At WAWA, we believe in the power of PLAY! We carve out unique pathways to connect people to nature.
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Power of Play
In a world where everyday activities like running can be a risk for Black communities, WAWA prioritizes our sites as safe spaces for all youth to be wild and curious. Our environmental education engages the senses and encourages play-based learning.
Reggio Emilia Approach
Kindergarten in the Forest
Our work has always centered on the urban environment and our surrounding watersheds (Proctor, Utoy, and Sandy Creek). We use our local eco-region as a backdrop to conveniently connect youth to the environment around them and to make their appreciation for the outdoors accessible in proximity.
The Nature School
As an organization that advocates for environmental justice, we situate our education programs in Black history, indigenous knowledge, and “ecological unity and the interdependence of all species”, We also infuse Afro-Futurism into our programming to invite people to think beyond their circumstances and envision the life they deserve.
See 17 Principles of EJ
Black Children: Their Roots, Culture, and Learning Styles, Janice Hale
We encourage self-directed learning and activities that probe youth to teach themselves, problem solve and maintain awareness. This principle is rooted in self-determination/actualization and the belief that we must care for ourselves first in order to take care of the world around us.
Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire
Whether it is the educators at WAWA or elders, youth’s knowledge is constructed through their relationships with others. We are an ecosystem and each input impacts the other whether it’s classroom peers or a community elder, we all construct our learning with influence from the people within our ecosystem.
The Whole-Brain Child
Our EE Programs
School groups can join us for a program onsite (or virtually) that satisfies their curriculum goals.
Youth can explore, activate their imagination, and establish lifelong friendships in the old-growth forest!
Provides youth a safe and supportive place to explore nature and help care for our environment.
Encourages the use of tools and modalities within greenspace for the purpose of health and wellness.
We offer several annual events that focus on natural science subjects and are fun for the entire family.
We work with partners to develop educational programming that meets both of our organizational goals.
Participants learn about environmental issues while gaining hands-on volunteer experience.