“e” inc.’s Environmental Science and Action Program Uses the Allandale Urban Wild to Teach Forest Eco-systems to City Kids
“Exploration in the City” is a unique summer field project specially crafted for city kids who rarely have an opportunity to experience and explore the natural world around them. Based in the Jamaica Plain/ West Roxbury Allandale Urban Wild, the largest forest in the city, the program brings in kids from summer day camps from all Boston neighborhoods for activities designed to expand their understanding of the forest and natural eco-systems. The program was created by “e” inc., the environmental learning and action center based in Boston.
Currently, nine urban summer day camp programs are participating in this “e” inc. program that emphasizes the importance of exploring and preserving the green spaces of our city.
“Exploration in the City” also provides an active learning experience that is fun for children who attend. As part of the curriculum, children help conserve the forest by creating visitor guides and by adding plantings to a special conservation area within the Allandale Urban Wild.
“e” inc. is partnered with the Springhouse Elderly Assisted Living Center, which generously donated an indoor classroom space for the children to use for games and arts activities. During their visit, campers create “impressions” of the forest using arts media and journals. On their walks the children are engaged in games, investigations, and activities that help them understand the workings of the ecosystems they are seeing. Whether they are encountering toads, fish, or frogs in or near the pond or seeing birds and dragonflies in the woodland areas the children begin to gain both knowledge and new experiences during their day in the woods.
“Our goal is that the youngsters not only understand science but gain a ‘greater curiosity and a change of heart’ about the importance of protecting natural spaces in the city,” said Dr. Ricky Stern, “e” inc.’s Executive Director.
Each year, “e” inc. brings in-depth science programs to approximately 800 children and youth in Greater Boston. This June, “e” inc. received the Promising Practices Award from Academy for Educational Development, an international NGO based in Washington D.C., that is focused on innovative academic curriculum for children and youth.
About “e” inc.
“e” inc. is an environmental education and action center and currently brings in-residence programs to afterschool programs located in the Boston neighborhoods of Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan, Brighton, and the South End. Through “e” inc.’s environmental science investigations and its concurrent action curriculum, all of its students have implemented ongoing projects in their schools and neighborhoods that address such diverse issues as global warming, rain forest protection, and ocean bio-diversity.
Contact: Dr. Ricky Stern