In July 2014, a passionate and committed group of community leaders, deeply concerned about the legacy of Oregon’s investment in outdoor education and stewardship of our natural resources, joined together to found the Oregon Outdoor Education Coalition (OOEC).
Core support came from former Metro Councilor Rex Burkholder, the Gray Family Foundation, Friends of Outdoor School, the Metropolitan Group and Multnomah Education Service District Outdoor School, among many partners. Since then, the organization has expanded into a bipartisan statewide movement led by educators, businesspeople, and tribal and community leaders as a fiscal partner of Friends of Outdoor School, a 501(c)(3) organization formed in 2003 to preserve the Outdoor School experience for every child in the Portland Metro area.
What We Do
The goal of the OOEC is to secure and expand outdoor education for every Oregon student, from kindergarten through college, by integrating hands-on, place-based programs into our school systems.
Outdoor education not only serves as a tool to enhance understanding and build skills in the sciences with hands-on experiences, but also provides a vital investment in the future of our state by empowering our youth to be effective stewards of natural resources and leaders in their communities.
While other organizations are targeted towards offering specific programs or advocating for the interests of program providers, the OOEC is unique in its role as a supporter of all Oregonians who care about the value and accessibility of outdoor education.
How do we make our dreams for comprehensive outdoor education come true?
OOEC realizes our vision and accomplishes our mission through:
- Grassroots organizing and action
- Engaging, educating and training a broad range of stakeholders
- Creating and communicating compelling messages about the benefits of outdoor education for youth and for Oregon
- Influencing public policy
- Conducting and analyzing research.