Supporting Students in Nature-based Learning Conference

Spend an active and educational day discovering new ways to inspire your students with nature!

Join the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and The Wild Center to discover how you can use nearby nature to engage your students in fun, hands-on learning experiences. During this one-day conference, you’ll have the opportunity to hear from educators at the organizations who help make the Adirondacks a great place to teach and learn! You’ll select from a variety of sessions, both indoors and outdoors, that will give you lesson plans, great ideas, and practical information that will boost your ability to use nature as a great tool for multidisciplinary learning.

During this engaging experience you will:

  • Select between several workshop sessions offered in the morning and in the afternoon, so you can craft your day according to what you want to learn.
  • Have a chance to visit with staff from local organizations who are focused on helping students and families connect to nature.
  • Enjoy morning snacks and a healthy lunch while networking with other educators.
  • Have a chance to win valuable and fun prizes from the partner organizations.

Who should attend?

This experience is appropriate for almost any kind of educator within the Adirondacks and surrounding communities. We particularly think that this experience will benefit preK-12 teachers, school librarians and STEM specialists, environmental educators, and youth development professionals. Do you teach at a school, run a summer camp, lead a club or scout troop? Join us!

Conference Logistics

  • Conference Date: Saturday May 20, 2023
  • Time: 8:00am-4:00pm (and plan to stay until 5:00pm to enjoy the Museum!)
  • Location: The Wild Center, 45 Museum Drive in Tupper Lake, NY


  • Register for the workshop here. Thanks to a generous donor, this conference is free to teachers and other educators! Please pass the word!
  • The deadline to register is May 5, 2023. However, capacity is limited and we will close registration if the workshop fills prior to that date.
  • We will email you reminders and additional information as the conference approaches.

Conference Schedule

Plan to arrive between 8:00-8:15 am to the Wild Center to get registered and grab a snack and coffee. We’ll begin promptly at 8:30 am.  It’s going to be a fun and active conference, so dress for the weather! The schedule, subject to modification, is:

  • 8:00-8:30am Registration (Light refreshments are provided. Please bring your own coffee mug.)
  • 8:30-9:30am Welcome & Keynote
    • How Does Nature Benefit Students? (Jennifer Fee, Cornell Lab of Ornithology)
  • 9:45-11:30am Morning Workshops (Select between these sessions.)
    • Climate, Water, and Craftivism (6-12; Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute)
    • Sparking Kids’ Connection to Nature with Fun Hands-On Activities (preK-6; Cornell Lab)
    • Citizen Science in the Classroom: Aligning Curriculum with Nature-based Learning (K-8; The Wild Center)
  • 11:30am-12:30pm Networking Lunch (A delicious lunch is included!)
  • 12:30-1:30pm Community Partner “Exhibit Hall” (Visit with staff from partner organizations and take home information and teaching materials.)
    • Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation
    • Adirondack Experience
    • Adirondack Mountain Club
    • ADK Pollinator Project
    • Cornell Lab of Ornithology
    • NYS Dept. Environmental Conservation
    • Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute
    • Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC)
  • 1:30-3:15pm Afternoon Workshops (Select between these sessions. More sessions coming soon!)
    • Building Local Connection and Global Perspectives with eBird Citizen Science (3-12; Cornell Lab)
    • Nature Journaling (K-12; Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center)
    • ADK Pollinators–How Schools Can Help These often Overlooked Insects Thrive (preK-12; ADK Pollinator Project)
    • Project WILD Showcase (K-8; NYS Dept. Environmental Conservation)
  • 3:30-4:00pm Closing & Raffle
  • 4:00-5:00pm Free Time & Completion Letters Enjoy the Wild Center Exhibits, indoors and outside; remember to pick up your completion letter or CTLE paperwork if needed!

Note: This schedule will be refined as the program develops. If you’d like to see workshop and table descriptions, please visit this document.

Details and Policies

Continuing Education Credits

You can receive a completion letter with contact hours or CTLEs if you need to verify continuing education hours. You will receive 8 contact hours for completing the entire conference. (Note: Unfortunately, given the structure of the day, we can not provide hours to anyone who arrives late or needs to leave early.)


Thanks to a generous donor who wants to support excellence in education in the region, this conference is free. We ask that you attend the whole program and that if you need to cancel, you notify us at least two weeks before the event. This will help us reach as many teachers as we can, and not waste our very limited funds, so we can offer additional opportunities to teachers who reach students in the Adirondack region.

COVID-19 Policies

We are guided by Cornell University and The Wild Center’s COVID policies. At this time, masks are welcome but not required.


Thank you to the amazing partners who are making this exciting conference possible! Staff from these organizations will be giving the workshops and staffing the tables during the conference.