Council of Outdoor Learning


The Council of Outdoor Learning (COOL) is an initiative of the Environmental Education Alliance of Georgia (EEA) and is comprised of various organizations and individuals who share a passion for every aspect of outdoor learning areas.

COOL serves teachers, parents, principals, and community volunteers as a resource link, providing up-to-date training and information to those interested in using the outdoors as an extension of the classroom. 

Kim Hooks and Jerry HightowerAwards


Outstanding Outdoor Learning Educator

An individual teacher, parent, principal, administrator, or community volunteer who has contributed in significant and meaningful ways to the design, development, or use of outdoor learning centers on a school or other educational institution’s campus and has demonstrated professional excellence and commitment to outdoor learning. 

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Outstanding Outdoor Learning Program 
A school or educational organization that has an active outdoor learning center or program that merits recognition and acclaim. The nominee must have made significant contributions towards an innovative, unique, novel program that connect students to outdoor learning and academic achievement. 


One nominee from each category will be selected for recognition. The selection committee will decide the merits of nominees based on information, recommendations, and accomplishments provided by the nominators. The committee will choose a candidate that offers a significant contribution, exceptional accomplishment, educational-related, and is a positive role model.

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Outdoor Learning Symposium: Annual fall symposium bringing together educators from across the state.  This one day Symposium provides an opportunity for sharing lessons learned and inspiring teachers to take their kids outside!  

Outdoor Learning Guide:  Need guidance all year? This Guide will provide information and resources to guide your creation, use and maintenance of an outdoor learning space.

Outdoor Learning Service Award:  These awards are presented every year (see award section above).  Follow this link to revisit past award winning programs. 

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Grants are an excellent method of funding part or all of your Outdoor Classroom. This grant information from can help you along the way.

COOL Mini-Grant

Check back soon for details about upcoming grants. 

Limited funds only allow us to fund 1-2 projects per year.  Donations to the grant fund are gratefully accepted at any time by EEA.  Specify "COOL grant" in the comments box of the donation form. 

Check out projects from past grant recipients.

Best Practices

Check out “Planning First to Make Your Outdoor Classroom Last; A Best Management Practices (BMP) Guide for Creating and Sustaining Outdoor Classrooms in Georgia” by Georgia Wildlife Federation

Thanks to our supporters!cardinal

The Council of Outdoor Learning receives support from the following organizations and individuals: