Recommendations From Teachers

Cindy Woodard, Oak Grove Elementary

September 2016

Dear Coyote Trails School of Nature,

Thank you so much for providing excellent instruction to the 5th grade students at Oak Grove Elementary through the Finding Home Program.  Your visits to Oak Grove were the highlight of my student’s month.  Through your program, my students developed a greater love and appreciation for the great world of nature.  They learned how to quietly observe nature through fox walking, owl eyes and deer ears.  They were able to discover how animals move by learning about their tracks. Above all, they increased their knowledge of the natural world.

At our field trip to your Medford location at the end of the year, students tried to start fires using bow and hand drills, went on a quiet nature walk, and even helped plant a garden for a Monarch Butterfly feeding station.  One of their favorite activities was a group game called, “Screaming Cheetah’s”.  It was a fun field trip for chaperones and students!

The experiences you provided this year were both educational, and fun for Oak Grove Students.  Thanks so much for the rich education and here’s hoping we find many more fun hands on experiences with our continued partnership in the future.


Cindy Woodard

5th Grade Teacher

Michele Parr, Oak Grove Elementary


To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing to express my deep appreciation for the Coyote Trails Outdoor Education Program. Our 5th graders here at Oak Grove Elementary have had the great pleasure of working with Katie Buttermore and her colleagues over the last three years. Both students and teachers gain so much from the rich and engaging experiences the program provides for us. 

The majority of our students come from low socio-economic backgrounds. Their parents are working two to three jobs and are not home in the evenings or weekends to spend time with their children. Some don't have vehicles. This makes it difficult for these children to get outside and experience nature. They lack a connection to the natural environment around them. 

All of the activities we participate in with Coyote Trails help students to make that connection and to see themselves as a part of the natural world. They learn to pay attention to details in their surroundings that they have otherwise taken for granted and become more conscious of the effect they have on those around them. 

I have witnessed these skills transfer over into other areas in school. When they are in the practice of honig in on the details of life, they are better able to expand on their experiences when writing. We've made connections to science, social science, and even math. 

Through Coyote Trails we have learned that being outdoors isn't just about fresh air and exercise. It's about relating to and connecting with every part of our environment and recognizing that even if we live in a crowded neighborhood or city, we are still surrounded by nature. Nature exists everywhere and we are part of it. 

We are excited to be considered again for this amazing program. Without it, our students would miss out on an invaluable experience. 

Kind regards, 

Michele Parr
5th Grade Teacher
Oak Grove Elementary

Kristi Burkett, Wilson Elementary

To Whom It May Concern, 5-28-13

I had the pleasure to have my fifth grade students experience the Coyote Trails program this school year. I teach at a Title 1 school in Medford, Oregon.

Due to the poverty level of my students they do not get many experiences and opportunities.

Coyote Trails provided many skills and knowledge the students were ignorant of. For example, the students learned the "Big 4" about nature. They did not just learn it. They mastered it. It was wonderful to see how they incorporated their science curriculum into art as well. The students had a wonderful time combining the two.

Lastly, the final experience of the field trip was a great closure activity. It took actual mini-lessons from their prior knowledge, and had them perform the task in real life size and situations. Overall, this was a great experience and I hope to have the experience for my students in the future.


Mrs. Kristi Burkett

Jesse Gammon, Madrone Trail

April 2013"

"Our fourth and seventh grade classes had a wonderful time at Coyote Trails.  The instructors were extremely knowledgeable, efficient, and able to work with a variety of age groups.  The students are eager to do more projects and are excited to take part in summer courses.  Thanks for letting us be part of your nature center."

Steve Kem, SOU professor

April 2013:

"CTSN instructors have been my "go-to" guest instructors in many of the classes that I teach because the lessons they teach are applicable to so many themes: sustainability, team work, communication, trust, persistence. A primary complaint of higher education is that the lessons remain abstract and not applicable to most people's daily lives. The learning opportunities provided through CTSN helps make my University classes applicable, engaging and "real"!."