NoVA Outside promotes outdoor learning with two fall events

NoVA Outside is an alliance of environmental educators that promotes outdoor learning. This fall the group is hosting two events: a happy hour and resource fair on September 16 to connect educators of school-age children to resources for outdoor learning and an early childhood conference on October 1 that will inspire educators of young children and give them the tools to develop a robust outdoor program. Update 9/28/16: The October 1 conference has been postponed until March. Details forthcoming.

The School-Age Green Educators (SAGE) Happy Hour and Resource Fair will be an opportunity for educators of all subjects – not just science teachers! – to learn about fun, hands-on ways to teach in and out of the classroom from local environmental organizations that specialize in field trips, at-school programs and professional development.

If you’ve not yet made it to one of the NoVA Outside School Environmental Action Showcase (SEAS) events or always wanted to have more focused conversations with the organizers or with some of the SEAS exhibitors, the September 16 Happy Hour and Resource Fair will be a great chance to talk with experts in the field of outdoor learning.

NoVA Outside School Environmental Action Showcase water filtration

NoVA Outside School Environmental Action Showcase measuring tree

NoVA Outside School Environmental Action Showcase ANS

Meet representatives from several different organizations and from NoVA Outside and walk away with solid connections and inspiration for outdoor learning. Unwind with your colleagues and get some great ideas for making this year active and engaging for your students.

Pre-registration is free is required to get a free drink coupon. The event takes place 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, September 16 at Whitlow’s on Wilson, 2854 Wilson Boulevard near the Clarendon Metro on the Orange and Silver lines.

Share the Facebook event with your colleagues and friends and be sure to register via Eventbrite.

Organizations that want educators to know what they have to offer are invited to exhibit. Those interested in having an exhibit table can contact Sarah Gamble at sarahg (at) easternridgeschool (dot) org.

SAGE is a new committee of NoVA Outside. New members and volunteers are welcome.

NoVa Outside networking event

A few weeks after the resource fair, the NoVA Outside Early Childhood Committee is putting on a half-day conference for early childhood educators. Getting Kids Outdoors in Nature: Making It Happen: Training for early childhood educators runs 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 1. The keynote speaker is outdoor education specialist Amy Beam.

Update 9/28/16: The October 1 conference has been postponed until March. Details forthcoming.


The event description says: “Wondering how you can offer more nature play and exploration to your students? Learn from directors, teachers and naturalists ways to make it happen in your program. Share your successes and struggles.”

NoVA Outside has presented a number of other events including conferences, workshops and trainings. Click here for a recap of the 2014 “Arts in Nature” conference and here for a recap of the 2016 SEAS event.

NoVA Outside Arts in Nature conference 2014

Breakout sessions for the October 1 Early Childhood Education conference include the following:

  • Amy Beam: Fun activities, games, songs and techniques to awaken and deepen children’s innate love of nature and learning
  • Early Childhood program Directors Susan Parker, Margaret Moran and Debbie Brown: Trials and triumphs of adding experiences in nature to their programs
  • Naturalist Educator Sarah Glassco: Exploring nature in non-wild places
  • Capital Naturalist Alonso Abugattas: Making the most of kids’ encounters with small creatures, safety and handling tips
  • Takoma Park Cooperative Preschool Director Lesley Romanoff: Building trust in the outdoors for all children and their families

Registration opens at 8:30 with the keynote starting at 9:00. There are two breakout sessions, 10:00-11:00 and 11:15-12:15, followed by a box lunch, which is included in the $65 registration fee. Educators are advised to bring their own water bottle to refill as needed. Registration and more details are available via Eventbrite.

The event will happen rain or shine, so come dressed for the weather! It’s is sure to inspire educators and parents to use the outdoors to its fullest in the education and play of young children.

Help spread the word by sharing the Facebook event and be sure to register via Eventbrite.


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Jessica Claire Haney is the founder, publisher and editor of Mindful Healthy Life. She is a writer, editor, emerging novelist, and the founder of the Arlington/Alexandria chapter of Holistic Moms Network. Her personal blog is Crunchy-Chewy Mama and her writer’s site is See the Contributors page and Jessica’s Mindful Healthy Life Q&A for more on Jessica.


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