Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Science


Center for the Advancement of Education


Elementary Education, Environmental, Education, Community Cooperation, Community Involvement, Community Support, Curriculum Development, Financial Support, Nature Center, Nature Trail, Outdoor Education, Science Teaching Centers, volunteers, Weland Preserve


A program introduced by the author was developed and implemented to provide the school and community with An Outdoor Environmental Education Center and supportive curriculum. This program was implemented to satisfy a recommendation in the Pinellas County Elementary Schools Educational Specifications manual which called for such a center in the construction of new schools. There was also a request from the faculty to enhance the environmentally rich campus of the school with this education center for the use of school and community. The program involved construction of an eight station nature trail and the design and development of curriculum enrichment materials for teachers to use with students on the trail. The nature trail project was the culmination of faculty, staff, parents, and community collaboration. A target group of fifth graders was chosen to pilot the program. The result of the project were gratifying. Students enjoyed the added dimension provided by the nature trail and the target group showed a positive attitude and increased knowledge of the curriculum when surveyed and tested. The parents and staff contacted at the conclusion of the program commented favorably on the project and pledged support for additional funding and expansion of the nature trail the following school year. Appendices include community involvement requests, student positive attitude survey and results, a nature center curriculum quiz and item analysis, school newsletter support information, and a Learning Center Learning Activities Map.

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