Children & Youth

Children & Youth

The Children and Youth Extension program in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University focuses on environmental education, youth leadership development, media outreach, and evaluation consultation.

The Youth Environmental Education Outreach Initiative offers activities that develop awareness and appreciation of the natural environment, environmental knowledge, and outdoor skills.  Activities include experiential opportunities for direct, hands-on experiences in outdoor settings and educational opportunities on natural resource, climate, and sustainability topics

Participants learn about environmental issues, nearby nature opportunities, and natural resources such as water, soil, and wildlife.  They also learn skills to protect the environment and develop greater comfort and enjoyment in outdoor areas.

The outreach team includes graduate and undergraduate students in the field of environment and natural resources who assist with program planning and leading educational sessions.  We utilize different approaches to meet diverse needs and interests.

[ANREP newsletter]  Wetlands and Wonder, Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals Newsletter, Winter 2018 

Leading workshop for Head Start teachers on school gardens, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Youth Beat Radio, a weekly program airing on Columbus community radio stations WCRS 92.7/98.3 FM and WGRN 94.1 FM, promotes youth leadership, community service, community action, and youth perspectives.  Topics include environmental issues, recreation, health, culture, arts, music, and current trends. Students have opportunities to create and produce shows, research issues, and educate the broader community on critical topics.  The show will soon develop a podcast format and include information on rural life and culture.   Supported by the Puffin Foundation West.  Current information and access to past shows can be found at http://youthbeat.osu.edu.


Dean’s Spring Event 2014  (Youth Beat team and SENR faculty and students)

Youth Leadership Summits on the Environment have engaged high school students in Columbus and Cleveland to identify environmental issues, learn leadership skills, and develop action plans for change. Through the summits, youth participate in meaningful ways to improve the environment in their schools, neighborhoods, and communities.  Our most recent summit was held at the Wilma H. Schiermeier Olentangy Wetland Research Park and focused on water issues. 


Youth Leadership Summit participants tour the Schiermeier Wetland Research Park

Evaluation Consultation and Planning

Evaluation and documentation of impacts has been an increasingly important part of environmental education, youth development, and park and recreation programs. Consultation and assistance with evaluation planning can help support program efforts and improvement. 

To learn more contact:

Kristi Lekies, Associate Professor
School of Environment and Natural Resources
The Ohio State University
320C Kottman Hall
2021 Coffey Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43210
(O) 614/688-3537
(F) 614/292-7432
lekies.1@osu.edu