Home > About > Outdoor Education Program
Outdoor Education Program
In addition to our main mission, our organization serves the local community by facilitating experiential environmental learning. By providing various environmental education opportunities and promoting public appreciation of trees and other woody species, the arboretum reaches a wide-ranging audience that includes students, local residents and community groups.

The Pine Hollow Arboretum outdoor education program first began in 2012 with a grant from the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region’s Bender Family Fund. The program was launched by seasoned environmental educator Anita Sanchez.

About Anita Sanchez
A published author and professional educator, Anita Sanchez has more than twenty years of experience in providing classes and hands-on, participatory programs to a wide range of audiences. Former Director of Educational Programming at the Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, she has presented classes in schools throughout New England and New York State, and given workshops at the American Museum of Natural History, Colonial Williamsburg, Harvard Natural History Museum, the New York State Museum, and many other libraries, bookstores, museums, and classrooms. Ms. Sanchez recently received national recognition as the recipient of the Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Award for early environmental education
by the Garden Club of America.

High School Mentor-Docent Program
Since this program’s inception, the number of Bethlehem Central volunteer high school students engaged in environmental educator training led by Anita Sanchez has steadily increased and this year we had a total of 30 volunteers, the highest to date. Upon completing their training, the students then led groups of elementary students through various tour ‘stations’ to explore different parts of the Arboretum while teaching the younger students about important concepts such as biodiversity, adaptations, habitats, and interrelationships.

‘Watch Us Grow!’
Thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region’s Bender Scientific Fund, for the third consecutive year, Pine Hollow has sponsored in-school environmental science lessons with Ms. Sanchez to learn about trees, wildlife and biodiversity. Ms. Sanchez visits students in their classrooms to conduct lessons on tree growth and soil chemistry, and prepares the students for their upcoming field trips to the arboretum. This year, elementary students from the Thomas O’Brien Academy of Science and Technology (TOAST), Arbor Hill Elementary, Elsmere, Glenmont, and the Bethlehem Children’s School have visited the Arboretum and taken measurements of tree diameters and chart soil acidity as part of an ongoing project to collect baseline data to track the effects of climate change on tree growth.
Our current education program for elementary students complies with the New York State Learning Standards and Core Curriculum.

Arbor Hill Elementary After-School Program
Thanks to a grant from the Times Union Hope Fund, Pine Hollow also sponsors an educational after-school program conducted at Arbor Hill Elementary School in Albany. Led by environmental educator Paul Doyle, students in this program explore the grounds of Arbor Hill School, studying a wide variety of plants and animals in the schoolyard habitat, and learning about science and nature while enjoying the outdoors. The students also do service projects to benefit the schoolyard environment, such as litter pick-up. After cleaning up areas of the schoolyard, they use finds like old tires to create “found art.”