Environmental Education is Growing at the Farm Park

An Update from Americorps Alpine Achiever, Hannah Wallace

Environmental Education at the Rio Grande Farm Park has continued full-steam-ahead with the start of the school year! Within the last few months, we hosted a 6-week homeschool program where students throughout the valley came to the Farm Park to learn about regeneration, soil health, collect seeds, witness local wildlife, and much more. Students also had the opportunity to be some of the first to explore our new nature play area.

In addition to the homeschool programing, we have also been taking environmental education to the Boys and Girls Club of the San Luis Valley on a weekly basis. These programs range from learning about medicinal plants to playing a game called “We’re All Fungi”; which combines the fun of chase with learning about the importance of microbes in our soil. 

Ortega Middle School Agriculture students check out a beehive at the Park

The cold weather has finally arrived, but it hasn’t slowed us down! We recently hosted a tour for the Agriculture class at Ortega Middle School where they learned about regenerative and sustainable agriculture practices. The students enjoyed seeing the beehives and taking turns on the zipline. The middle school students also recently spent a few afternoons designing their own sustainable farms. One particular farm idea is a rooftop farm named “Tomato Potato” (the students are looking for potential investors for those interested!) 

Currently, the Rio Grande Farm Park staff is in the process of developing field trips and programming for educators in the Valley and beyond to teach about a plethora of environmental education topics. 

As the environmental educator, I have encountered students who have heard the words “climate change” and “global warming,” but have not been told what this might mean for them, or how they can work to stop it. Our goal at the Farm Park is to continue to educate with a solutions-based approach, and give hope for our future. The youth are our future, so it’s our job to equip them as best we can!

If you’re looking to get involved, the Farm Park is searching for docents and summer interns to help see our environmental education vision though.