Creating Educational Resources for Children with Save Mount Diablo’s Adler Education Fund

conservation collaboration agreement at mangini (scott hein)

As 2023 began, we kicked off the year by officially announcing the creation of the Adler Education Fund. It was initiated by a $100,000 challenge grant from renowned environmental educator and Save Mount Diablo Education Committee member, Judy Adler.

The goal of the fund is to support Save Mount Diablo’s education programs, both existing and new. One of the new education programs it will support is the creation of a curriculum that inspires a love of nature within elementary-school-aged children.

This curriculum will also connect Save Mount Diablo with schools to promote environmental awareness and eco-stewardship of Diablo’s natural lands.

Building a Connection with Nature

Judy Adler connecting kids with nature.

Judy Adler connecting kids with nature. Photo by Stefanie Felix

At the core of Judy Adler’s educational work and our educational efforts lies the belief that one must love nature to want to preserve it. And to build that love, one needs to develop a meaningful and direct connection with nature.

We live in a time when a lot of people don’t spend more than a few minutes of each day outdoors, and our children are absorbed in their technological devices. So it’s difficult for many to build this connection.

Our goal is to change this situation so that more people develop that necessary love of nature and the outdoors required for the ongoing stewardship of our natural world. Studies also show that nature is critical for our physical and emotional well-being.

In the coming years, we’re planning on providing more educational programs than ever. Through this fund, we’re expanding our work to elementary school-aged children.

Since the creation of the fund, we’ve been working to create a curriculum for third to fifth graders, an age group that we have not previously worked with.

Our Past Educational Work

conservation collaboration agreement contemplative solo at mangini

Students completing their contemplative solos at Mangini Ranch Educational Preserve. Photo by Scott Hein

Save Mount Diablo’s educational work so far has been focused on inspiring middle school, high school, and college students, as well as older adults to appreciate the outdoors.

Through our Conservation Collaboration Agreement program, we teach high schoolers, middle schoolers, and college students about land conservation and environmental stewardship.

The students participate in service projects on our conserved lands (planting native tree and plant species, removing invasive plants, etc.). They also do a contemplative solo in nature where they do journal writing reflections on what nature and their part in it are.

Ensuring that the next generation has a meaningful connection with nature will help that generation to care about the environment and make meaningful decisions that will benefit the earth in the future.

Getting Kids Outside

kids learning about stewardship at mangini

Mangini Ranch Educational Preserve is an outdoor classroom. Photo by Haley Sutton

Studies suggest that connecting younger children to nature, and educating them about it, can help foster a life-long love and appreciation of nature, so our goal is to do just that.

Later this year, we’ll be unveiling new educational resources for elementary schools to utilize at our Mangini Ranch Educational Preserve.

We’ll use these resources in our programs and share them with schools and other organizations to promote environmental education throughout our area.

Our curriculum will help underserved schools and other nonprofits; it will be a guide for not only getting kids outdoors, but fostering an environmentally conscious mindset within the next generation.

Students take a journey through Mangini Ranch Educational Preserve in spring. Photo by Scott Hein

To help us meet the $100,000 challenge from Judy Adler, which will help Save Mount Diablo continue and grow its nature education programs for children and others, please donate today.

You can also contact Karen Ferriere, Save Mount Diablo Development Director, at or 925-947-3535 to discuss ways to contribute to Save Mount Diablo’s new Adler Education Fund.

Top photo by Scott Hein

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