Land Labs

Empowering the next generation of environmental decision makers

 

Connecting Communities with Conservation

All students deserve the opportunity to develop relationships with the natural world. With our office seated in the heart of downtown Bremerton, it felt important to GPC that we initiate the Land Labs program in the city we call home. In this first year of operation, we’ll be hard at work building relationships, surveying community need, and tailoring our Land Labs programming to the fit the needs of local middle schools. Led by GPC team members, local environmental experts, and trained volunteers, Land Labs’ lessons will prepare students to enter outdoor spaces with confidence, to develop their tools of observation, make meaning of their home place, and to have lots of fun in the process—rain or shine! The future of our protected lands is a shared commitment. What better teacher than the land itself to empower, inform, and inspire the stewards of tomorrow!

What is a Land Lab?

Part ambassador landscape, part outdoor classroom, Land Labs are those GPC preserves that lend themselves best to public access. Hand-picked Land Lab sites showcase the best of Great Peninsula Conservancy’s work in conservation, stewardship, and community engagement. Land Labs represent a wide variety of conservation initiatives including conservation easements, in-lieu fee protected lands, donated preserves, as well as city and county parks in which GPC has played an assisting role.  As a starting point for interpretive walks, volunteer work parties, service-learning opportunities, and community science, GPC Land Labs have opportunities for a wide spectrum of audiences. In the context of youth education, we look forward to connecting science classrooms with Land Labs sites and providing Bremerton students with equitable and inclusive opportunities to develop impactful relationships with local ecosystems.

Land Labs Middle School Curriculum

Land Labs lessons engage students directly in big picture environmental concerns affecting their local communities. Hands-on science projects open students’ eyes to professional opportunities in the environmental science field while supporting the vision of the Washington State Environmental and Sustainability Literacy Plan and meeting the requirements of Washington State Science and Learning Standards (WSSLS). GPC’s curriculum library features tailored explorations of Puget Sound forests, shorelines, and salmon bearing streams in which experiential place-based learning not only supports cross-cutting engagement in STEM, but also provides students with the chance to explore their identities as land stewards, community scientists, and outdoor recreationists.

Youth Lessons:

  • Puget Sound Shoreline Preservation
  • Resilient Forest Restoration
  • Salmon Stream Stewardship

Land Labs Volunteer Opportunities:

  • Olympia oyster restoration
  • Wildlife monitoring
  • Community forest planning
  • Bioacoustic monitoring
  • Migrant bird monitoring
  • Invasive weed removal
  • Trail building

Get outside with Land Labs next fall!

Are you a middle school teacher in the Bremerton area with an interest in getting students outdoors? Let us know!

  • Get student boots on the ground with guided lessons that work toward Next Generation Science Standards!
  • Participate in real-world science monitoring, land management, and restoration!
  • Explore a GPC preserve near you!

Contact us at landlabs@greatpeninsula.org!