Outdoor Learning Program Passes Legislature: A Tremendous Success for Our Community!

Update March 10, 2022: Yesterday, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed House Bill 2, which included an amendment for the outdoor learning program funding for the NM Public Education Department. New Mexico will have an outdoor learning program at NMPED! 

EENM and our partners at Wild Friends are very excited to announce that the Outdoor Learning Program legislation sponsored by Senator Siah Correa Hemphill has passed the NM Legislature and is now awaiting the Governor’s signature!  The full adoption of this legislation will result in the creation of two new positions at the NM Public Education Department to support outdoor learning statewide, more professional development focused on outdoor education for NM’s teachers, and microgrants for the construction of outdoor classrooms on school grounds throughout the state.

The bill took a less conventional route through the legislature (timeline below). It was introduced as Senate Bill 32 (SB32) and unanimously passed the first committee that considered it, the Senate Education Committee. It then moved to the Senate Finance Committee where it was added as an amendment to House Bill 2 (HB2), the General Appropriations Act (budget). HB2 was then passed by the Senate and concurred by the House. HB2 is now on the desk of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, where it will hopefully receive her signature by March 9.

Our incredible community came together to support this momentous legislation for the children of our state, and your voices made a difference! We are grateful to those who contacted state legislators, delivered public comments in the committee hearing, and advocated in other ways.

This has been many years in the making and is a huge milestone for supporting outdoor and environmental learning in systemic ways in the Land of Enchantment. We are thrilled to see this significant step forward for Every Kid, Every Day, Every Way in support of Policy Recommendation #1 “Resource an Office of Outdoor and Environmental Education at the state level to support teachers and school staff.”

Timeline of the progression of the Outdoor Learning Program legislation through the New Mexico Legislature; the legislation was sponsored by Senator Siah Correa Hemphill