Outdoors & Engaged: How Outdoor Education Programs Connect Youth to Nature

A photo of students participating in an outdoor education event sponsored by Friends of the Columbia Gorge
Outdoors & Engaged Nov 10 Webinar

Date and Time:

Wednesday, November 10, 2021, 9:00pm

Registration Deadline:

Wednesday, November 10, 2021, 5:00pm

The benefits for outdoor education for children on all ages have been clearly documented. Place-based, outdoor education can be a critical part of connecting children and communities to the natural world, and protected forests, parks, trails, and waterways in places like the Columbia Gorge provide an incredible natural classroom. Yet, despite the proximity to numerous natural wonders in the Pacific Northwest, children’s access to nature can vary widely by community and the ability for schools to get kids outside can differ sharply from school to school. 

Join us on Wednesday, November 10, at 6 p.m. (Pacific) for a special virtual discussion exploring the opportunities and challenges in education outdoors featuring insights and lessons learned from leading local outdoor educators. Organized in partnership with CultureSeed, Friends of Tyron Creek, and Gorge Ecology Outdoors, the webinar will be hosted and moderated by Friends of the Columbia Gorge. Featured speakers will include:

  • Adrienne Acosta, Board Member, Gorge Ecology Outdoors 
  • Asnoldo Benitez, Outdoor Program Director & Young Men’s Peer Circle Guide, CultureSeed
  • Jenni Bergemann, ELL Educator, Chenowith Elementary School, North Wasco County School District & Summer Outdoor School Teacher, Gorge Ecology Outdoors
  • Jonathan Hayden, Education Program Manager, Friends of Tryon Creek
  • Burt Edwards (Moderator), Communications Director, Friends of the Columbia Gorge 

The panel discussion will be followed by a moderated Q&A session. 

Watch a video archive of the discussion:


More on Our Webinar Partners


CultureSeed provides transformative outdoor programming with a prevention and behavioral health focus, an emergency relief fund for the families of the youth we serve, and meaningful alternatives to incarceration. Learn More: cultureseed.org

Friends of Tyron Creek

Friends of Tryon Creek, working in partnership with Oregon State Parks, seeks to inspire every community to identify, cultivate or reclaim their relationship with nature in this cherished urban forest. Learn More: tryonfriends.org

Gorge Ecology Outdoors

The Columbia Gorge Ecology Institute works to nurture every child's sense of belonging and connection to the earth through outdoor experiences and education. Learn More: gorgeecology.org


Friends of the Columbia Gorge is a nonprofit organization with more than 6,500 members dedicated to protecting and enhancing the scenic, natural, cultural, and recreational resources of the Columbia Gorge. Friends maintains offices in Portland and Hood River, OR, and Washougal, WA. Learn more at gorgefriends.org.



Contact Name:

Burt Edwards

Contact Email:



Virtual, OR 97204
United States