Next Generation Education Outreach

The Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation (WBWF) launched a new initiative called the Next Generation Outreach with in-classroom instruction that began in January 2019. We started the program by visiting schools in Region 8 of the Virginia public school system to bring our natural resource conservation program. Now we are reaching out beyond our local schools and partnering with other conservationist-friendly businesses and organizations.

One of the major components of the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation (WBWF) is helping Virginia’s youth recognize and better understand the reality of the natural environment. With the passing of time, more and more youngsters in America are becoming isolated from the outdoors; and social media and electronic gaming have influenced the next generation to relish a more sedentary lifestyle. Frankly, kids are more interested in electronic game scores than in going fishing. Environmental appreciation is so much more than receiving an acceptable grade on mandated science materials. Personal stewardship is the grassroots concept necessary for the survival of planet Earth and is easier developed at a young age when observing the beauty of the environment around them. The WBWF has developed and implemented a quality program designed to expose young children to the great outdoors for the purpose of opening their eyes to both its fascination and immeasurable value.

Our initiative combines science with resource conservation and stewardship and brings presentations to students in the region. The program is formulated to teach students about the importance of those elements vital to all life - clean air, pure water, food, shelter, and space, and is purposely designed to parallel mandated science materials (behavioral and physiological adaptations, migration, hibernation, mimicry, camouflage, predator/prey relationships, etc.). In addition, the programs cover agricultural land-use ethics, forestry, wildlife management, wildlife habitat enhancement, as well as plant and animal identification.

America's wildlife conservation history is covered in order to let youth know why our environment is better today compared to the days before best management practices for forests, cropland and open land were implemented. We are stressing the importance of taking care of forests and finding balance because fulfilling the demand for forest products is dependent on how well forest health and diversity are preserved.

WBWF is seeking sponsors and partners that want to be a part of this program. Interested companies, grantors or individuals may contact our office to talk further about joining our youth outreach initiative.