Leech Lake Early Childhood Development’s MEGWAYAAK Project

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Leech Lake Early Childhood Development’s MEGWAYAAK Project

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University of Minnesota Extension. Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA), and Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships.




The Megwayaak Project at the time of this report is as follows: to develop an outdoor classroom that not only caters to the curriculum set forth by the Leech Lake Early Childhood Development, but takes into strong consideration the research presented in Jessie Austin’s report of The Benefits of Nature-Based Learning and Play for Young Children’s Health, Development and Well-Being (Austin, 2019). The report that was compiled and presented in the spring of 2019 will act as a framework for the outdoor learning space’s design. To compliment the previous report, the research from Teaching Strategies GOLD’s Objectives for Development & Learning, Birth Through Third Grade (GOLD’s, 2015) will aid in development of the overall programming of the space, as well as set both qualitative and quantitative standards to track overall achievements of the goals to be set forth.


The Megwayaak project is in its final stages at the Aabinoojii Oshkii Bimadiziiwin Center in Cass Lake, Minnesota. The final stage of the Megwayaak Project is to develop an outdoor learning classroom design. Once constructed, children and teachers from the Leech Lake Early Childhood Development will be able to use their 8 Outdoor Learning Guides in the designed spaces. This final portion of the project will bring together years of planning and research, and will activate the 3 acre wooded space for the children and teachers. The Megwayaak Project will also act as a design and curriculum template for the other Leech Lake Head Start and Leech Lake Early Head Start locations. This publication may not reflect current scientific knowledge or recommendations. current information is available from the University of Minnestoa Extension: https://www.extension.umn.edu

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This is a co-publication of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA), Central Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, other core partners. Project funding was provided by the Initiative Foundation and the Central Regional Sustainable Development Partnership.

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Hedlund, Jordan. (2020). Leech Lake Early Childhood Development’s MEGWAYAAK Project. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/212088.

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