Professional Development

At the Blue Swallow Farm Foundation, we are dedicated to helping educators and administrators work with their students outdoors. Whether the topic is designing and building outdoor classrooms, effective instructional practices, or ways to collaborate with community stakeholders, we are here to serve! We offer a variety of workshops on these topics for half day professional development workshops. Each workshop has a cadre of expert professionals to lead the workshops with practical suggestions. We can tailor make a program for the needs of your school/school district. If you would like more information, please feel free to contact us at

Teaching with Natural Specimens

Designed with educators, administrators, and stakeholders in mind, this workshop covers topics that include meeting state standards by teaching with natural specimens, developing an in-school naturalist collection, and involving students in the study of the natural world. Attendees will participate in inquiry-based lessons and develop a plan for integrating natural specimens as part of their curriculum.

Teaching in Outdoor Classrooms

Many educators are interested in working with students outdoors because of the benefits in terms of performance and social/emotional well-being. In this workshop, attendees will participate in a series of inquiry-based, interdisciplinary activities that align with state standards and use the 5E’s approach to instruction. Teachers will design student-centered activities based on mentorship through this workshop.

Building Capacity for Outdoor Instruction

With a focus on community collaborations, we offer a workshop to provide guidance on working with local community members and obtaining grants. Suitable for both educators and administrators, this workshop focuses on building capacity through accessing professional networks.

Evaluating Outdoor Classroom Program Effectiveness

With the administrator in mind, this workshop focuses on methods for designing and conducting program evaluations of outdoor classroom programs. We provide resources on how to effectively evaluate the worth and merit of programs in alignment with school improvement plans and district requirements.