardening/nutrition, wildlife, etc. Any of the ideas below could be used at an agritourism venue or your own backyard to share nature with your children.
More ideas on how to set up an outdoor classroom are available online in a publication entitled, “Developing an Outdoor Classroom,” authored by the University of Tennessee. The LSU AgCenter also has a master gardener and master naturalist program with lots of volunteers who can serve as resources.
To learn more about how you can include an outdoor classroom in your agritourism venue and have the protection of the agritourim limited liability law contact: Dora Ann Hatch at (318) 927-9654 x 229 or e-mail her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.