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Astoria inspires the next generation of conservationists

“The most important element in fostering a sense of place is to teach ourselves, or let ourselves be taught, to see with fresh eyes the place where we find ourselves…It is a great and worthy effort, and few objectives could be more conducive to the common good.” – Wilfred M. McClay

Place-based education is pivotal for cultivating future conservationists, aligning perfectly with Astoria Park Conservancy’s mission. Our pilot education partnership, Camp Astoria, launched this summer; it exemplifies how place-based education encompasses a community’s ecological, cultural and economic dimensions. Collaborative efforts empower students to grasp local conservation concepts through hands-on experiences and citizen science.

Place-based education’s foundation rests on six principles: community as a classroom, local-global connections, inquiry-based learning, design thinking, learner-centered approaches, and interdisciplinary education. We facilitate learning grounded in our unique geothermal surroundings at Astoria Park. Together with our partners, we are fostering tomorrow’s conservationists through education and community service, instilling a sense of responsibility for protection of our civic common spaces.

Astoria Park Conservancy’s educational programs depend on donor support to meet our bold goal to ensure that 50% of participants connect their educational experience to community health. Our potential for broad community impact is evident at Astoria, and we are grateful for the continued philanthropic support that allows us to enhance visitor’s experiences at the hot springs and park.