Outdoor education continues in The Parklands Virtual Classroom! Education staff at The Parklands have created fun and engaging videos and worksheets that students can watch and complete from the safety of their own homes. Curriculum encourages participants to explore outside, whether that be in the backyard, a neighborhood park or on a trip to The Parklands, which remains open to visitors.
“Spring is usually a busy time for outdoor learning in The Parklands with multiple school field trips occurring daily,” said Director of Education Curtis Carman. “We hope The Parklands Virtual Classroom can be used as a temporary gateway to exploring the natural world until we are able to host in-person programming again.”
The Parklands hosts more than 120 field trips every year. This includes more than 8,000 participants from Title I schools and underserved areas, which qualify for participation in the SEED program. The Virtual Classroom allows teachers to continue their plan of engaging and educating students using the great outdoors.
“The Parklands have been a valuable resource to our teachers in this time of uncertainty and constant change,” said Christina Baumer, Environmental Magnet Coordinator at Portland Elementary. “The staff quickly provided us with materials to be used to enhance NTI instruction, making the content we push to students more relevant and engaging.”
At Smyrna Elementary, Reading Resource Teacher Josephine Rosa said teachers are incorporating The Parklands Virtual Classroom into lesson planning to help cover science standards and provide additional enrichment assignments for students.
In addition to serving educators, the Virtual Classroom houses videos of recurring programs, such as Wednesday Wonders, a weekly interactive program designed to spark the curiosity of young children. Typically hosted in-person, each week, participants explore a new science wonder with a story, craft, hike or related science experiment.
Education Coordinator Erin Kinnetz took the program online in late March, engaging new audiences, as well as past participants like Kriston Glasnović and her son.
“We had a blast exploring a nearby wooded area and lake and discovered many hidden treasures in the snags (new word for us!),” Glasnović posted after completing the latest activity. “We are long-time attendees and are so relieved that [Erin] has been doing them virtually.”
The Parklands Virtual Classroom launched in early April. Resources are free and available for parents, teachers and individuals of all ages at www.theparklands.org/classroom. For more information, contact Anna Rosales-Crone at 502-815-0267 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Parklands of Floyds Fork
The Parklands of Floyds Fork is a nearly 4,000-acre visitor-supported public park system in Louisville, Kentucky, stretching from Shelbyville Road to Bardstown Road. Four major parks—Beckley Creek, Pope Lick, Turkey Run and Broad Run parks—are linked by a world-class urban trail system and a remarkable water trail tracing Floyds Fork, a classic Kentucky stream. The Parklands offers something for everyone, whether you are looking for a quiet place to discover nature, a dynamic learning experience through the Outdoor Classroom, a cruise on a scenic park drive, or a stream to paddle. The Parklands does not receive tax dollars for annual upkeep or operations. Ongoing maintenance and operations are funded solely through private donations and an endowment fund. Community members may contribute to the annual fund by becoming a Parklands Member. Learn more and donate at www.theparklands.org/member.