Here is a great oppurtunity for schools looking for a small grant to help fund student EE projects. They give from 500 to 2500 dollars for student led projects that encourage EE education. Straight forward application. Consider it, the link below gives and easy overview of the project and eligible projects.
Captain Planet Grants
This is a story that fits the season and our states history.
Telling tales around a camp fire or in the cookhouse was a past that yield many
great tales. So consider examining these tales as an addition to your 4th grade
history class or have your students create a tale using the premise of an out
of this world character like Paul.
The Bunyons Lesson Plan
Tall Tale Lesson Plans
Songs of Paul Bynon
friendly perennials are the foundation of a well-rounded pollinator
garden. They help increase pollination rates of native bees and
honeybees, and their foliage and flowers provide food and shelter for
beneficial insects that help keep harmful plant pests under control.
In “Which Annuals And Perennials Are Good For Pollinators?,”
Dave Smitley, Professor in the Department of Entomology at Michigan
State University, recommends perennials that are sure to attract
bees. The list includes:
Try planting a few of these on your school grounds or edges of your school forest, pollinators help feed the world and anything we can do to increase there numbers is good for all of us.
plant is one marked by short life cycles. The word ephemeral means transitory
or quickly fading. In regard to plants, it refers to several distinct growth
strategies. The strategy of the spring ephemerals is to come out of dormancy,
leaf out, bloom and seed all before the trees are in full leaf. This means they
can take full advantage of the sunlight. Some common Wisconsin ephemerals are
the trilliums, hepaticas, spring beauty, wood anemone, dutchmen breeches, and
trout lily. Make it a great day and step into Wisconsin woodlands to discover
the flowers that hide most of the seasons and find them in all their
I challenge you to start a record of the ephemerals and their bloom times in
your school forest, on your school grounds, or in a local park. These records
can them be compared and contrasted to past years to start students thinking
about why they are different or not and what are the factors that cause bloom
In National Geographic’s Magazine, published July 2016 is
a chart comparing Thoreau's Walden records with some taken by Boston University
researcher Richard Primack, so comparing 1853 records to 2004records. Three
species bloomed earlier and 24 species bloomed earlier,
why? Start the process of wonder, then add details like can
you find a record of the weather in these two time frames, were
they the plants from the same place, did the soil change for any reason, was
the land and the area surrounding it changes in any manner over time.........
Most of all let student enjoy the wonder of spring in all of its glory.
White nose syndrome is spreading throughout the state, in an effort to get a handle on the spread and existing bat population, consider participating in the summer bat survey. For more details click here.
The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin is calling for grant
applications for its two matching small grants programs, the C.D.
Besadny Conservation Grant Program and the Teachers’ Outdoors
Environmental Education Grant Program.
The Besadny program awards
grants to projects that involve the management and restoration of
Wisconsin’s natural resources and/or focus on natural resources
education and outreach.
The Teachers’ Outdoors program awards grants to projects focused on outdoor environmental education.
Both programs provide grants of up to $1,000.
know what a big difference our small grants program can make for
organizations throughout the state,” said Ruth Oppedahl, executive
director of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin. “We’re glad
to support our partners and the conservation legacy that they’re helping
to maintain for our state. We have no doubt that we’ll get another
great batch of applicants this cycle.”
The C.D. Besadny Grant
Program supports projects in Wisconsin that promote the responsible
stewardship of Wisconsin’s natural resources at the local level. The
program has awarded $447,000 to nearly 600 organizations in every county
in Wisconsin since its inception in 1990. The program is named after
former Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary and
Foundation founder C.D. “Buzz” Besadny.
The Teachers’ Outdoor
Environmental Education Fund provides grants for public school teachers
(K-12) to undertake outdoor environmental education projects. The
Teachers’ Outdoor Environmental Education Fund was established by Pete
Ostlind in memory of his wife Sue Spaeth, a Wisconsin native and
elementary school teacher for more than 30 years.
To apply for a
grant from either program, submit a grant application electronically
to email@example.com by Sept. 1, 2016. Grants will be disbursed
in October. More details are at wisconservation.org. Questions may be
directed to the Foundation at 608-266-1430
In 2015, the Foundation awarded more than $35,000 to 35 organizations through these two grant programs.
National Environmental Education Foundation just put out a downloadable booklet containing great Math connections for all levels.
It is an easy way to find a strong math lesson that is connected to the outdoors. My favorite lesson is the Mathabitat where students
build a trophic pyramid for three ecosystems: alpine, rainforest , and river. Then complete each puzzle by dragging food web
components into the trophic pyramid and using algebra to figure out which components fit in each ecosystem.
Rooted in Math Toolkit
Dovetail Partners Encourages Celebration of
Forests and Water Quality on March 21st
International Day of Forests - 'Celebrating Forests and Water'
MN) - Celebrate
forests on March 21st, the annual International Day of Forests as promoted by
the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The theme of the
2016 International Day of Forests is 'Celebrating Forests and Water', chosen to
raise awareness of how forests are key to the planet's supply of freshwater,
which is essential for life.
at the request of the European Confederation, the FAO's member governments
supported the observance of an annual World Forestry Day on March 21st. That
same year, in the United States, a presidential proclamation declared World
Forestry Day to be part of a week of activities and ceremonies aimed at
celebrating the role of forests in everyone's life. Forty years later, 2011 was
declared the International Year of Forests as a global celebration of people's
action for sustainable forest management. March 21, 2013 was proclaimed
the first annual International Day of Forests by the United Nations General
Assembly. The goal is to continue raising awareness of the importance of all
types of forests.
Forests and water quality
are intrinsically linked - forests act as natural water filters and are a
key component of watershed management. Forested watersheds and
wetlands supply roughly 75 percent of the world's accessible fresh water
for domestic, agricultural, industrial and ecological needs and about
one-third of the world's largest cities rely on forested watersheds for a
significant percentage of their drinking water. When sustainably managed, forests
contribute significantly to reducing soil erosion and risks associated with
natural disasters which can disrupt the source, supply and quality of
freshwater. As climate change influences the availability of the planet's
freshwater resources, and global populations become increasingly urban, it is
important to recognize the role that sustainably managed forests play in
keeping water supplies accessible and ecologically healthy.
Additional information about the
vital role forests play in relation to our water supply can be viewed in the
following 2016 International Day of Forests video.
International Day of Forests, countries are encouraged to undertake local,
national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and
trees, such as tree planting campaigns. Actively celebrate on March 21st
by planting trees, celebrating forests, and showing gratitude for the products
and services they provide in your community.
Here is a link from the Xerces Society that gives a few great tips for photographing iinsect. These creatures enthrall our students and the chance to record them is always fun, but to have some know how to make those photos pop makes the experience that much better.
Click here to Link: to improve your insect photography
This might be a great time to start recording all the changes you are noticing in the outdoor world around you and your classroom. Great time to take a picture to compare to a picture in Feburary.
Black Bears seem to be in dens(no sitings)
Deer Rut is almost done
Ducks and geese are still migrating
Sand hill cranes are still around but less active
Birds are almost frantic at the feeders
Pheasants are heading for the cattails for the winter
Little brown bats are still migrating but number if sughtings are low
Finally this is a great time to mark buckthorn as the leaves are still holding on so it is very easy to identify.