Elevator Speech: What is Nature Explore?

by Angie Nelson, Communications Specialist, Nature Explore

Well first, let’s start here: What’s an elevator speech? Basically, it’s your 30-90 second testimonial in regards to a topic or question of interest. The key is to accurately get your point across in a memorable, timely manner. Details come later, try not to get a head of yourself and risk becoming overwhelming rather than informative.

Secondly, why am I telling you this: As a non-educator or landscape designer myself, beginning my career at Nature Explore two years ago had me on somewhat foreign territory. Sure, my job title fit my educational background and experience, and I absolutely had well-versed co-workers excitedly telling me everything under the sun about Nature Explore. All correct information, all interesting. None the less, I couldn’t help but feel everyone around me spoke a slightly different language that I was not privy to prior to hire. I found when I was told the basics clearly and concisely, I was better able to absorb the details as they came about.

Third, and I feel this is important: I know many of you meet people like me every day, “newbies who don’t speak the language”. Keep in mind, us “newbies” can range from donors to grant funders, local administrators to city council members, even new staff members. We all share a common thread (as Sgt. Friday might say) we need, “Just the facts mama (or mister), just the facts.” At least to start off with in order to make a sound decision on funding, incorporating and successfully utilizing your outdoor space as a flourishing Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom.

So, last but not least: Here’s my introductory elevator speech on the topic, What is Nature Explore? I hope it encourages you to dust off your version and have it ready to go should you need it.

In short, Nature Explore is all about supporting the life-changing benefits of nature-based education. We’re a dedicated, hands-on collaboration of Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation. We’re a research-based, non-profit and our sole purpose is to connect children and families with nature on a daily basis. We do this by utilizing Dimensions’ ongoing research to provide design consultations, workshops and educational resources to people and places all over the country. The research and partnerships behind what we do really shape us and allow us to provide these educationally sound services, field-tested materials and information in general to interested parties on any level. It doesn’t matter if you’re space is rural, urban, public, private or in between, a Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom can be incorporated in any area and with the support of staff, parents and community members these areas are beneficial to everyone.

So again, that’s my elevator speech. What’s yours?