Educational Outreach

Educational Outreach

Friends of Cave Creek Canyon is excited to sponsor a program on educating children on science and nature through visits to Cave Creek Canyon.

Why Education is Important

In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.
        Baba Dioum, Senegalese forestry engineer
        1968 address to International Union for Conservation of Nature

From FOCCC’s formation, an education program has been a major strategic goal.  To conserve our biodiverse habitats, we must teach students about them, so that they can understand, then love, and then conserve unique areas like Cave Creek Canyon.

Education In the Canyon:  What’s Going On Now?

Our formal program is underway and we are actively seeking additional schools to participate in our program, “Let’s Bring STEM Outdoors, ” which brings students into Cave Creek Canyon.  If you are a teacher interested in having your students participate in a canyon learning experience, or you want to volunteer to participate in delivering programs, please contact Carol Frischmann, our Education Coordinator:

Our program “Let’s Bring STEM Outdoors!” has been supported by 2019 grants from the Arizona Community Foundation and the Gerry Hernbrode Memorial Education Fund. Our pilot program has brought students from two pilot schools–Apache Elementary and San Simon — once each month for ten months as the initial format of our program.  Topics in our program include  astronomy, geology, bird migration, habitats and adaptation, weather, reptiles, invertebrates, with more are being added as our facilities and needs expand.

Future Plans for Education in the Canyon

We want to develop our offerings further, so that student visitors can participate in different sorts of educational opportunities.  Expansion depends upon people to assist us with expertise, volunteer hours, and of course funding.

How You Can Help Education in the Canyon

  • If you want to volunteer  time and expertise to participate in delivering programs to students, please contact Carol Frischmann (cfrischma at gmail dot com)
  • If you are a potential donor and would like more information about contributing to the Gerry Hernbrode Educational Fund,  please contact Mike Williams, our Vice President (

Building on Prior Education Successes

  • In 2018, FOCCC made consistent progress in bringing school children to the canyon to educate and to inspire.  What made this possible was a fund established in memory of Gerry Hernbrode, a beloved teacher and advocate for children and the environment.
  • In 2017, FOCCC hosted 3rd and 4th graders from Animas in the Canyon and included learnings about Native Americans, invertebrates, solar flares and sunspots, birds and frogs. Kids hiked into the canyon, and ended with a guided tour of the Desert Museum.
  • Prior to FOCCC’s establishment in 2011, many individuals in the Portal-Rodeo area dedicated their time, expertise, and facilities to educate children about the surrounding areas to ensure the preservation of  Cave Creek Canyon.

Kids learning and having fun outdoors in our “Let’s Bring STEM Outdoors” program