Young paddlers in the NRWA River Classroom

Environmental Education: Connecting People to Nature

We believe that people protect what they love. Connecting people with nature and helping them to understand local environmental issues leads to better decision-making and greater engagement in preserving our natural landscape. Education studies have found this to be true. That makes environmental education and outreach programs a key strategy to forwarding our mission to protect water and land. The NRWA offers education programs and workshops for all ages—from pre-school through adult—as well as professional seminars and training for teachers, foresters, and municipal officials.

Marion Stoddart addresses a youth group during an environmental education programChildren and young adults learn best by active participation. Our environmental education programs encourage all youth to become “citizen scientists” through observation, development of hypotheses, data collection, analysis, and sharing of information. It’s also important to give children free time to explore and interact with the river and the local landscape, allowing them the opportunity to connect with nature in a way that will last their lifetimes. Memorable experiences are created by this mix of hands-on science and free exploration.

We deliver our programs in schoolyards and classrooms, on conservation properties and at local streams or parks. Our award-winning, canoe-based River Classroom® combines scientific research and data collection with a day of outdoor paddling adventure. Schools can also participate our award-winning Scientist-in-Residence, a multi-visit program that assists teachers with curriculum development that meets the requirements of Massachusetts and New Hampshire standards for science and technology at a variety of grade levels. We tailor programs to the needs of homeschoolers, scouts and other youth groups, as well as those looking for Service Learning opportunities.

Our professional educator/naturalists are the trusted guides for children as they explore the natural world during our Eco-Adventures, including our afterschool programs, and summer and school vacation week programs. Throughout the year, the NRWA takes the whole family outdoors for our family workshops on animal tracking, maple sugaring, and nocturnal wildlife.

Students appreciate NRWA’s environmental education programsOur programs for adults feature presentations by leaders in wildlife biology, forest management, land use planning, and notable authors; environmental film screenings; guided walks; and workshops on a wide range of topics, from building bluebird boxes to best pasture and barn management practices for horse owners.

We invite you to explore all of our education program options, encourage your school or groups to participate in one of our programs, and join us for one of our upcoming presentations.

If you would like to schedule a program, or would like more information about any of our education programs, please contact Stacey Chilcoat, NRWA River Classroom Director, at (978) 448-0299, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..