Education is at the Heart of Environmentally Responsible Development
Environmental education is a growing experience. The Belize Audubon Society plants seeds of knowledge in schools, communities, and visitor centers across the nation. We provide quality environmental programs and services such as Nature Schools, teacher workshops, awareness campaigns, environment camps, school and community presentations, publications, and special events to nurture growing minds. These opportunities develop into the values, skills, attitudes, and commitment needed to address environment and development issues. We hope to inspire a sense of respect and responsibility for the natural environment among all Belizeans.
Education is at the heart of environmentally responsible development. At the Belize Audubon Society, we believe that environmental problems can only be effectively solved if there is a clear understanding of the environment and its processes. The Society currently works with all audiences, including children and adults, as we believe that while it is important to shape the mind set of our future generations, the current adult population should also be a key target of environmental education as they are impacting the environment now.
Educating Buffer Communities Bordering Protected Areas
It is Belize Audubon Society’s strategy to encourage the involvement of local communities in the management of our protected areas. In our efforts to build capacity among community members, enabling them to actively participate in protected areas management, the Society has facilitated the training of residents of buffer communities. The Society offers training in basic skills such as literacy, leadership, advocacy education for sustainability and planning as well as training in sustainable resource management and business planning. Communities participate in environmental awareness and sensitization in basic principles of conservation and are educated to the many benefits accrued from Belize’s protected areas system network. This heightened awareness of the environment is meant to build a sense of stewardship among buffer community members for the protected areas. The skill building workshops are aimed at decreasing dependencies on the resources within the boundaries of the protected areas, decreasing the impacts of illegal incursions and exploitation of resources.
School Education Outreach
Learning about nature is fun!Belize Audubon Society’s Education for Sustainability Program contains hands-on activities that are used to develop critical thinking skills and to challenge students to find solutions to environmental problems. BAS educational kits on different environmental topics help teachers fulfill their curriculum goals while bringing fun and enjoyment to learning about the natural world.
The enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff in the environmental education program are available to give presentations on environmental topics at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Over the past 30 plus years, hundreds of school children from around the country have been reached through classroom presentations and now have a greater awareness of the Belizean environment. Power point presentations with environmental themes as well as hands-on activities are used to challenge students to think critically and to find solutions to environmental problems. Presentations on Belize’s protected areas are most popular. The Society places its resources and technical expertise at the disposal of primary, secondary, and tertiary school educators and continues to work towards the increased environmental consciousness of our young people.
Visiting Our Nature School
There is so much to learn and enjoy at our protected areas. It is the aim of the Society to continue to use our protected areas as centers of environmental education where young people can enjoy the wonders of nature. For many years teachers around the country have been using our protected area as nature schools. The carefully designed Nature School program provides students with hands-on experiences with nature, teaches environmental stewardship skills, foster problem solving and critical thinking skills and it also supports the national curriculum standards. These guided tours are led by BAS’ field educators, who are excellent at interpreting the natural environment for students and teachers.
Choose from one of five sites, Half Moon Caye Natural Monument, Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park, Guanacaste National Park and Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary for a field trip. Each site offers a unique ecosystem type, ideal for outdoor learning and exploration. Whether you want your students to learn about the protected areas system, medicinal plants, coral reefs, birds, wetlands, caves or watersheds BAS’ protected areas will inspire and encourage a love of nature in students.
To ensure that the experience is rewarding, BAS assists organizers in coordinating their field trips. Trip organizers are asked to call in at least two weeks in advance to ensure proper planning and availability of field educators. Organizers are also asked to send in their list of objectives and questions for their educational field trip so that the field educators can incorporate them into their presentation. Each year, our field educators welcome hundreds of students through the gates of our protected areas. The Belize Audubon Society welcomes all groups of students.
The protected areas co-managed by us are some of the most frequently visited parks in the country. However, there is still a significant number of Belizeans who are not familiar with the Protected Areas of Belize. Thus, BAS has taken the summer time to engage its members and the general public, families and children that would not have received this opportunity. Every summer a variety of day camps designed for children, families and teens are carried out. Popular camps include Nature Photography, Exploring Half Moon Caye and Blue Hole Natural Monuments, Jungle and Cave camp at St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park and Prowling with the Jaguar camp at Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. All of our summer camps are nature themed and fosters environmental stewardship. Lookout for the list of summer activities on Facebook or here on our website in the month of June.
To schedule classroom presentations, booth displays or a Nature School field trip please contact us.Make a Donation