Desert Willow is a local 501(3)c non-profit environmental education center. Our mission is to provide unbiased environmental educational outreach to the East Maricopa community in order to enhance environmental knowledge and develop responsible stewardship of natural resources and teach the importance of our desert ecosystem.
Desert Willow Environmental Education Center is made possible, in part, through grants such as Central Arizona Project’s Community Investment Program, which provides financial support for non-profits [such as Desert Willow] involved in water education. CAP’s Community Investment Program is designed to provide information, support and education to Arizonans of all ages, from school children to civic leaders, to help ensure the sustainability and economic vitality of our state.
Desert Willow offers a variety of services and projects which includes in-classroom presentations, in-service teaching training, and development of outdoor study areas on school district grounds. All projects will have an interdisciplinary approach with emphasis on student “hands-on” experiences.
Cost:Depends on Project (DOP).
Project Types Include:
1. In-Class Presentations with a hands-on activity (1-2 day project length)
2. In-Class Presentations + On-Site Habitat Builds (6-9 months project length)
3. Half and Half - Portion of class time is used for presentation materials and other half of class is used for hands-on schoolyard builds, but on a smaller scale than option 2. With this option students will build one raised garden bed or a bench for the school playground, for example (3-5 months project length).
Here is an example of what the day may look like for in-class presentations (option one):
Desert Willow staff will bring the necessary materials for in-class presentations. The best bet is to make one classroom "home base" for all presentations. Desert Willow can also use an outdoor setting if this is available on your campus. Classrooms rotate in and out throughout the day; for example if you have five classes in 5th grade with 25 students in each class, they will rotate by classroom with a five minute rotation period. It's up to teachers and their colleagues to figure out time slots for class rotations and lunch.
Four hours is a general time limit so that schools understand that we need to keep rotations steady by trying to minimize down time. :-)
Who To Contact to Schedule a Visit:
Curriculum follows Arizona State Education Standards for 4th - 6th grades. Teachers can choose from a variety of topics which include:
Native American Culture
Pre- and post- curriculum materials are available to all teachers. Teachers can find pre-, post-, and onsite curriculum below. Please take notice that not all subjects have pre- and post- curriculum materials and some pre-, post-, and onsite curriculum is in one document.*
We aspire to be a community that is aware of the best practices for conservation, resource management, and land stewardship; and, that through our knowledge we shall take positive action to preserve our environment and way of life.
*On-site curriculum is subject to change.