THE PLAINS – The 8th annual Appalachian Green Teachers Conference will offer educators a wealth of ideas for bringing nature into the classroom – and for taking students into the natural world to expand their educational opportunities.

Registration is now open for the conference, which runs Oct. 28-29 at Burr Oak Lodge & Conference Center, according to a news release from the nonprofit Rural Action.

Here are a few examples of the topics that will be featured during the event::

  • Pollinator gardens for early elementary education
  • Growing fungi to study decomposers
  • Engaging kids in nature
  • Medicinal plants workshop: Herbal salve making

Presenters will include experts from Community Food Initiatives, United Plant Savers, Rural Action, local universities, Logan Elm Local School District, and many more. In addition, participants will have plenty of opportunities to compare notes and network with peers.

Conference organizers decided to hold the conference in person, but COVID precautions will be in place.

“We will emphasize outdoor time and masks will be required while indoors to minimize risk for participants,” Joe Brehm, Rural Action’s environmental education director, said. “The pandemic and climate change underscore the importance of a conference like ours. We need environmental literacy and passion for science badly, and globally. Teachers need viable options for taking students outside during the school day, and we all need a sense of togetherness and camaraderie.”

Educators also might want to consider registering for the Community and Career Connected Learning Summit, which Building Bridges to Careers will hold Oct. 27 at the Burr Oak Lodge.

Graduate credit and scholarships are available for the Appalachian Green Teachers Conference. To learn more about it and the Building Bridges to Careers event, go to ruralaction.org/greenteachers2021/.

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