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Santa Fe, NM - State Parks invites schools and teachers to apply for a grant to help pay for buses or other modes of transportation to provide students with outdoor State Park experiences during the 2019-20 school year. The deadline to apply is November 8, 2019.

Teachers are encouraged to apply and are invited to bring students to any of the 34 New Mexico State Parks. Detailed information and application can be found at www.nmparks.com under the Activities/Outdoor Education heading.

“Our State Park outdoor classrooms provide some of the best curriculum-based programming, and connect students to the many amazing resources throughout our state,” said State Park Director Christy Tafoya. “These grants are so important as they provide students and teachers with much-needed transportation to parks statewide.  We are very proud of this significant program.”

The State Parks Division has formed lasting partnerships with schools and teachers. Previous grant recipients are encouraged to apply again, and State Parks is also seeking first-time applicants.  With 34 outdoor classrooms across the state, and many cultural and natural resources, State Parks provide a safe, friendly environment for outdoor learning that ties to classroom study.

Teachers rated the program last year with a 9.3 rating out of 10 total points for their overall experience. One satisfied teacher wrote about her student, “The best moment I witnessed was 6th grade student Estevan on our hike. I noticed that he was really trucking up the hill - ahead of everyone. When we reached our destination, I asked him if he hiked with his family. He replied, ‘No, I've never hiked before.’ His smile was awesome.”

Outdoor Classroom Program trips must be to a New Mexico State Park and a list of parks is available at www.nmparks.com. The applicant must be a teacher or representative of a public or public-charter school within a New Mexico school district. The strongest applications are those that most clearly link classroom study with the proposed field trip.

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