Growing Up WILD (GUW) is an early childhood education program that
builds on children’s sense of wonder about nature and invites them
to explore wildlife and the world around them. Through a wide range
of activities and experiences, Growing Up WILD provides an early
foundation for developing positive impressions about the natural
world in addition to lifelong social and academic skills.
The Growing up WILD guide is designed to teach children ages 3-7 through 27
field-tested, hands-on activities. These activities include outdoor
explorations, scientific inquiry, art projects, music and movement,
conservation activities, reading and math connections and "Healthy
Growing up WILD entails social, emotional, physical, language, and cognitive
fields to help foster learning and development in all areas. The
activities support developmentally appropriate practices allowing
children to learn at levels that are individually, socially, and
culturally appropriate. Best of all, GUW activities are correlated to Common Core (K-2), Maryland Environmental Literacy Standards (PreK-2), National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Standards and the Head Start Domains.
In 2009, Growing Up WILD won the Family Choice Award! The Family
Choice Awards was founded by the Family Magazine Group, America's
largest free parenting publication, and is recognized as the premier
resource for the very best in children's and parenting products and
services. The Awards recognize the best in children's and parenting
Growing Up WILD is also the recipient of the 2011 Excellence in
Journalism Award from the Renewable Natural Resources Foundation.
The award honors and encourages excellence in print journalism about
natural resources. RNRF seeks to advance public education and
understanding of important natural resources issues through
dissemination of accurate and scientifically-based information about
How to Grow Up WILD!
The Growing Up WILD (GUW) activity guide is available either by
attending a 3-6 hour educator training workshop or by buying the
books directly from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. It is recommended that
educators attend a workshop to gain hands-on experience with the
guide in addition to tips and tricks from GUW educators. Workshops
can be scheduled to accommodate your group or school's in-service
training. Childcare providers may be eligible to receive elective curriculum credit for attending a Growing Up WILD workshop.
For information on trainings near you, please check out the
Workshop Schedule page, or contact the state coordinator for updates on upcoming workshops and
additional information on Growing Up WILD and Project WILD:
Sarah B. Witcher
Department of Natural Resources
Wildlife and Heritage Service
580 Taylor Avenue, E-1
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Project WILD training Partners
The following organizations help to provide Project WILD professional development around Maryland.