Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Illinois
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Workshops and Field Trips for Teachers
Nature Bulletin No. 534-A   Septmeber 7, 1974
Forest Preserve District of Cook County
George W. Dunne, President
Roland F. Eisenbeis, Supt. of Conservation

The Forest Preserve District, as a part of the educational program conducted by its Department of Conservation, again is offering a series of three-day workshops and another of one-day field trips, during this school year, for teachers in the schools of Chicago and suburban Cook County.

Only a few decades ago, most Illinois people resided on farms or in small towns. They lived close to the soil. From childhood they had been so familiar with the out-of-doors that special schooling in ecology, plant life, wildlife and land management seemed superfluous.

Since those days, urban areas have grown enormously while rural populations have dwindled to a small fraction of the total. These urban dwellers are just as dependent upon the land and its natural resources as is the farmer or the small town businessman. Environmental education and an understanding of the vital needs for wise use of our natural resources have become increasingly necessary as integral parts of the educational processes at all levels.

The Forest Preserve District, in cooperation with the public and parochial school systems of Chicago and Cook County, has developed a broad program of outdoor education. An essential part is devoted to encouraging schools to make more and better use of the 64,000 acres of preserves. Such use is growing from teacher participation in field trips and demonstrations offered by a training program which has three phases -- summer courses for college credit, three and five day workshops, and one-day field trips .

As announced in the "box" at the foot of this bulletin, the Forest Preserve District is offering three 3-day and two 5-day workshops at Camp Sagawau this autumn. These are conducted through the cooperation of the Superintendent of Chicago Public Schools and the Cook County Superintendent of Schools.

Reservations for one-day field trips by groups of teachers, during this autumn or next spring, may be made now by arrangement with our office. Such trips have proven an effective way to give large numbers of teachers a brief introduction to the out-of-doors and the many ways in which the Forest Preserve District's natural areas can be utilized for classroom instruction. In the suburban public schools and the parochial schools the dates are usually chosen on days set aside as "institute' or "in-service training days. .

On a typical day, two or more naturalists spend the day with the teachers in the field. Their objective is a well-rounded approach to the natural history, an opportunity to collect teaching materials, and suggestions for field trips and classroom projects. School aquariums and terrariums, geology, trees, shrubs, wildflowers, insects, aquatic life, waterfowl and other wildlife are seen and discussed on leisurely walks and a visit to one of our nature centers. At noon, all eat paper- bag lunches .

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