Show Support: Outdoor Learning in New Mexico (Senate Memorial 1)

What does this mean to Nature Niños New Mexico?

Miss Sarah (Sarah Candelaria) with Nature Niños has be working diligently with the amazing team of EENM fellows to help create the workings of Every Kid, Every Day, Every Way: A multi-year shared vision and strategy to provide daily equitable access to the outdoors and environmental learning for all New Mexico kids. 

EENM and Wild Friends have taken the framework of Every Kid, Every Day, Every Way to write the Senate Memorial 1 for the support of outdoor classrooms.

From our friends at EENM:

Today, I'm sharing a quick update on Senate Memorial 1 (SM1) which has been introduced into the New Mexico 2021 Legislative Session by Senator Siah Correa Hemphill. SM1 is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Rules Committee next Wednesday, February 3rd. Calls and emails in support of Senate Memorial 1 and outdoor classrooms are appreciated and phone numbers and email addresses are available by clicking on individuals listed here: Senate Rules Committee.

Attached is a copy of fact sheet compiled by Wild Friends

How does Senate Memorial 1, Requesting the Establishment of a Task Force to Promote the Use of Outdoor Classrooms in New Mexico Schools, support the current statewide efforts for outdoor classrooms and outdoor learning?

Over the last three years, Environmental Education of New Mexico (EENM) has brought together over 200 individuals representing over 90 groups and 17 EENM Fellows to create Every Kid, Every Day, Every Way: A multi-year shared vision and strategy to provide daily equitable access to the outdoors and environmental learning for all New Mexico kids. This shared vision and strategy, the first of its kind in the country, provides a framework for systemic change to support equitable daily access to the outdoors and environmental learning in New Mexico. Supporting Every Kid in the Land of Enchantment with Every Day access to outdoor and environmental learning in Every Way will lead to stronger, healthier people and communities.

EENM will be supporting a host of opportunities in 2021 to launch Every Kid, Every Day, Every Way beginning in February 2021. The recommendations are grouped into four categories: Policy, Professional Development and Communities of Practice, Aligned Programs and Shared Resources, and Funding and Sustainability.

One of the Policy recommendations is the following: "Incorporate accessible outdoor spaces to facilitate hands-on, standards-aligned learning in school as well as schoolyard design and improvement projects." Senate Memorial 1 is in direct response to this recommendation and EENM has been working with Wild Friends on developing this memorial so that implementation of Every Kid, Every Day, Every Way begins immediately. Senate Memorial 1 will allow for increased coordination among agencies and the network of outdoor and environmental educators that EENM supports to allow for more outdoor classrooms and learning spaces to be developed and enhanced.

Please stay tuned for more information on how you can support Senate Memorial 1! Individual educators, teachers, community members, and decision makers working together with organizations, businesses, and government agencies have an opportunity to play a role in the implementation of Every Kid, Every Day, Every Way and we look forward to working with all of you to increase opportunities for supporting kids with outdoor classrooms and more outdoor learning.


How can I support outdoor classrooms and outdoor learning in New Mexico today during the 2020-2021 school year?

When we support kids in daily experiences outdoors through in-school and out-of-school opportunities in their communities and beyond, kids are healthier and gain the knowledge, skills, and ongoing curiosity to innovate social and environmental problems. This has never been more evident than during the COVID-19 global pandemic. There are a variety of resources and support for outdoor learning available to families, parents/guardians, teachers, and school administrators to use today at outdoorlearningnm.org.

In fall 2020, Environmental Education of New Mexico (EENM) worked with our incredible Leadership Team, Exploring Equitable Education Outdoors Fellows, and broader outdoor and environmental education community to draft New Mexico's Outdoor Learning Guidance in support of New Mexico's School Reentry Guidance for the 2020-2021 school year. This Outdoor Learning Guidance, released by the New Mexico Public Education Department in October 2020 was one of the first released in the country!

To support the Outdoor Learning Guidance, we launched www.outdoorlearningnm.org  in September to provide a centralized warehouse of resources and support for school administrators, teachers, parents/guardians, families, students, and decision makers. This resource has a variety of curated resources to support "Parents & Families" and "Teachers & Administrators" across the Land of Enchantment with implementing outdoor learning at home, in communities, and at school during and after COVID-19, including links to community-based individuals, organizations, agencies, and schools.

Here's how you can take action today to support outdoor learning in New Mexico during COVID-19 and beyond:

1. We want to share the incredible outdoor learning opportunities already in existence in local communities across the Land of Enchantment. If you are supporting outdoor learning in New Mexico, please take a few moments to fill out this google form: https://forms.gle/KixdUhahoKkeMRCp9 . Please share this google form with other community-based organizations supporting outdoor learning. This is all included in outdoorlearningnm.org.


2. Share www.outdoorlearningnm.org! Teachers, please send along this resource to parents and families. Email the Outdoor Learning Guidance and outdoorlearningm.org to school administrators as there are resources and support available to start outdoor learning at home, in communities, and at school today! Please share if this is something that your social media followers might be interested in.


3. Check out one of the webinars on www.outdoorlearningnm.org.The Introduction to Outdoor Learning at Home, in Communities, and at Schools webinar series was designed for parents/guardians, teachers, school staff, and community members in exploring outdoor learning at home, in community, and at school and gaining access to resources and support across the state of New Mexico. The webinars include Social and Emotional Learning in the Outdoors, Standards-aligned Outdoor Learning, and Cultural Responsiveness in Outdoor Learning. Share these with colleagues!