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Stream + Wetlands supports outdoor education program at UA

03/15/2021

Students experiencing outdoor education opportunities at the Field Station.

Students experiencing outdoor education opportunities at the Field Station.

Outdoor learning and access to nature provides positive benefits for people of all ages. Most of these programs are provided by nature centers, outdoor-science schools, parks and zoos. However, the COVID-19 pandemic is threatening the survival of programs that provide outdoor environmental and science education as well.

The Board of Trustees of the Stream + Wetlands Foundation (S+W) has made a three-year commitment to support the environmental education program at the University of Akron Field Station (UAFS) at Bath Nature Preserve. Established in 1998, the mission of UAFS is to serve the needs of the people of Northeast Ohio through research, education and service that promotes a better understanding of our relationship with the natural environment.

“For the last five years, we have had the pleasure of hosting more than 4,000 students from Northeast Ohio on field trips to the Field Station, as well as conducting classroom visits for an additional 4,500 students so that they can learn about nature, biomimicry, wetlands and conservation,” says Field Station Manager Dr. Lara Roketenetz. ”This generous and sustained support from S+W will allow us to continue to offer these important environmental education experiences to our local schools at no charge.”

Students experiencing outdoor education opportunities at the Field Station.

“We are pleased to help support the work of Dr. Roketenetz and the UAFS at Bath Nature Preserve,” says S+W President Vince Messerly. “Outdoor learning experiences, particularly ones that promote the importance of wetlands, engage students and encourage positive attitudes about our environment.”

S+W’s contribution will help the University of Akron Foundation develop an outdoor learning center at the Bath Nature Preserve and provide continuing support for environmental education programs for urban and rural K-12 students in the region.

Students experiencing outdoor education opportunities at the Field Station.

Students experiencing outdoor education opportunities at the Field Station.

“This (gift) removes a very real financial hardship and burden for many of our partner school districts, which might otherwise prevent their learners from having access to quality nature-based experiential learning,” Roketenetz continues. “We are very grateful for the S+W donation and can’t wait to continue our important work!”

Situated on the 411-acre Bath Nature Preserve, the UAFS is located between Cleveland Akron/Canton. The facility is among the largest terrestrial ecology field stations in Ohio.

Students experiencing outdoor education opportunities at the Field Station.

Media contact: Cristine Boyd, 330-972-6476 or cboyd@uakron.edu