Talk of the Towns 5/10/23: Take it Outside: Maine educators teaching out of doors

Producer/Hosts: Ron Beard
Theme music for Talk of the Towns Theme music for Talk of the Towns is a medley from Coronach, on a Balnain House Highland Music recording.

Talk of the Towns: Local Community concerns and opportunities

This month:

  • What happens to students when they are engaged to learn out of doors?   (Tell some stories!)
  • Do you incorporate learning beyond “science”?    (literature, history, art?)
  • What have been the responses to bringing education out of doors—from students, from other teachers, from parents?
  • What are the challenges you face in offering/promoting education outdoors?  (e.g. costs, transportation, insurance, resistance, hesitation from teachers who feel they do not have adequate experience or skills? Note 2022 Census of Community-Based Outdoor and Environmental Learning?)
  • Where do you get support for teaching out of doors?  Teach ME Outside and other educational resources and networks, philanthropy, etc.
  • What else would you advise for teachers, school leaders and parents about making the most of educating out of doors?


Hazel Stark, Maine Outdoor School, Milbridge (and producer of The Nature of Phenology on WERU)
Tiara Woods, Middle Level Classroom Teacher, Lamoine Consolidated School
Landere Naisbitt, Education Coordinator, Blue Hill Heritage Trust

Other links:

Maine Outdoor School
Creative STAR Learning

About the hosts:

Ron Beard is producer and host of Talk of the Towns, which first aired on WERU in 1993 as part of his community building work as an Extension professor with University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant. He took all the journalism courses he could fit in while an undergraduate student in wildlife management and served as an intern with Maine Public Television nightly newscast in the early 1970s. Ron is an adjunct faculty member at College of the Atlantic, teaching courses on community development. Ron served on the Bar Harbor Town Council for six years and is currently board chair for the Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor, where he has lived since 1975. Look for him on the Allagash River in June, and whenever he can get away, in the highlands of Scotland where he was fortunate to spend two sabbaticals.

Liz Graves joined Talk of the Towns as co-producer and co-host in July 2022, having long admired public affairs programming on WERU and dreamed of getting involved in community radio. She works as the Town Clerk for the Town of Bar Harbor, and is a former editor of the Mount Desert Islander weekly newspaper. Liz grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.