In Beacon, South Avenue Elementary School’s Linda Houlihan worked with Scenic Hudson experts to develop a hands-on environmental education curriculum centered upon visits to our nearby parks. These “natural learning laboratories” pique youngsters’ curiosity about plants, animals and ecology. When started in 2005, only two classes were involved. This year, all second-fourth- and fifth-graders are taking part. A media arts teacher, Ms. Houlihan incorporates the outdoors in her own classes.