Our mission is to inspire wonder, understanding and connection to the natural world through playful, outdoor, scientific inquiry.
The best way to create change for sustainability is to teach students to use their own senses in the outdoors to develop complex understandings of real natural systems.
Learning begins with students’ ideas and is based on their backgrounds, experiences, and stories.
It is important and appropriate to study local places before faraway places.
A conservation ethic stems from a positive connection and love for local places.
Students in nature should explore, wander, imagine, and touch.
Students should reflect on their learning experiences during the school day.
The best learning stems from the creative process.
Our work is valuable, and we strive to keep it accessible to all those who want it.
Creating and telling stories is how students best integrate new information.
In a workplace that values the contributions of each employee and one that provides a culture that is nurturing, innovative, community oriented, and thrives on healthy communication.
We envision communities in which people understand, celebrate and protect the ecosystems to which they belong.
The ultimate goal of our work is to:
Inspire a love of nature and a sense of stewardship in all people.
Produce ecologically literate citizens.
Bring participants into connection with the important and unique qualities of the place where they live.
Empower school administrators, teachers, camp directors and other professionals to instruct students outdoors as part of the curriculum.
Advocate for developmentally appropriate, locally-based, permanent curriculum based on authentic, inquiry based learning.
Foster ongoing relationships between local people and local public lands.
Improve schools’ abilities to provide engaging, meaningful, project-based learning.
Kestrel is, and always has been, deeply committed to the principles of scientific inquiry, environmental sustainability, and access to excellent K-12 education for all. At this moment in the clock of the world, we feel strongly that we need to explicitly state some of these principles:
We stand for scientific integrity and a continuing process of discovery. We understand that there is scientific consensus that climate change is real, human-caused, and a threat to the future of human and other life on Earth.
We stand for strong action to limit climate change, including collaboration with other nations.
We stand for building a healthy relationship among humans and the natural resources on which they depend, and we respect the original inhabitants of our lands.
We stand for children's ability to have a voice in their education and to be given fair access to educational services and to be able to enjoy their education without fear of persecution based on race, religion, family income, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or immigration status.
We strongly advocate critical thinking and, as educators, never prescribe opinions or ideas. However, as an organization, we will work for policies and laws that further the health of the natural world and humanity's place within it.