Education in the Field

Our kids learn better and are motivated when they are inspired by the outdoors. They become more aware of how their world really works, and obtain a better understanding and appreciation of where their water and food come from. In short, they become better stewards of the land.

This past year, the East Foundation joined with IDEA Public Schools to connect students to the outdoors through day-long field experiences. These field days were aimed at creating awareness, imparting knowledge, and instilling appreciation of the land.

Each day, 5th-graders from several campuses got their hands dirty while they were learning about:

  • How cattle ranching puts food on the table
  • Endangered species conservation and management
  • The water cycle and how healthy rangelands produce healthy watersheds and drinking water
  • Wildlife traits and adaptations
  • South Texas history and the importance of its ranch-based society

In total, the East Foundation impacted the lives of 1,000 students and teachers from 8 public schools over the 4-day event. These schools are located in Brownsville, Donna, Edinburg, Mission, San Benito, San Juan, and Weslaco.

Large-scale field lessons such as these become a reality through partnerships with like-minded organizations that share a common vision. In this case, the muddy yellow school buses on Foundation lands would have not been possible without the Texas Wildlife Association, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Zoo, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, South Texas History Museum, AgriLife Extension, and Institute of Renewable Natural Resources.

The East Foundation is committed to expanding education opportunities in South Texas and bringing students to its land for first-hand, participatory learning. We will continue to seek new partnerships and strengthen existing partnerships to make this a reality.

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