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The LEAFlet
LEAFlet - Your Online Source for LEAF News

Happy Thanksgiving Wisconsin educators,
This month we are extending our congratulations to Deb McRae, director of Wehr Nature Center, who was recently honored with the Project Learning Tree Facilitator of the Year Award (see PLT Corner).

And, we are very excited to announce the registration of a brand new school forest. The addition of the Eagleville School Forest means that every county in Wisconsin is represented!

As always, we hope you find the information entertaining, useful, and relevant. If there is anything you'd like to see highlighted in the LEAFlet, please email us at

The LEAF Staff


PLT Corner

PLT Names Facilitator of the Year

DEB MCRAE, DIRECTOR of the Wehr Nature Center in Milwaukee County, was recently honored with the Project Learning Tree Facilitator of the Year Award. Deb is an enthusiastic, hands-on educator and received this award for her dedication to environmental education and her exceptional teaching skills. Deb shares her knowledge and passion at workshops that are exciting, unique, and creative.

Deb is a facilitator for PLT's Early Childhood curriculum as well as PK-8 and Secondary. She is also a facilitator for Project WET and Project WILD. Deb frequently works with classroom teachers, pre-service teachers, and non-formal educators, showing them how to address education standards through environmental education.

Project Learning Tree depends on its network of amazing volunteer facilitators to reach educators around the state. If you are interested in becoming a PLT facilitator, reach out to us at Or, for more information about PLT or to request a workshop, visit our webpage.

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New School Forest Announced

Eagleville's School Forest Means Every County in Wisconsin is Now Represented

THE WISCONSIN SCHOOL FOREST PROGRAM would like to welcome the Eagleville Elementary Charter School Forest, recently registered to the Mukwonago Area School District.

This parcel, located adjacent to the charter school, is already used by staff and students as an outdoor classroom. Students have been practicing their writing skills and studying water cycles, chromatography, invertebrates, poetry, and art, along with many other concepts within their curriculum.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources forester Michael Sieger worked with the school district to complete a forest stewardship plan for the property. If you have questions about the Eagleville Elementary Charter School Forest, please contact teacher Cathy Selzer. This is the first school forest registered in Waukesha County and there are now school forests registered in every county of Wisconsin!

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High Marq Environmental Charter School Holds Fall BioBlitz

Students Identify More Than One Hundred Species

THIS FALL WE'VE SPENT A LOT OF TIME telling you about an activity known as a BioBlitz. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a BioBlitz is an activity in which students identify as many species as possible in a designated area. Often, schools conduct a BioBlitz on their school grounds or in their school forest as way to use these areas as a context for learning.

"Thanks again for coming out last week and leading our BioBlitz! The students really had a great time, and it went even better than I could have hoped." - Skylar Primm, Advisor/Lead Teacher, High Marq Environmental Charter School

Recently, LEAF outreach specialist and BioBlitz expert, Chris Kuntz, traveled to Montello, Wis., to help students and staff identify species on their school grounds. On Friday, November 15 — a beautiful fall day — the students of High Marq Environmental Charter School hit the field to identify any and every living thing they could find. With the help of fantastic volunteers, teachers, and a field biologist the students worked through the entire school day.

The list of species discovered and identified is impressive and will be used to create a field guide that can be built upon and used in the future. In all, the students classified: 34 tree types, 5 types of shrubs, 1 sedge, 7 lichens, 28 herbaceous plants, 1 fern, 8 fungi, 19 birds, 8 mammals, 2 mosses, 2 worms, and 14 insects/spiders. (Can your students spot the spider in our photo? Click the image to view full size)

This impressive list will serve as a great tool for the future and allow students to have a richer understanding of, and appreciation for, the surrounding environment.

While many think of biology class as a natural fit for a BioBlitz, the benefits go beyond the science classroom. As well as compiling a list for a site-based field guide, students learned the history of the land, gained identification skills, and had the chance to show off their living classroom and tell adults what is happening on the landscape.

If you are interested in coordinating a BioBlitz for your school, but aren't sure where to start, contact Chris Kuntz at

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LEAF & PLT Welcome Ann Lindner

Project Learning Tree Co-Coordinator

While growing up in the city, Ann's appreciation and love of the outdoors came from annual trips to northern Wisconsin and Door County. Wanting to share and instill that passion in others, Ann received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin — Stevens Point, majoring in Environmental Education and Interpretation.

Before becoming the new Co-coordinator for Project Learning Tree, Ann enjoyed working as a Naturalist at High Cliff State Park, Rib Mountain State Park and volunteering at Boston School Forest. Ann loves spending her free time with her two boys outside. Ann can be reached at

Wisconsin Environmental Education Board Announces Environmental Education Grant Program

THE WISCONSIN ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION BOARD (WEEB) is seeking proposals for the 2014-2015 grant cycle. The Board anticipates awarding $75,000 for general environmental education grants, $55,000 for water education grants, $90,000 for forestry grants, and $90,000 for school forest grants.

Proposals are due February 15, 2014. For an application packet or more information about the program see the Board's website or contact Ginny Carlton, Administrative Specialist, at 715-346-3805, email:

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Professional Development

View Full Professional Development Calendar

Human Influence on Wisconsin's Forests

This web-based course examines Wisconsin's forest resources and the role our forests play in our past, current, and future ecological, economic, and social well-being. Course designed for educator who wants to acquire the background necessary to teach their students about Wisconsin's forests.

Forestry Education in the Wisconsin K-12 Classroom

LEAF's spring offerings of NRES 620, "Forestry Education in the Wisconsin K-12 Classroom" are now being planned around the state, including sections in Crivitz, Greendale and Necedah. Please see our professional development calendar for more information.

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Learning Highlight

Forests Built Our State

In this lesson, students explore the importance of forests to early settlers. They then do a mapping exercise to discover the role forests played in the settling of Wisconsin and write a poem that describes this importance.

Forests Built Our State


In Brief From Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources

Photo courtesy of Dave Menke, USFWS

Adopt an Eagle Nest
There is nothing more breathtaking than the sight of an eagle soaring overhead or swooping down to catch its prey. Wisconsin is fortunate to have Bald Eagles, our American symbol, nesting in our state. At one time, eagles in Wisconsin were in danger of becoming extinct. Due to the hard work of many citizens, professionals and agencies, including Wisconsin's Natural Heritage Conservation Program, eagles are making a comeback.

Learn more from the Wisconsin DNR's website.

LEAF is a partnership between the Wisconsin DNR-Division of Forestry and The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point´s Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education - a center of the College of Natural Resources and UW Extension - Cooperative Extension.

UW-Stevens Point | 900 Reserve Street | Stevens Point, WI 54481

LEAF is a partnership between the Wisconsin DNR-Division of Forestry and The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point´s Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education - a center of the College of Natural Resources and UW Extension - Cooperative Extension.

UW-Stevens Point | 900 Reserve Street | Stevens Point, WI 54481