Environmentally literate students understand environmental and physical processes and systems, including human systems. They are able to weigh various sides of environmental issues to make responsible decisions as individuals and as members of their community and citizens of the world. [They are] students that possess the knowledge, intellectual skills, attitudes, experiences and motivation to make and act upon responsible environmental decisions as individuals and as members of their community. – The Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature
When you come visit us at Fox Haven, we hope to provide you the on site tools to help you teach youth and young adults about natural systems, their importance to human kind and – ironically how our heavy footprint impacts the living system on which we depend. We want to engage young minds in learning how to reverse destructive trends and solve environmental problems.
Fox Haven offers many opportunities for educators to expand both adult and child literacy of the environment, the issues and the economic and social importance of environmental stewardship. We offer ways to help educators teach how human communities and natural ecosystems are interconnected and interdependent. Our partners and on-site team offer classes, lectures and hands-on workshops to clarify food security, the connection between pesticide use and ecosystem, soil and human health, the practice of mindfulness and more. We employ visual art, story writing and story telling, poetry and letters to help people process what they learn. Participants are encouraged to explore ways to use what they learn in the classroom, boardroom, seats of government, in family routine and in their communities.
Students dig into rich soil, smell, harvest and taste plants in the garden workshops, observe pollinators in the midst of their habitat, track wild animals and observe insects on the land and in the streams, and take “listening walks” where we hear bird calls, animal whistles, and the hum of insects. Learning about the history of the honeybee, tree identification and appreciation, and studying the history of the mighty American chestnut tree and the science behind its decline and return in our orchard are soulful experiences that build upon the human-nature relationship. Studying the riparian buffers and restoration areas of the farm and participating in service learning increase understanding of watershed stewardship. Nutrition and cooking experiences that use seasonal foods from our gardens and wild foods from the land provide another way for students of all ages to learn about the networks, nested systems, cycles and flows of nature. Understanding the effects of various foods on the body’s ability to function in healthy ways improves self-confidence and raises awareness of and engagement with local food systems.
We ask that you take a look at all of our options to see what interests you. We can develop an activity on the farm that will help you demonstrate the concepts to the children. Ask us to help you develop a program for your class. It is our mission and our pleasure to do so.
Welcome to Fox Haven!
School and youth groups may bring a garden plot of their own to life while directly applying the Maryland and National Education Standards related to environmental and agricultural literacy, as well as the STEM standards (Science Technology Engineering Math). Vegetable gardens, sensory gardens, medicinal gardens, pollinator plots and streams and forests all provide the ideal settings/laboratories for working towards environmental and agricultural literacy. Many of our current lessons are linked directly to these standards for ease of use by teachers.