Educational Outreach

Educational Outreach


Friends of Cave Creek Canyon is seeking an Education Coordinator for the 2024 year to work from home yet be available for meetings in the local area. This person will coordinate with the US Forest Service and the FOCCC Board of Directors to jump start educational programs for all ages using various locations and media. For a complete list of responsibilities, qualifications, and how to apply please click here to download the PDF.  The contact email address for this position is FOCCCEducation at

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.

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 our Education program:  foccceducation at

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