Reviving the connection between children and nature through service-learning restoration partnerships

Cramer JR. 2008

Engaging students in environmental restoration through service-learning partnerships is an effective tool for restoring native ecosystems while simultaneously rebuilding relationships between children and nature and inspiring future stewards of the land. Place-based education provides a framework for connecting students to the land. Stewardship-based service-learning provides a productive means by which to accomplish both education and restoration goals. The Restoration and Reintroducion Education Partnership at the Institute for Applied Ecology is a stewardship-based service-learning program that pairs local schools with natural areas. Students grow threatened and endangered plant species for reintroduction. By including students in the restoration process, we can create a landscape network of highly functioning native ecosystems and give students the skills and relationships necessary to continue to protect ecosystems in the future. Each of us in the field of native plants has a role in cultivating stewardship, a sense of place, a connection with nature, and hope. 

Pedagogical Area
  • place-based education, environment as integrating context (EIC)
  • service learning