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dc.contributor.authorHill, Emily A.
dc.date.accessioned2021-02-15T18:23:43Z
dc.date.available2021-02-15T18:23:43Z
dc.date.issued2008-07
dc.identifier.urihttp://digital.library.wisc.edu/1793/81232
dc.description.abstractWithin the field of Environmental Education (EE), the development of Environmental Sensitivity (ES) can be thought of as a developed empathy for the outdoor environment. Past research consistently suggests that the development of ES is vital to the development of environmental interest and action. Sivek (2002) indicates two key factors in the development of ES: time spent outdoors over an extended period of time, and role models. Caduto (1983) asserts that experiential learning is an effective approach in achieving environmental values, including ES. This effectiveness multiplies with greater time spent outdoors as a family, and over an extended period of time. Confidence in initiating outdoor activities - with parents as role models - comes with the knowledge and resources available through an initial source. In April 2006, the Boston School Forest (BSF) in Plover, Wisconsin surveyed parents, teachers and principals from the Stevens Point Area Public Schools. Many parents expressed a desire to attend family oriented programs similar to those their children routinely experience at the BSF. In order to counter effects of nature- deficit disorder (Louv, 2008), the Leave No Family Inside (LNFI) project hopes to help create a healthier community by guiding parents and children in outdoor activities. The LNFI project includes the piloting and study through evaluation of a series of new family-oriented place-based educational programs at the BSF throughout 2007-2008. The project’s programs are free and open to the community. Grants awarded by the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board, the Community Foundation of Portage County, and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Student Research Fund provide the funds for additional resources given to LNFI program families (and Midwest EE Conference 2007 participants). These grants also provide the salary for the BSF staff that led the LNFI programs. LNFI programs are free to participating families. Out of 91 family groups attending, 82 groups participated in the assessment process; 26 groups completed all three assessments. Initial results strongly support past research indicating role models and time spent outdoors as influential variables in the development of ES (Sivek, 2002). Data supports the creation and implementation of the programs as beneficial and in demand for families within the community (in part due to the programs’ accessibility and convenience, geographically and economically). Materials used during and taken home by adult participants following the LNFI programs are found to be more useful than not useful. BSF staff serve as positive role models for parents during the LNFI programs, and the programs have a positive influence on the adult participants’ interest in initiating similar activities with their family. Adult participants’ confidence levels in initiating similar activities and self-reported levels of raised ES following the LNFI program participation are both positively affected by the LNFI programs. In effect, the LNFI program adult participants become role models for their children’s development of ES; the level of environmentally sensitive and environmentally literate citizens is impacted through family programs such as the LNFI programs. In Summer 2008, a LNFI Guidebook was compiled, containing LNFI program descriptions, materials used during the preparation of each LNFI program (including materials already present at the BSF), media coverage of the LNFI programs, LNFI program evaluation templates and initial evaluation results, and an overall resource bibliography. This Guidebook may be evaluated by other Wisconsin School Forests, and is available for use in outdoor family program development (see attached CD-ROM). LNFI program themes include sustainability education and environmentally based lowimpact activities. Individual LNFI programs include Leave No Trace Family Camp; Questing and Geocaching; Cross-Country Ski Tour; an expansion of the current Family Snowshoe Adventure; and Earth Day Celebration. Following each of the LNFI programs, families take informational resources and additional equipment with them that will enable them to independently pursue time outdoors as a family. As part of the first four of five LNFI programs, participant family groups were asked to complete a consent form and three written questionnaires. Those adults that chose to complete a pre and post-assessment written questionnaire on site during the day of their LNFI program were asked to complete a second post-assessment written questionnaire two weeks following their LNFI program (this second post-assessment was provided for them in a self-addressed and stamped envelope at the LNFI program). The three assessments focused on measures of ES: time spent outdoors as a family group; the adults’ confidence initiating similar outdoor activities with their family group; and continued interest in the LNFI program activities. The second post-assessment evaluated the additional resources and equipment given to the family group, as well. Each assessment also measured the family groups’ satisfaction with past and present BSF programs.en_US
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.publisherUniversity of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resourcesen_US
dc.titleLeave No Family Inside: Impact of Boston School Forest Family Programs on Variables of Environmental Sensitivityen_US
dc.typeThesisen_US


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