Photo Credit: JONATHAN HOUSE  - Outdoor School students at Camp Howard prepare to go to their next activity. The newly formed Oregon Outdoor Education Coalition is holding regional gatherings around the state to build support for statewide access to Outdoor School.

Outdoor School is a popular program run by Multnomah County Educational Service District, open to sixth-graders from throughout the area. They attend camps during the school year with their teachers and classmates, learning about Oregon’s flora and fauna, geology and other lessons. High school students serve as student leaders.

In recent years school districts have cut back on their participation due to financial shortfalls, prompting organizers to seek new funding. Next year, advocates hope to take their case to the Oregon Legislature in search of taking the program statewide.

The Portland-area regional gathering takes place Wednesday, Jan. 21, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Metro Council Chambers, 600 N.E. Grand Ave. Anyone from around Oregon can participate via teleconferencing.

The Oregon Forest Resources Institute has donated funds to support the regional meetings.

Other gatherings scheduled:

• Medford: Saturday, Jan. 10, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Jackson County Community Justice

• Newport: Saturday, Jan. 17, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., city library

• Eugene: Saturday, Jan. 24, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (location to be determined)

Discussions have already occurred in Bend and La Grande.

For more information:

For past Sustainable Life coverage of Outdoor School:

Steve Law can be reached at 503-546-5139 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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