“I am working with a sophomore right now who is struggling at school, and I had yet to hear him say more than a few words in our class,” says Kat Robbins. “We visited our school’s undeveloped 4.5-acre forest and he lit up! The possibility of developing that resource as an outdoor classroom lit a fire under him! So, I’ve been meeting with him in his free blocks to plan out how we might achieve our goals. He has called the Town Planner, written a letter to abutting landowners, and researched building codes. He is (mostly!) getting his other schoolwork done so that he has time to work on this project, and he’s not even getting credit for it yet. We need students who are truly engaged, even if it’s in really out of the box ways.”
Kat is the Partnership Coordinator between Woodstock Union High School and Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, and this month we are taking a look at how she supports place based environmental education (PBEE) in Woodstock and surrounding towns with her unique position. Our hope is that Kat’s work—and this partnership between the National Park Serviceand Woodstock Union High School—will inspire you to consider ways you can develop positions that can support PBEE in your community.