Tucked away in a pocket of Northeast Ohio stands a well preserved piece of land we know as Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Though it is situated between two significant metropolitan areas, Cleveland and Akron, setting foot in the park produces the feeling of being transported worlds away from hectic urban life. The park provides endless places to learn and explore including beautiful resources like the Virginia Kendall Ledges, Brandywine Falls, and the Beaver Marsh. It also preserves Ohio’s rich history showcasing parts of the Ohio and Erie Canal.
Despite the ever present remarks exclaiming, “What?! There’s a national park in Ohio?!” thousands of visitors frequent the park every year. So many visitors, in fact, that Cuyahoga Valley is listed among the top ten most visited national parks in America in a recent article by National Geographic. Being listed just after Yosemite and Yellowstone is kind of an impressive place to be.
Apart from being one of the most visited, a feature that makes our park truly unique is the fact that we run a year round environmental education facility. Run dually by the National Park Service and the park’s non-profit partner, the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park, our environmental education center (CVEEC) provides a hands-on learning experience for middle school students. Students and teachers stay 4 days, 3 nights at our on campus facilities right here in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
While we do tell stories and sing silly songs, much like any other typical camp experience, our classes all tie closely with state standards for a well-rounded interdisciplinary education. The established curriculum for our 4th-6th grade resident program focuses on watersheds and sustainability, as well as natural history, cultural history, and art. Our 7th-8th grade curriculum focuses on human impacts to the watershed and low impact development techniques.
Classes are taught by our enthusiastic team of interns as well as park rangers and permanent conservancy staff. It’s great to have such a seamless relationship between the non-profit and the park. In addition to our resident program, staff also teach day programs at schools in the surrounding area and at other locations in the park. Check out our website for day program information, scouting weekends, and more!
Our newly reconstructed blog is here to update you on happenings around the center, share life behind the scenes, and hopefully provide some learning opportunities as well. If you are unfamiliar with the CVEEC, welcome! If you’ve been here before, welcome back, we hope you stay connected beyond your one week stay. Feel free to leave comments or suggestions on the blog, and check back weekly for new posts.