The goal of the Foundation’s Ticket 2 Ride program is to enable K-8 students in Title I schools to use the Oregon’s State Parks for experiential learning – as a sort of outdoor science lab. One of the greatest barriers preventing access to our State Parks is the cost and funding for transportation. At no charge, Oregon State Parks are able to support and enhance learning for hundreds of students each year. They have accessible locations and dedicated staff available to offer inspirational & effective learning experiences. The schools simply need to be able to get the students to the Parks.
In the Portland Metro area, we work with another non-profit, Ecology in the Classrooms and Outdoors, to support the experiential in-park lessons with in-classroom lessons.
Once in the State Parks, a world of learning begins as young people discover their natural, cultural and historical heritage, participate in volunteer and service-learning activities and enjoy recreational opportunities.
Why introduce children to the great outdoors?
Explore, play, and learn about nature…For the health of our economy and our nation’s public lands, it’s critical that we work to establish deep, meaningful connections between young people – from every background and every community – and America’s great outdoors. Exploring the outdoors is a great opportunity to actively engage children in learning.
Physical and psychological well being…The health and wellness of current and future generations, the health of our communities and society, and the economy of the future are all dependent on people experiencing a personal, direct and ongoing relationship with the natural world.
Children are spending less time than ever before in the great outdoors. Television, video games, homework, computers, the internet, busy families and strained budgets all conspire to reduce our children’s exposure to nature. Sedentary activities are, of course, linked with the rise in childhood obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years.
Increasing evidence demonstrates the many benefits of nature on children’s psychological and physical well-being, including reduced stress, greater physical health, more creativity and improved concentration.
Stewardship… This “Nature Deficit Disorder” also means that children aren’t learning to become good stewards of the land and resources. Getting kids out into the environment inspires them to protect it, because if they don’t know what they’re protecting, why would they bother?
Capturing kids’ fascination with the outdoors will help them be fit, creative, adventurous and strive to help protect the environment
Future Scientists, Engineers and Teachers…Creative exploration and hands on participation in nature during childhood can set kids on a trajectory to a lifelong fascination with, and participation in, numerous areas of biological, chemical, physical and earth sciences.
Capture their fascination while they are young! The Foundation’s Ticket 2 Ride program is intended to inspire thousands of young Oregonians to play, learn, serve and work outdoors. We want to give children – from a range of ages, backgrounds and communities – the space and freedom to explore, learn and discover nature.
Why Oregon State Parks?
With 255 State Parks in our world class State Park system, we have beaches, rivers, mountains, canyons, forests, waterfalls, volcanoes, and fields all available as outdoors science labs!
Our State Parks are natural classrooms bursting with opportunity for students to capture their fascination with science, if we can just get them outdoors!
Getting students outside stimulates imagination, creativity and investigation, and enables them to connect with nature, experience the seasons and see how the Parks change over time.
Many of our State Parks also offer great history lessons (opportunities to learn about Lumber, Agriculture, the Oregon Trail, the Civilian Conservation Corps, etc.)
Oregon State Parks are able to support and enhance learning for hundreds of students each year. They have accessible and inspiring locations, experienced dedicated staff and offer inspirational & effective learning experiences.
The Park staff is ready, willing and able to provide lessons…the students just need to be able to get to them!
To learn about which parks are near you and have rangers ready to assist, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org