NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

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CONTENTS:
CWFNJ: January E-News 2017
SJ4S: Is Your Green Team Ready for Certification?
NAAEE: eeNEWS for January 11, 2017
40,000 FREE Trees & Shrubs from the NJ Tree Foundation
January Littoral News
Raritan Headwaters Newsletter: Happy New Year!
The Nature Conservancy - Great Places: Sparks of Hope in 2016
Duke Farms: Community Garden Plots Available
D&R Greenway Land Trust: As we enter 2017, a look back on this year's accomplishments
Guest Blogs and Commentary from the New Nature Movement
NRPA report-survey results
Children & Nature Research Digest | December 2016
'Tis the Season for School Ambassador Fellows & Director's Award Nominations
Science Update: Saving Loons
SJ4S: Making Progress on Arts Actions
CWFNJ: December E-News 2016
Great Places: You Helped Save Their Home
Guest Blogs and Commentary from the New Nature Movement
December Littoral News
EE at EPA: EPA Forward Blog Post on EE Grants, Student and Teacher Awards
This Week In the Media: C&NN's News Roundup
USDOE - Green Strides: Last Chance to Apply to Your State for 2017 ED-GRS Nominations
Notes from the New Nature Movement for 11/23/2016
Notes from the New Nature Movement for 11/21/2016
SJ: Celebrate a Moment of Thanksgiving (Funding opps & events!)
Science Update: Jumping Worm Invasion
ALS: The Environment Heals
Duke Farms Moos-letter
NAAEE: Note from the Executive Director
Green Knight Newsletter - November 2016
Catch SEED in theaters across the country!
SJ4S: Sustainability Champions
Great Places: Who's Afraid of the Big Brown Bat?
November Littoral News
Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ: E-News, 11th Annual Women & Wildlife Awards Reception and more!
ANJEE Online: 348th Edition
C&NN's News Roundup
Science Update: Help Purple Martins
Notes from the New Nature Movement for 10/18/2016
Coastodian Autumn 2016
NWF: October in the Wildlife Garden: Birds, Bats and Boneset
CWFNJ: October E-News 2016
ED-GRS Visits Pennsylvania for Some ‘Real-World Learning’
October Sustainability Hero Announced
WSGN: Farm to School
This Week In the Media: Children & Nature Network's News Roundup
Green Link Suggestions
Great Places: Join a Climate Chat with Our CEO
NAAEE: eeNEWS for September 29, 2016
Welcome to the Children & Nature Network Research Library and Digest
Fall Edible Garden Essentials
347th Edition September 30, 2016
Discover DEP Podcast: Environmental Education
News from KidsGardening.org
CWFNJ: January E-News 2017             (Posted: 1-13-17)

NEW REPORT REVEALS 2016 SUCCESS 
FOR NEW JERSEY BALD EAGLES
The Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey in partnership with the NJ Endangered and Nongame Species Program has released the 2016 NJ Bald Eagle Project Report and the new and improved Eagle Tracking Maps. In 2016, 172 eagle nests were monitored during the nesting
season. Of these nests 150 were active (with eggs) and 22 were territorial or housekeeping pairs. A record high of 216 young were fledged. The success of the NJ Eagle Project is due to the dedicated Eagle Project Volunteers who monitor and help to protect nests throughout New Jersey.

2016 may have come to an end, but eagles all over New Jersey are busy working on their nests in preparation for the upcoming nesting season. Duke Farms Bald Eagle pair is no exception! The Eagle Cam is up and running and the adults are sprucing up their nest for the 2017 season. Check out the Eagle Cam today! 

Stay tuned for updates of the 2016 season on CWF's blog.
NEW JERSEY HAS GAINED ANOTHER ENDANGERED SPECIES
THE RUSTY PATCHED BUMBLE BEE
Rare find, this is a species that has suffered drastic declines since the late 1990's. Photo courtesy of Dan Mullen.
The Rusty Patched Bumble Bee - a valued pollinator of wildflowers and crops - was listed as an endangered species this week after the population plummeted by 90% since the late 1990s according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. 

The multitude of ways that we rely on pollinators - for food, clothes, ecosystem functioning - means that their peril is our own. In New Jersey, the service provided by wild pollinators is valued at $43 million; in the U.S. as a whole, they are worth $3 billion annually. Since the rusty patch (along with other species of bumble bees) is an excellent pollinator of New Jersey crops like blueberries, cranberries, and tomatoes, it is sorely missed from the Garden State.
SUCCESS FOR PIPING PLOVER POPULATION
All of New Jersey's breeding piping plovers are now settled on their wintering grounds in the Southeast U.S. and the Bahamas. The highlights of the 2016 season include a 25% increase in the statewide population over the past two years and three consecutive years of above-average chick production! For a more in-depth look at the season's nesting results, check out the

 
CALLING ALL TEACHERS AND EDUCATORS
BALD EAGLE ECOLOGY FOR TEACHERS (K-12)
Join Conserve Wildlife Foundation's wildlife biologist Larissa Smith on January 21 at Duke Farms from 9AM - 3PM to learn how to use the Eagle Cam to teach about ecology, endangered species or animal adaptations. Larissa has been involved in the state's Bald Eagle Monitoring Project since 2000 and is dedicated to educating the public about how to protect this magnificent species. 

Conserve Wildlife Foundation and Duke Farms will help you to enhance your understanding of the science behind New Jersey's bald eagle management program and discover the many ways this technology can be used in your classroom. Live birds of prey will make an appearance and an opportunity will be announced for one teacher to participate in the spring eagle chick banding at Duke Farms. Register Online for $25.
WILDLIFE CAMS IN THE CLASSROOM
CWF, Duke Farms, and our two winning Eagle Cam Lesson Plan Contest Teachers, Diane Cook and Lauren Kurzius, will be presenting Wildlife Cams in the Classroom at this year's ANJEE conference on January 19 and 20. We hope you will join us! Learn More.


TIGER SALAMANDER SEASON
Volunteers survey for this rare and elusive New Jersey salamander. 

SEVENTH-GRADERS PROTECT BATS
Princeton students partner with CWF to design better bat houses.
 
 

SJ4S: Is Your Green Team Ready for Certification?             (Posted: 1-13-17)

SUSTAINABLE JERSEY FOR SCHOOLS
232 Districts     579 Schools     Participating
January 18th 2017
The First Step in Sustainable Jersey for Schools Certification
 
Schools seeking to become bronze or silver certified with the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program for 2017 are encouraged to take advantage of multiple review periods in the application cycle. Incremental submission of application materials allows your green team to receive valuable feedback on your efforts as you accumulate points towards certification.  

2017 Certification Application Deadlines
January 18, 2017
-First 2017 Application Submission Deadline
April 10, 2017
 Second 2017 Application Submission Deadline
June 29, 2017
-Third (FINAL) 2017 Application Submission Deadline

Check out these past webinar presentations for tips, tricks, and instructions for a successful submission: 
Preparing for Certification (access narrated recording here)
Is Your Green Team Ready for Certification? 
 
The formation of a "green team" is the first step in establishing a school sustainability program. Green teams leverage the skills and expertise of team members to develop plans, implement programs, and assist with educational opportunities that support the creation of a sustainable school. All schools participating in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program must establish a green team or be active participants on a district green team. Sufficient green team documentation is required for all grant applications and is a mandatory action requirement on all certification applications.  The Green Team action documentation requirements include:
  1. Submit only one of the following sets of documentation: 
    • District Green Team: Letter from superintendent that formally establishes the green team. Letter must include district green team members' names and titles and affiliations, and the date the team members were appointed to the committee. Each registered school in the district must have at least one representative on the district green Team. Please be sure to clearly identify the two green team members who were selected by the district union leadership.              OR:
    • District and Individual Green Teams established: Letter from superintendent that formally establishes the green team. Letter must include district green team members' names and titles and affiliations, and the date the team members were appointed to the committee. Also, please provide a letter from each participating school principal that formally establishes their school green team. The school green team appointment letter must include school green team members' names and titles and affiliations and the date the team members were appointed to the team. Letters from both the district and all school green teams registered with the program must be provided. Please be sure to clearly identify the two green team members who were selected by the relevant union leadership for each green team.           OR:
    • School Green Team: Letter from principal that formally establishes the green team. Letter must include green team members' names and titles and affiliations and the date the team members were appointed to the team. This submission requirement applies when no district green team is established. Schools will be responsible for submitting their Green Team Action documentation. Please be sure to clearly identify the two green team members who were selected by the union leadership for your school.
2.  Upload a Green Team Annual Report that includes a summary of activities undertaken by the green team over the previous twelve months that meets the submission requirements noted in "Annual Report Content Requirements" above. The summary should include a list of meetings (at least four annually after the initial establishment year), activities and efforts of the green team, and may also evaluate the team's progress and effectiveness, and identify priorities and focuses for the upcoming year. Please note the green team needs to have met at least quarterly. If your green team has been recently established, please submit a summary of the activities undertaken by the green team since it was established.

Check out this helpful Green Team webinar  & presentation slides on our past webinars page for more helpful hints! You can also see examples of how other certified schools document their green teams using the "search by action" search function on our participating schools map. 
Reminder: PSEG Sponsored Sustainable Jersey for Schools Grant Applications due February 3, 2017
    
Visit the Sustainable Jersey for Schools Grants & Resources page to learn more about funding for registered schools to support action related sustainability initiatives. Grants are available at the $2,000 and $10,000 level. If your school has not received a $2,000 capacity building grant from Sustainable Jersey for Schools, we strongly suggest viewing the informational webinar and submitting an application for 2017. 

Application Deadline is February 3, 2017. Click here for more information. 
Welcome Newly Registered Schools & Districts!
Bergen County
Teaneck Community Charter School
 
Camden County 
Winslow Township School No. 1 Elementary
Winslow Township School No. 2 Elementary
Winslow Township School No. 4 Elementary
Winslow Township School No. 5 Elementary
Winslow Township School No. 6 Elementary

Somerset County
Somerville Public School District

Gloucester County
Bells Elementary School (Washington)
Charles G. Harker School (Swedesboro-Woolwich)
Gov. Charles C. Stratton School (Swedesboro-Woolwich)
Margaret C. Clifford School (Swedesboro-Woolwich)
Walter Hill School (Swedesboro-Woolwich)

Morris County
Morris School District

Field Trip New Jersey Grants
                                  Deadline February 10th
 
Educators at schools in districts serving a majority of low-income students may apply for grants of up to $700 to cover transportation costs for field trips to arts and culture sites, historical landmarks, nature preserves and science institutions in New Jersey, and to visit college campuses throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.
  • Each eligible school can apply for reimbursement for one field trip a year
  • Funds must be used during the school year in which funding is requested
  • All schools with more than 65 percent of students eligible for free or reduced lunch are eligible for FTNJ funding
  • Schools or associated bus companies will be reimbursed upon receipt of invoice
 Visit Field Trip New Jersey information page here.
 
 Application Deadline: February 10, 2017
NJ Agricultural Society Learning Through Gardening Grants
 
The NJ Agricultural Society Learning Through Gardening grant provides teachers with curriculum, training and materials for three raised beds so that they can use the school garden to teach their core curriculum, including math, social studies, language arts, and science. 

Learning Through Gardening grant is awarded to schools planning to launch a schoolwide gardening program during school hours. Grants are not awarded to schools that intend to use the garden solely for after-school or club activities. Grant recipients must assemble a garden management committee of teachers from various grade levels. Garden committees can also include administrators and other stakeholders such as custodians, cafeteria managers, and parents. Grant recipients must plan for the garden to be used by at least two grade levels during the first year, and show plans to expand the garden's use by additional grade levels in future years. Every application must be accompanied by a letter of support from the school principal.
 
Application deadline February 1. 2017
Fun Run Grants Available
 
The New Balance Foundation Billion Mile Race is challenging America's schools to collectively run, jog, and walk one billion miles. The New Balance Foundation Billion Mile Race is hosted by Active Schools Acceleration Project (ASAP), an initiative of ChildObesity180 at Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition.  A Fun Run Grant will equip schools with materials to host a race, walk-a-thon, or fun run event for their school communities. The package includes a set of numbered race bibs, a finish line banner, wristbands for student participants, a Bluetooth speaker, an airhorn and a gift card to purchase healthy snacks like fruit and water. 
 
 Application deadline February 15. 2017
"Going Beyond the Resolution"
NJSBA Sustainability Webinar Series for Board Leaders
 
The New Jersey School Boards Association has designed a free webinar series for school board members that seek a deeper understanding of sustainability, beyond the resolution signed to participate in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools Certification Program. Green team members are encouraged to participate in these webinars, as the success of implementing sustainable practices improves with a better understanding by everyone involved in supporting them.

FUTURE WEBINARS IN THE SERIES: 
February 8th 10-11am-  School Foundations Supporting Sustainability
March 8th 10-11am-  Creating School Policies that Support Sustainability
April 12th 10-11am-  Strategic Planning: Incorporating Green Initiatives
May 10th 10-11am- Education for Sustainability
April 6th 10-11am- Arts Ed Now Toolkit: Supporting Compliance with State Requirements
TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES WITH SUSTAINABLE JERSEY FOR SCHOOLS PARTNERS

JANUARY 21, 2017, 9:00AM- 3:00PM, Duke Farms, Hillsborough, NJ
The Eagle Cam is a wonderful tool for teaching about ecology, endangered species or animal adaptions. Enhance your understanding of the science behind NJ's bald eagle management program and discover the many ways this technology can be used in your classroom. Register for this $25/pp. training here.

JANUARY 19th & 20th 2017, Crowne Plaza Conference Center, Princeton, NJ
"From Inspiration to Impact: Inspiring stories. Compelling Evidence. Meaningful impact." 
ANJEE's 32nd annual conference will link powerful stories of innovation and success in EE from around the state with how environmental education builds community and creates purposeful change. We will celebrate the ways in which our work inspires people of all ages and backgrounds to connect with nature, contribute to healthy environments and empowered communities, and shape a more sustainable future. Register  here. 

JANUARY 31, 2017 4:30PM-6:00PM, Princeton, NJ (Middle School Teachers)
FEBRUARY 7, 2017 4:30PM-6:00PM, Princeton, NJ (High School Teachers)
OASIS (Organizing Action on Sustainability In Schools) and the Rutgers University Climate Institute are pleased to offer this free professional development training to help educators improve their understanding of climate science and develop effective teaching and learning practices to teach about climate science. Register for this free training here.

FEBRUARY 4, 2017, 9:00AM- 3:00PM, Duke Farms, Hillsborough, NJ
Teachers will explore the power of PBL as they spend the day working with other teachers at their grade level and will then leave with new tools including a problem-based task, analytic rubric, unit level scaffold, and tools for facilitation to implement a new bald eagle  unit in their classrooms. Register for this $30/pp. training here

SCHOOL INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT TRAINING 2016-2016
NJ Association for Designated Persons, NJDEP, NJ School Buildings & Grounds Association
Throughout the state, every month beginning in November
See the complete schedule for dates & locations here.  
NORTH AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION (NAAEE)
Topics include: Systems Thinking, Diversity & Inclusion in Environmental Education, Telling Your Story with Web Mapping Technology, and more! Visit the NAAEE page here.
NJ DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, Podcast series (ongoing)
"Discover DEP" 

We hope you will join us to take steps to create a brighter future, one school at a time!  If you have questions, email us at schools@sustainablejersey.com or visit www.SustainableJerseySchools.com.

 

Sustainable Jersey for Schools

NAAEE: eeNEWS for January 11, 2017             (Posted: 1-13-17)

Click HERE.

40,000 FREE Trees & Shrubs from the NJ Tree Foundation             (Posted: 1-5-17)

40,000 FREE trees & shrubs for planting in spring 2017!



STAY CONNECTED:
January Littoral News             (Posted: 1-5-17)

Click HERE.

Raritan Headwaters Newsletter: Happy New Year!             (Posted: 1-5-17)

January 2017
Every Drop Counts
           
A big thank you to all who generously gave to our 2016 year-end appeal. RHA's goal is to raise $80,000 through this appeal for our water, education and advocacy programs, and we're getting close. But we're not there yet. If you haven't sent a gift, please consider donating today!
NEW! River-Friendly Workshops 
     
RHA has partnered with Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association and New Jersey Water Supply Authority to implement a suite of River-Friendly programs. Coming up: Design Your Own Rain Garden (Jan. 18, 25), Composting & Soil Health (Feb. 22), and Rainwater Harvesting (Mar. 22).
For more on the River-Friendly program, visit www.njriverfriendly.org.  
Don't Miss Our Next "Morning Call," January 19
 
RHA's Policy Director Bill Kibler will lead a discussion on "Elections have consequences: Environmental priorities in NJ 2017." Coffee and a complimentary breakfast will be available. Donations appreciated.
 

New Seminar Series for Decision-Makers
 
RHA is hosting the seminar series, Watershed Tools for Local Decision-Makers, in order to provide practical guidance on science, regulations, and funding sources that can be used to understand and protect local water resources. These seminars are for municipal leaders, employees and committee members.
 
The series kicks off January 26 with "Complying with New Jersey Stormwater Regulations," presented by Dr. Chris Obropta, Rutgers Coop Extension. Read more and register (space is limited)!

On the Prowl for Owls
 
Join us February 10, 4:30-6:30pm for an Owl Prowl with a presentation from the Raptor Trust followed by a guided hike with Alan Rennie under the full moon. This event is free, though donations are appreciated.
 

Chemical Monitoring Volunteers Needed
           
Winter stream monitoring will be conducted February 4-20. A number of sites deemed impaired for two consecutive years require additional monitoring, and we need volunteers! Interested? Contact Angela Gorczyca to learn more.
What Have We Learned about the State of Our Watershed?
 
It was standing room only at this year's State of Our Watershed conference held December 3 at the new Hoffmans Crossing campus in Califon.
 
Here are some facts and stats that were shared with conference attendees on the quality and quantity of water in our watershed and across the state.
On the Watchdog Front

On the last day of the legislative session for 2016, the New Jersey Assembly overwhelmingly passed ACR-192, a resolution to help protect drinking water sources in the Highlands. On behalf of RHA, Director of Policy Bill Kibler testified in favor of the resolution, which would block DEP's attempt to weaken existing nitrate standards. The resolution now goes to the Senate, where RHA will work for its swift passage.
  
Did You Know?

RHA's 2016 Stream Cleanup was recently given an American Rivers' National River Cleanup 25th Anniversary River Heroes Honorable Mention in the category of Most Volunteers Mobilized!
 
We are also proud to have received the 2016 Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence, along with partners Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association and New Jersey Water Supply Authority, for our River-Friendly program. This is the second consecutive year RHA has been honored with this award.
 
Events & Happenings

January 9, 16, 23, 30
Birding Walks at Fairview Farm with Naturalist Alan Rennie, 8am

January 18, 25 

February 10

March 2
Save the Date: RHA Member Meeting

Raritan Headwaters, a nonprofit conservation organization, protects clean water in the North Branch and South Branch regions of the Raritan River, serving the residents of 38 municipalities within Morris, Somerset, and Hunterdon Counties and beyond to include more than 1.5 million people who live and work in New Jersey's more urban areas.
The Nature Conservancy - Great Places: Sparks of Hope in 2016             (Posted: 1-5-17)

Click HERE.

Duke Farms: Community Garden Plots Available             (Posted: 1-5-17)

Click HERE.

D&R Greenway Land Trust: As we enter 2017, a look back on this year's accomplishments             (Posted: 1-5-17)

Click HERE.

Guest Blogs and Commentary from the New Nature Movement             (Posted: 1-5-17)

Click HERE.

NRPA report-survey results             (Posted: 1-5-17)

Click HERE.

Children & Nature Research Digest | December 2016             (Posted: 1-5-17)

Click HERE.

'Tis the Season for School Ambassador Fellows & Director's Award Nominations             (Posted: 1-5-17)

Apply and nominate today!
Green Strides Design

 

          U.S. Department of Education

   Green Strides

In this edition:

News

School Ambassador Fellowship Program montage

Join the U.S. Department of Education as a School Ambassador Fellow


The Department's 2017-2018 School Ambassador Fellowship application is open. This program is designed to broaden the agency’s Teaching Ambassador Fellowship and Principal Ambassador Fellowship programs to allow other professional school personnel -- like counselors, librarians, parent liaisons, and assistant principals -- to apply.  The goal is to create a cadre of outstanding educators to inform the work of the Department, while expanding their own knowledge and expertise as they participate in and help lead the national education dialogue.  As in previous years, applicants may choose to apply as Washington Fellows -- a full-time appointment where fellows are based in residence at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. -- or as Campus Fellows -- a part-time appointment where fellows collaborate with the agency while maintaining their regular school responsibilities in their home communities.  The application closes January 23.  >>>>

 GRSlogo

Last Chance to Enter ED-Green Ribbon Schools '17

Participating state education authorities have winter application deadlines for 2017 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS), with nominations due to ED by Feb. 1.  Interested colleges and universities should contact state higher education authorities, while schools and districts should contact state education agencies.  Schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions are only eligible if nominated by state authorities.  Hearing from interested applicants may be helpful to those states considering participation in a future year.  State education authorities can find award criteria and other state implementation guidance on the ED website and should contact U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools for more information.  Now is also a good time for schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions to gear up for the 2018 application cycle by using resources and programs on Green Strides and to contact your state authority if it does not already make nominations.  Read some common misconceptions about the award dispelled in a blog by the director and review Frequently Asked Questions about the award. >>>>

Bernie Piaia 2016 Director's Award Recipient
Bernard E. Piaia Jr., Director of the Office of School Facilities at the New Jersey Department of Education,receives the 2016 Director's Award at a ceremony on July 20, 2016 in Washington, DC.

Director’s Award Nominations Due March 1st

The Director’s Award recognizes state education authorities’ exemplary efforts to administer U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS).  Annually, the Director’s Award goes to the state education official who does the most to advance sustainable education in his or her state, by such means as running a robust nomination process; connecting more schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions to sustainability resources; amplifying the stories of honorees; helping schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions connect and learn from one another; partnering with a variety of state and non- and for-profit private sector entities; and exhibiting a dedication to exceptional school facilities, health, and environmental education through activities outside of the award.  If you wish to nominate an official from your state education agency, please send your nomination and justification to ed.green.ribbon.schools@ed.gov by March 1st.  Any state education agency official who is involved in implementing the ED-GRS award and who has not already won the Director’s Award is eligible for nomination.  Read about the past Director’s Award recipients. >>>>

Learn from the 2016 Honorees

Want to make some sustainable improvements on your school? Take inspiration from the 2016 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, District Sustainability Awardees, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees and learn more about their work on Green Strides.

Fly fishing at Broadneck High School
The Broadneck physical education department is committed to engaging students in outdoors physical activity with courses such as Walking for Wellness and Lifetime Sports, the latter of which offers a unit in fly fishing during which students are able to visit a local waterway to practice.

Broadneck High School, Annapolis, Maryland

Since 1982, Broadneck High School (BHS) has been an environmentally-oriented institution with students and staff participating in civic-minded, bay-focused restoration projects.  Students have led efforts to plant bay grasses, design and implement rain gardens, and develop and plant stormwater restoration projects.  AP Environmental Science students conduct annual stream studies of a retention pond on school property over a 10-year time period.  All students are afforded the opportunity to engage in environmental literacy through signature overlays, a means of refocusing existing content so that it can be taught through the lens of the environment.  Students recognized the challenge of recycling, and collaborated with operations staff, custodial staff, and faculty to implement a successful schoolwide program.  The school engages in walking field trips to reduce transportation use and keep students active.  The Environmental Literacy Explorations course partnered with the Baltimore Gas and Electric company to develop a student-led energy audit.  In 2015, the school’s Green Team began an organic vegetable garden in the school’s courtyard.  At Broadneck and around Anne Arundel County Public Schools, students can take unlimited fruits and vegetables with their lunches.

Student setting up for solar car race in Alachua County Schools FL
An Alachua County Public Schools student sets up her vehicle at the Junior Solar Sprint Car Competition at the North Florida Energy Whiz Expo, where students demonstrate their STEM understanding as it pertains to renewable energies.

Alachua County Public Schools, Florida

Alachua County Public Schools (ACPS), where approximately 50 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced price lunch, was an EPA 2013 ENERGY STAR Leader and Top Performer District, achieving an average ENERGY STAR score of 77 across its schools.  ACPS has 21 school sites with more than two megawatts of photovoltaics installed.  Three of these projects were provided through partnerships with local utility providers, and are hands-on learning centers for students.  Eighteen sites are Feed-In-Tariff programs, which provide a substantial income to ACPS from the rental of roof spaces.  In addition, a portion of the solar rental income is earmarked toward funding the North Florida EnergyWhiz Expo event a forum for students to demonstrate their STEM knowledge and skills as they relate to such energy topics as solar thermal, photovoltaics, and hydrogen technology.  The event features a Junior Solar Sprint Car Competition and a Solar Energy Cook-Off.  In addition, the district has provided a solar energy kit in conjunction with a one-day workshop about solar energy to every school in the county, along with solar energy training for a teacher from each of the 42 schools.  ACPS' Camp Crystal Lake program sends all second grade students to a sixty acre "classroom without walls” to engage in environmental learning.  In fifth grade, all students attend overnight campouts onsite to further enhance their understanding of North Central Florida's ecosystems firsthand.  The district’s award-winning Food and Nutrition Services department has nearly two dozen farm-to-school programs underway. 

Chancellor Mone on Bublr Bikeshare
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Chancellor Mark Mone gives the campus' Bublr Bikeshare a whirl.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s (UWM) academic departments, such as the master’s degree program in Sustainable Peacebuilding—a graduate degree program that prepares students to work with communities on issues such as human development, resource stewardship, and conflict resolution—exemplify the interdisciplinary nature of a sustainable future.  Student Affairs delivers co-curricular environmental film festivals, energy competitions in the residence halls, and leadership in green office practices.  Facility Services has been a leader in energy conservation and chemical reductions. Extensive recycling programs, green cleaning, stormwater runoff reductions, and energy conservation have led to cost savings.  Performance contracting alone has saved UWM $11.9 million in avoided energy costs through fiscal 2015.  Academic research on stormwater management has been well aligned with the administrative rollout of multiple green roofs, green parking lots, and cistern stormwater catchment that are reducing the combined sewer overflow effect on Lake Michigan. Campus grounds include the 11.1-acre Downer Woods forest, native prairie plantings in stormwater gardens throughout campus, and natural lawn care.  UWM offers 190 sustainability-focused and related courses across 38 departments.  The majority of core STEM-identified departments offer such coursework.  The recent opening of the School of Freshwater Science and Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health are both model examples of building a sustainable, healthy community.  UWM is also home to an interdisciplinary, sustainability-focused Global Studies program, the School of Architecture’s Institute for Ecological Design, the cross-institutional and community-oriented Institute for Urban Agriculture and Nutrition, as well as a breadth of sustainability curriculum across the art, sciences, and humanities.  The Outdoor Pursuits program, delivered through University Recreation, builds a unique program for the urban environment, and develops outdoor and lifestyle skills for a wide variety of students.   

Events

Green Schools Conference and Expo logo

The Green Schools National Conference & Expo is March 21-22 in Atlanta 

 The Green Schools Conference and Expo (GSCE) connects green school champions nationwide for two days of learning and collaboration to support the shared mission of equitable, healthy and high-performing schools, where students can learn how to sustain and improve the world around them.  Green Schools National Network members receive a discount on registration. Learn more about membership>>>>

Green Schools Alliance Logo

The Student Climate & Conservation Congress (Sc3) is June 25-July 1 in WV

The Sc3 is a week-long leadership training event for high school students held annually at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center in West Virginia.  Students spend a week studying and discussing environmental, social, and economic interconnections to address climate change and conservation challenges affecting their generation – all while connecting with nature and new friends.  >>>>

Resources and Opportunities

EPA

Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Applications Due January 31

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration grant focuses on the stewardship and restoration of coastal, wetland and riparian ecosystems across the country to meet the conservation needs of important species and habitats, providing measurable and meaningful conservation and educational outcomes. The program requires the establishment and/or enhancement of diverse partnerships and an education/outreach component that will help shape and sustain behavior to achieve conservation goals. >>>>

Captain Planet Logo

Captain Planet Foundation Small Grants Applications Due by Jan. 31

The Captain Planet Foundation is accepting the next round of applications for small grants totaling $500-$2500. Grant activities must be project-based, performed by youth, and have real environmental outcomes. >>>>

Bioenergize Me Logo

Register for Department of Energy’s BioenergizeME Challenge by Feb. 3

In the 2017 BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge, high school-aged teams use technology to research, interpret, apply, and design an infographic that responds to one of four cross-curricular bioenergy topics.  Register by February 3 to test your knowledge and creativity along with student teams across the country.  Submissions are due March 3, 2017. Selected infographics will be featured on the challenge website, and one team will be selected to present at the Bioenergy Technologies Office's conference in Washington, D.C. >>>>

EPA logo

President’s Environmental Youth Awards Applications are Due March 1 

The President’s Environmental Youth Awards promote awareness of our nation's natural resources and encourages positive community involvement. The program includes two components: a regional certificate of special recognition and a national award competition. All qualified applicants each year receive a certificate of recognition from their EPA regional office.  In addition, one outstanding project from each region is selected to receive a national award plaque. Projects are developed by young individuals, school classes (K-12), summer camps, and youth organizations to promote environmental stewardship.  >>>> 

Webinars

The Green Strides Webinar Series Continues 

The Green Strides Webinar Series promotes sessions that provide free tools to reduce schools' environmental impact and costs; improve health and wellness; and teach effective environmental education.  Consult the webinar calendar and submit suggestions of free webinars related to school, district, and postsecondary sustainability to ed.green.ribbon.schools@ed.gov for listing.

Green Strides Design

January 10, 2017, 4:00-5:30 p.m. Teachers Connect: NASA LaRC 100 (NASA)

January 18, 2017, 6:00-7:00 p.m. Deep Sea Science in the Classroom (NOAA)

January 26, 2017, 1:00-2:00 p.m. Energy Efficiency Plus Indoor Air Quality (EPA)

Happy holiday red and green lights

Connect with Green Strides

Green Strides: Resources for School Facilities, Health, and Environment
U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools
Facebook: @EDGreenRibbonSchools
Twitter: @EDGreenRibbon


If you received a forwarded newsletter, sign up to receive us directly next month.

Science Update: Saving Loons             (Posted: 12-23-16)

Click HERE.

SJ4S: Making Progress on Arts Actions             (Posted: 12-14-16)

SUSTAINABLE JERSEY FOR SCHOOLS
228 Districts     565 Schools     Participating
Resource Spotlight: Does your school have what it takes to earn 20 points in Sustainable Jersey for Schools Arts Actions?
 
Did you know that NJ Standards call for every School District in NJ to provide sequential learning of dance, theater, music and visual arts for K-12? 

Did you know that NJ has a new grade weighting law that requires schools to equally weigh arts classes with other academic subjects starting in the 2016/2017 school year? 

Sustainable Jersey for Schools encourages participation in the arts as an important component of sustainability education. Participating schools can earn up to 20 points by documenting Student Participation in the Arts and All Arts Disciplines Offered actions located in the Learning Environment category. Check out what Sustainable Jersey for Schools certified schools are doing in the field of arts education:
  • 2016 Silver Certified Elementary School, Cape May City Elementary received 10 points in the "Student Participation in the Arts" action category. Scroll down through their certification report to read their story and see their arts documentation here.  
  • All seven 2015 Bronze Certified schools in the Medford Township School district received 20 points for completing both the Student Participation in the Arts and the All Arts Disciplines Offered actions. Not only does each school earn 20 points, but the district proudly meets the NJ standards to provide dance, theater, music and visual arts for K-12 students using a highly qualified teacher.  See a summary of the Medford Township School district's arts offerings and action documentation here
If you are not sure if your school meets the NJ Standards or qualifies for points under the Sustainable Jersey for Schools arts actions, enter your school name into the Arts Ed Now search feature to see how your school stacks up. 
Reminder: PSEG Sponsored Sustainable Jersey for Schools Grant Applications due February 3, 2017
    
Visit the Sustainable Jersey for Schools Grants & Resources page to learn more about funding for registered schools to support action related sustainability initiatives. Grants are available at the $2,000 and $10,000 level. If your school has not received a $2,000 capacity building grant from Sustainable Jersey for Schools, we strongly suggest viewing the informational webinar and submitting an application for 2017. 

Application Deadline is February 3, 2017. Click here for more information. 
Welcome Newly Registered Schools & Districts!
Atlantic County
Estell Manor Elementary School

Bergen County
Midland Park School District
 
Camden County 
Bingham Elementary School (Runnemede)
Downing Elementary School (Rinnemede
Mary E. Volz Elementary School (Runnemede)
Winslow Township High School

Cape May County
Dennis Township School District
Essex County
Washington Elementary School (West Caldwell)

Morris County
Boonton High School
Kings Road Elementary School (Madison)
Torey J. Sabatini Elementary School (Madison)

Ocean County
Toms River Regional School District

Sussex County
High Point High School (Sussex)
NJ Agricultural Society Learning Through Gardening Grants
 
The NJ Agricultural Society Learning Through Gardening grant provides teachers with curriculum, training and materials for three raised beds so that they can use the school garden to teach their core curriculum, including math, social studies, language arts, and science. 

Learning Through Gardening grant is awarded to schools planning to launch a schoolwide gardening program during school hours. Grants are not awarded to schools that intend to use the garden solely for after-school or club activities. Grant recipients must assemble a garden management committee of teachers from various grade levels. Garden committees can also include administrators and other stakeholders such as custodians, cafeteria managers, and parents. Grant recipients must plan for the garden to be used by at least two grade levels during the first year, and show plans to expand the garden's use by additional grade levels in future years. Every application must be accompanied by a letter of support from the school principal.
 
Application deadline February 1. 2017
NJDEP Conserve Wildlife Matching Grant Program
 
With funding from the Conserve Wildlife License Plate renewal fund, the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife's Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP) offers small matching grants for projects that advance nongame wildlife conservation and education. Approved projects are funded on a single-year basis and must be located in New Jersey. Grants are awarded every other year. 
 
The total amount available through the Conserve Wildlife Matching Grant Program in 2017 is $39,000 The maximum request per proposal is $3,500 ($1,000 is the minimum). This is a 1:1 matching grant; therefore grant funds cannot exceed 50% of the total project cost. At least 25% of the grantee's share of project funding must be monetary, and the remainder may be from in-kind support.

Nonprofit 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) organizations are eligible to apply.  Partner with your School Foundation or a local environmental nonprofit to bring project funds to your school.  
 
Application deadline December 15, 2015. 
NJHI: Next Generation Community Leaders
Youth Engagement Grants
 

New Jersey Health Initiatives: Next Generation Community Leaders is intended to further the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's vision of building a Culture of Health by leveraging the strengths of youth to affect change in their communities. This program will support communities in preparing the next generation of civic and community leaders by providing them with the resources and technical assistance they need to focus the time, talent, and energy of youth and providing the youth with an opportunity to make meaningful change in their communities through summer employment on a self-designed, community-focused project. At the conclusion of this three-year initiative, successful grantees will have engaged teams of 10-15 youth in the following actions:
  • Developing Civic Engagement and Leadership Skills
  • Participating in Meaningful Summer Employment
  • Participating in Civic Engagement Opportunities
  • Actively Engaging in an Alumni Network 
Grants will total up to $200,000 per grantee over three years, beginning July 2017. Visit NJHI information page here.
 
Application Deadline: January 12, 2017
TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES WITH SUSTAINABLE JERSEY FOR SCHOOLS PARTNERS

DECEMBER 14, 2016, 4:00PM- 5:00PM, Free Webinar Series
Eco-Schools USA
*Please note that student led energy audits do not meet the criteria for the Sustainable Jersey for Schools Energy Audit action, but can serve as practical educational tools. Eco-Schools is an international program, hosted in the US by the National Wildlife Federation. 

JANUARY 20, 2017 9:30AM-3:30PM, Trenton, NJ
In the one-day sessions, participants will review a Sustainability Wellness Check, which will be in alignment with the Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification program. Board members will receive three board member academy credits for participation in this working session.Register for this free training here.

JANUARY 21, 2017, 9:00AM- 3:00PM, Duke Farms, Hillsborough, NJ
The Eagle Cam is a wonderful tool for teaching about ecology, endangered species or animal adaptions. Enhance your understanding of the science behind NJ's bald eagle management program and discover the many ways this technology can be used in your classroom. Register for this $25/pp. training here.

FEBRUARY 4, 2017, 9:00AM- 3:00PM, Duke Farms, Hillsborough, NJ
Teachers will explore the power of PBL as they spend the day working with other teachers at their grade level and will then leave with new tools including a problem-based task, analytic rubric, unit level scaffold, and tools for facilitation to implement a new bald eagle  unit in their classrooms. Register for this $30/pp. training here

SCHOOL INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT TRAINING 2016-2016
NJ Association for Designated Persons, NJDEP, NJ School Buildings & Grounds Association
Throughout the state, every month beginning in November
See the complete schedule for dates & locations here.  
NORTH AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION (NAAEE)
Topics include: Systems Thinking, Diversity & Inclusion in Environmental Education, Telling Your Story with Web Mapping Technology, and more! Visit the NAAEE page here.

NJ DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, Podcast series (ongoing)
"Discover DEP" 

We hope you will join us to take steps to create a brighter future, one school at a time!  If you have questions, email us at schools@sustainablejersey.com or visit www.SustainableJerseySchools.com.

Sustainable Jersey for Schools
Sustainability Institute at the College of New Jersey
Forcina Hall, 3rd Floor
2000 Pennington Rd.
Ewing, NJ 08628-0718

CWFNJ: December E-News 2016             (Posted: 12-12-16)

A special thanks to all who made the 11th Annual Women & Wildlife Awards a success!
From left to right: CWF Executive Director, David Wheeler, renowned wildlife artist James Fiorentino, Education Honoree Tanya Sulikowski, Leadership Honoree Wendy Walsh, Inspiration Honoree Martha Maxwell-Doyle, and CWF Board of Trustees member Bob Coleman.
For the 11th year, Conserve Wildlife Foundation presented the Women & Wildlife Awards to three special individuals for their leadership on New Jersey's rare wildlife: Wendy Walsh, Martha Maxwell-Doyle and Tanya Sulikowski.

The festive night brought heartfelt tributes to these remarkable leaders, capped with Tanya's former students joining her on the stage. Former Governor James J. Florio captured the spirit of service and conservation in his own keynote remarks. 

This night could not have been a success without the generous donations from our sponsors and auction contributors, Duke Farms for hosting the event at the gorgeous Coach Barn, and our CWF Board of Trustees and staff. Most importantly, we thank the women dedicated to wildlife conservation who strive to make a difference every day.

From left to right: CWF Director of Development Liz Silvernail, Duke Farms Executive Director 
Michael Catania, and the Honorable Governor James J. Florio.

To learn more about this event contact Liz Silvernail, CWF Director of Development.

 
SECOND SEASON OF CRAB POT REMOVALS
CWF had our first day of crab pot retrievals last week! CWF is removing derelict crab pots that entrap unintentional bycatch in Barnegat Bay. We have partnered with local crabbers, Stockton University, MATES, ReClam the Bay and Monmouth University. This project is funded through NOAA's Marine Debris Removal program and we could not be more excited for our second field season! We pulled up three pots on the first day, one with a live Toadfish inside. Only 597 more to go to meet our goal for the season!

 
ON A QUEST TO RESIGHT PIPING PLOVERS
With time at a premium, CWF Biologist Todd Pover went on a survey blitz last weekend, crisscrossing the island of Abaco in the Bahama in search of piping plovers. The goal was to resight as many banded plovers as possible, in order to help the various researchers who originally tagged the birds determine their winter distribution, survival, and other life-cycle information. Each band resight is a valuable piece of data, but of course it is especially satisfying when you stumble on a bird from one of your own beaches. 

Meet "Taco", who was originally banded on his breeding grounds about 1000 miles away at the Edwin B. Forsythe NWR in New Jersey. A special thanks to Abaconian Keith Kemp for the photo and his tremendous help so far this fall in tracking down piping plover bands on Abaco.

GET YOUR CWF GEAR BEFORE FIELD SEASON!
 
We have NEW CWF hats available! 100% cotton. Moisture wicking sweat band. Adjustable strap on back. One size fits most. Available in Khaki, Burgundy and Blue.


 

FIRST BEES ADDED TO ENDANGERED SPECIES LIST  

The world is experiencing a decline in pollinators, New Jersey is no exception.
 



AUTUMN IN NEW JERSEY: WHY DO TREES SHED THEIR LEAVES?
 
To us this simply signals another changing season in New Jersey. But to these trees, it offers a tactic for survival.


Great Places: You Helped Save Their Home             (Posted: 12-12-16)

Click HERE.

Guest Blogs and Commentary from the New Nature Movement             (Posted: 12-12-16)

Click HERE.

December Littoral News             (Posted: 12-12-16)

Click HERE.

EE at EPA: EPA Forward Blog Post on EE Grants, Student and Teacher Awards             (Posted: 11-29-16)

Click HERE.

This Week In the Media: C&NN's News Roundup             (Posted: 11-29-16)

Click HERE.

USDOE - Green Strides: Last Chance to Apply to Your State for 2017 ED-GRS Nominations             (Posted: 11-28-16)

2017 ED-GRS Deadlines Fast Approaching
Green Strides Design

 

          U.S. Department of Education

   Green Strides

In the News

 GRSlogo

2017 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Application Deadlines Near

Most participating state education authorities have December submission deadlines for 2017 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS), with some falling in November or early January.  Interested colleges and universities should contact state higher education authorities, while schools and districts should contact state education agencies.  Schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions are only eligible if nominated by state authorities.  State education authorities’ participation is voluntary.  Hearing from interested applicants may be helpful to those states considering participation.  State education authorities can find criteria and other state implementation guidance on the ED website and should contact U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools for more information. Now is also a good time to begin preparing for next year’s application by using resources and programs on Green Strides and to contact your state education authorities if they do not make nominations. Read some common misconceptions dispelled in a blog by the director and review Frequently Asked Questions on all three award categories here. >>>>

More Peer-Reviewed Research About ED-GRS Honorees Published

The latest of four peer-reviewed articles, “Greener on the Other Side: Cultivating Community and Improvement through Sustainability Practices,” by William Sterrett, Lisa Kensler, and Tania McKey is now available in the Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership.  >>>>

Learn from the 2016 Honorees

Want to make some sustainable improvements on your school? Take inspiration from the 2016 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, District Sustainability Awardees, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees and learn more about their work on Green Strides.

Lakota Middle School garden bounty

Lakota Middle School, Federal Way, Washington

Lakota Middle School, which celebrated over 50 years of excellence in educating students in the Federal Way community, rededicated a new building in 2010 with a construction modernized to Washington Sustainable Schools Protocol, including criteria related to site, water, materials, energy, indoor environmental quality, planning, and operations.  The building is adjacent to an extensive wetland, and includes photovoltaic roof panels used to educate students about solar energy.  During the 2011-2012 school year, a group of students voiced interest in creating a school within a school that advocated for environmental sustainability, a community garden, and stewardship.  The district incorporated this student vision into the Integrated Environmental Sustainability (IES) Academy.  The academy provides students with opportunities to construct their own understandings with clear awareness of, and concerns about, economic, social, and ecological interdependence in their communities through direct experiences in hands-on learning in a highly engaging place- and service-based environment.  Students learn all core subjects by solving real-world problems through interdisciplinary, project-based sustainability learning with a service component.  They design potential solutions to issues such as water and energy use, resource conservation, climate change, clean air, sustainable food and product design, all while seeking to maximize the health of their community, social equity, and a sustainable economy.  

Granton School District Water Education

Granton Area School District, Wisconsin

Located in rural central Wisconsin, the Granton Area School District upgraded lighting, replaced high-demand appliances, and expanded technology to increase energy efficiency.  Energy conservation and sustainable behaviors are a part of the whole school’s culture, and are woven into the curriculum at various levels.  Granton implements a schoolwide composting project.  The district uses the Wisconsin K-12 Energy Education Program (KEEP), Project WET, Project WILD, and PLT materials, and students can enroll in a course titled Alternative Energy Overview for technical college credits.  Water education includes wetland lessons, aquatic biotic and water quality studies of the creek, aquaculture, invasive species studies, fish diseases, and pollution.  Students and community members can be seen walking, jogging, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing on the property, and the district uses a “hooked on fishing” program at the pond across the road.   Working with the LEAF program from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, students learn from professionals and inventory species at bioblitz events.  On field trips, students visit the county forest, local wildlife reserve, forests, apple orchards, cranberry marshes, parks, and the zoo.  Students can participate in FFA and the community green team, and they plant and maintain Granton’s numerous gardens.  The school has 12 raised beds, a few other plots, and even its own roto-tiller, purchased by the green team.  Students are learning processing, canning, and preserving produce from community members.  An outdoor classroom, adjacent forest land, and playground facility serve as outstanding environmental education learning labs.  

Georgia Institute of Technology Waste Audit

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia

At Georgia Tech, sustainability principles and practices permeate every facet of campus life – from the locally-sourced produce in the dining halls, to the Game Day recycling program, to the school’s Smart Energy Campus program, which is designed to reduce energy consumption and increase building operational effectiveness.  Georgia Tech has made the Princeton Review Green Honor Roll, Sierra Club Coolest Schools, and has earned an AASHE STARS Gold rating.  From 2003 through 2015, Georgia Tech built or renovated 23 projects to LEED Silver-level certification or higher, certifying 2.9 million square feet of space.  Major solar power arrays on campus buildings not only generate clean electricity, but provide hands-on opportunities for students and researchers.  Data from energy utility systems all over campus are collected through the Smart Energy Campus initiative.  A green cleaning program led to an annual savings of 84 percent and a 56 percent reduction of chemical use.  As part of the Quality Enhancement Plan for the years 2016 – 2021, Georgia Tech introduced Serve-Learn-Sustain.  Students work to develop ways to help make communities more livable, sustainable, and prosperous.  This might include developing services for the under-served, deploying community renewable energy, supporting infrastructure for clean water, or developing local, state, and federal environmental policy.  Georgia Tech has 21 endowed chairs and 23 research centers that include a significant sustainability component or focus.

Resources and Opportunities

Captain Planet Logo

Captain Planet Foundation Small Grants Applications Due by Jan. 31

The Captain Planet Foundation is accepting the next round of applications for small grants totaling $500-$2500. Grant activities must be project-based, performed by youth, and have real environmental outcomes. >>>>

BioenergizeME Logo

Register for Department of Energy’s BioenergizeME Challenge by Feb. 3

In the 2017 BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge, high school-aged teams use technology to research, interpret, apply, and design an infographic that responds to one of four cross-curricular bioenergy topics.  Register by February 3 to test your knowledge and creativity along with student teams across the country.  Submissions are due March 3, 2017. Selected infographics will be featured on the challenge website, and one team will be selected to present at the Bioenergy Technologies Office's conference in Washington, D.C. >>>>

World of 7 Billion Logo

Enter the World of 7 Billion Student Video Contest by Feb. 23

Create a short video about human population growth that highlights one of the following global challenges: Deforestation, Public Health, or Water Scarcity.  All videos must include how population growth impacts the issue and at least one idea for a sustainable solution. >>>>

EPA

President’s Environmental Youth Awards Applications are Due Mar. 1 

The President’s Environmental Youth Awards promote awareness of our nation's natural resources and encourages positive community involvement. The program includes two components: a regional certificate of special recognition and a national award competition. All qualified applicants each year receive a certificate of recognition from their EPA regional office.  In addition, one outstanding project from each region is selected to receive a national award plaque. Projects are developed by young individuals, school classes (K-12), summer camps, and youth organizations to promote environmental stewardship.  >>>>

Webinars

The Green Strides Webinar Series Continues 

The Green Strides Webinar Series promotes sessions that provide free tools to reduce schools' environmental impact and costs; improve health and wellness; and teach effective environmental education.  Consult the webinar calendar and submit suggestions of free webinars related to school, district, and postsecondary sustainability to ed.green.ribbon.schools@ed.gov for listing.  

November 29, 6:30-7:30 p.m.  NASA Technology in Your Classroom (NASA)


December 01, 6:00-7:00 p.m.  National Marine Sanctuaries: Lionfish (NOAA)


December 01, 6:00-7:00 p.m.  Solar System Math (NASA)

December 07, 3:00-4:00 p.m. 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water (EPA)


December 08, 4:00-5:00 p.m.  Garden Ideas for Indoors (Chartwells)


December 14, 6:00-7:00 p.m.  So You Want to be a Rocket Scientist? (NASA)


December 19, 4:00-5:00 p.m.  How do I Measure This? (NASA)


December 20, 7:00-8:00 p.m.  Exploring Exoplanets Using Math (NASA)


December 21, 8:00-9:00 p.m.  Tracking Water from Space (NASA)

Events

Green Schools Conference and Expo Logo

Save the Date: Green Schools Conference & Expo is March 21-22 in Atlanta 

The annual Green Schools Conference and Expo, the only national conference bringing together experts and stakeholders to influence sustainability in K-12 schools and districts, is designed to allow attendees to learn about creative strategies for success and to take home real-life tools that can transform schools.  Stay tuned: Early bird registration begins soon!  >>>>

Green Schools Alliance Logo

The Student Climate & Conservation Congress (Sc3) is June 25-July 1 in WV

The Sc3 is a week-long leadership training event for high school students held annually at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center in West Virginia.  Students spend a week studying and discussing environmental, social, and economic interconnections to address climate change and conservation challenges affecting their generation – all while connecting with nature and new friends.  >>>>

Connect with Green Strides

Green Strides: Resources for School Facilities, Health, and Environment
U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools
Facebook: @EDGreenRibbonSchools
Twitter: @EDGreenRibbon

If you received a forwarded newsletter, sign up to receive us directly next month. 

Happy Thanksgiving Green Globe In Hands

Notes from the New Nature Movement for 11/23/2016             (Posted: 11-28-16)

Click HERE.

Notes from the New Nature Movement for 11/21/2016             (Posted: 11-21-16)

Click HERE.

SJ: Celebrate a Moment of Thanksgiving (Funding opps & events!)             (Posted: 11-21-16)

Click HERE.

Science Update: Jumping Worm Invasion             (Posted: 11-21-16)

Click HERE.

ALS: The Environment Heals             (Posted: 11-16-16)

Care for the Coast - Love your Littoral Zone   
Protecting the Coast

Protecting marine life and habitat is what we do,

and we won’t stop now. 


With your help the American Littoral Society has defended the coast for more than 50 years. 

In the coming days and years, the Society will continue to protect the coastal environment and its inhabitants, respond to threats like climate change, and oppose oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic and Arctic oceans.  

We won’t stop speaking out for the coast and oceans, no matter how hard the job becomes. 

This work is crucial because healthy coastal areas are buffers against storms and account for 40 percent of the US economy, while healthy oceans contribute to the air we breathe and the food we eat. 

Like the tide, Government support of such efforts will ebb and flow. Therefore, we continue to rely on those of you who love the coast. 

Count on the American Littoral Society to keep you informed and involved. Our work, like democracy itself, is a participatory process.  

Working together, we can meet the coming challenges.

American Littoral Society          littoralsociety.org       Caring for the Coast Since 1961

Duke Farms Moos-letter             (Posted: 11-16-16)

Click HERE.

NAAEE: Note from the Executive Director             (Posted: 11-16-16)

Click HERE.

Green Knight Newsletter - November 2016             (Posted: 11-16-16)

Click HERE.

Catch SEED in theaters across the country!             (Posted: 11-16-16)

Click HERE.

SJ4S: Sustainability Champions             (Posted: 11-14-16)

SUSTAINABLE JERSEY FOR SCHOOLS
219 Districts     543 Schools     Participating
 
Reeds Road Elementary accepts the 2016 Elementary School Champion Award.

2016 Sustainability Champion Awards Go to Three Schools 
in Atlantic County!

Sustainable Jersey for Schools celebrated the recipients of the 2016 Sustainability Champion award, the Green Team Collaboration award and the Sustainability Makes $ense award at a reception during the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) Workshop 2016 on October 25, 2015 in Atlantic City. This year, three schools in Atlantic County received the Sustainability Champion Award. The Sustainability Champion award recognizes schools that have made significant progress toward sustainability and have been certified with the most Sustainable Jersey for Schools points in one of three categories: elementary, middle or high school. These schools far exceeded the minimum requirement of 150 points for bronze-level certification.
 
2016 SUSTAINABILITY CHAMPIONS:
Elementary School Champion: Reeds Road Elementary School (Galloway Township School District)
Middle School Champion: Alder Avenue Middle School (Egg Harbor Township School District)
High School Champion: Egg Harbor Township High School (Egg Harbor Township School District)

In 2016, the second year of the program, two new awards were added. The Green Team Collaboration Award recognizes municipal and school green teams working together to advance sustainability in their schools and communities. The Sustainability Makes $ense Award recognizes the district that has demonstrated exemplary progress in sustainability which results in cost savings to the school district

2016 SPECIAL AWARD WINNERS: 
Energy Makes $ense Award: Long Branch Public School District in Monmouth County
School & Municipal Green Team Collaboration Award: South Orange and Maplewood Public School District in Essex County 

Read more about our award recipients here. Check out a new Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation blog post about the Sustainability Champions: read about solar nachos at Reeds Road Schools, composting lunch waste at Alder Avenue Middle School and the "No-Foam Cafeteria Zone" at Egg Harbor Township High School here. 
The George Street Playhouse presents excerpts from "Gabi Goes Green"
300+ Green Team members and school officials gather for the 2016 Sustainable Jersey for Schools Awards Ceremony at the NJSBA Workshop.



New Grants Announced to Fund Sustainability Projects
 
PSEG Foundation is contributing $100,000 to support another cycle of the Sustainable Jersey for Schools Small Grants Program.  With this contribution, the PSEG foundation has provided over $1.3 million dollars in funding to support local sustainability initiatives in municipalities and schools across the state.  The PSEG Foundation's ongoing support of the Small Grants Program is an excellent example of how public/private partnerships can encourage local grass roots efforts to improve the qualify of life in New Jersey. Visit the Sustainable Jersey for Schools Grants & Resources page to learn more about funding for registered schools to support action related sustainability initiatives. Application Deadline is February 3, 2017. Click here for more information. 

INFORMATIONAL WEBINAR:  December 1, 2016 3:30-4:30pm.  Register online.
   
Meet Sustainable Jersey at the NJEA Convention!
 
Are you working on your professional development this fall? Attend one of our many sessions, find out about NEW grant opportunities for 2017 or stop by booth 1024 for one on one assistance with your program questions!

NOVEMBER 10-11, 2016 ATLANTIC CITY, NJ
List of Sustainable Jersey Sessions @ NJEA Convention here. 
Welcome Newly Registered Schools & Districts!

 Bergen County

Franklin Avenue Middle School (Franklin Lakes)

High Mountain Road Elementary School (Franklin Lakes)

Camden County

Bell Oaks Elementary School (Bellmawr)

Bellmawr Park Elementary School (Bellmawr)

Ethel M. Burke Elementary School (Bellmawr)

Pine Hill Middle School

 Cape May County

Ocean City Primary School

Upper Township Middle School

 Gloucester County

Swedesboro-Woolwich School District

 
 Hunterdon County

Franklin Township School District

 Ocean County

Lakewood Public School District

Lakewood Middle School

 Passaic County

Classical Academy Charter School of Clifton

 Somerset County

Somerset County Vocational and Technical Schools

Watchung Hills Regional School District

Watchung Hills Regional High School

 Sussex County

High Point Regional High School District

 Union County

Rahway Public School District

USDA Farm to School Grant Program 
Request for Applications Now Available 
 
The purpose of the USDA Farm to School Grant Program is to assist eligible entities in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools. On an annual basis, USDA awards up to $5 million in competitive grants for training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, developing partnerships, and implementing farm to school programs. Visit USDA the information page here. 
 
Application Deadline: December 8, 2016
TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES WITH SUSTAINABLE JERSEY FOR SCHOOLS PARTNERS
A FREE two-day professional development workshop designed to help local teachers from all subjects who teach grades 5-9 to integrate sustainability curriculum, develop campus projects and encourage community engagement. Each teacher who participates receives $150 stipend and can earn Arizona State University Continuing Education Units. Teachers also receive a tool-kit full of sustainability resources for use in their classrooms, schools, and communities. Space is limited to 36, with preference given to OASIS members and schools who send teams of two or more. Apply by November 11th here.  More information about the ASU Sustainability Teachers Academy here.


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NOVEMBER 18, 2016, 8:45AM- 4:30PM Robertson Hall, Princeton University
Throughout the state, every month beginning in November
See the complete schedule for dates & locations  here. 
 

NJ DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, Podcast series (ongoing)
"Discover DEP" 

We hope you will join us to take steps to create a brighter future, one school at a time!  If you have questions, email us at schools@sustainablejersey.com or visit www.SustainableJerseySchools.com.

 

Sustainable Jersey for Schools

Sustainable Jersey for Schools Sponsors 

Great Places: Who's Afraid of the Big Brown Bat?             (Posted: 11-14-16)

Click HERE.

November Littoral News             (Posted: 11-14-16)

Click HERE.

Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ: E-News, 11th Annual Women & Wildlife Awards Reception and more!             (Posted: 11-10-16)

JOIN US ON WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30

AT DUKE FARMS

 

 

THE FINAL NUMBERS ARE IN
The 2016 season was a very good year for piping plovers in New Jersey. The breeding population rose to 115 pairs, up 25% since 2014 when the lowest number of pairs (92) was recorded in the state since federal listing. An unprecedented 90% of the state's pairs hatched young this year. And for the third consecutive year, the number of chicks fledged (1.35 per pair) was substantially above the long-term statewide average.

"All the biological indicators were positive this... year and, if normal patterns hold, the continued high productivity means we can sustain the upwards population trend in the short-term," said Todd Pover, CWF's Beach Nesting Bird Project Manager. "There is still much work to be done for us to achieve long-term recovery goals, but thanks to a renewed commitment from all our statewide partners, we have begun to reverse earlier declines."


ADOPT A SPECIES FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON
Help protect rare wildlife. Your symbolic adoption supports our efforts to protect New Jersey's rarest animals, restore important habitat, and foster pride in New Jersey's rich wildlife heritage. Adopting a Species makes a great gift for a friend or loved one this holiday season. Give the gift that gives twice!

Animals Available for Adoption

 

 
WILDLIFE RETURNS TO THE INDUSTRIAL NEWARK BAY WATERFRONT
"If we give nature an inch, it's going to take a yard. Give it a chance and nature will return. Wildlife just needs an opportunity."

NJ BALD EAGLE: FALL UPDATE
New Jersey nesting pairs are here year-round and we've had reports of pairs already sprucing up their nests for the nesting season.

 


AUTUMN WITHOUT BATS
To protect the bats we still have, it is important that people understand the stress these bats are under. Lets re-think how we view bats, remove the spooky stigmas that surround them and appreciate their importance to us.

THAT STUNNING FALL FOLIAGE - BUT WHY?
While many dread the colder weather and longer nights, the changing leaves outside are indicative of an incredible natural process that too often goes unappreciated.


Engage with Conserve Wildlife Foundation! Join the conversation:
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View our profile on LinkedIn View our videos on YouTube Visit our blog View on Instagram

Join Conserve Wildlife Foundation for our 

11th Annual Women & Wildlife Awards Reception and Silent Auction

We invite you to join us on Wednesday, November 30 at the Coach Barn at Duke Farms in Hillsborough, New Jersey for this year's very special event. We will be honoring three outstanding female leaders for their contributions to wildlife conservation at a cocktail party and silent auction from 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
The 2016 honorees are:
Inspiration
With over three decades of dedication to resource management, hazardous materials, and environmental protection, Martha Maxwell-Doyle has proved to be a powerful force behind habitat restoration and protection. Currently working at the Barnegat Bay Partnership as a project coordinator for estuary protection and restoration, Ms. Maxwell-Doyle's years of experience at multiple national estuary programs has made it second nature for her to implement conservation and management plans. Her professional and personal partnerships help advance the ability to survey, restore, and monitor coastal communities such as the Barnegat Bay shorelines. Ms. Maxwell-Doyle has gained a reputation as always being available for guidance and advice, especially for young women new to the environmental and wildlife field. Her enthusiasm for life and the environment drives her to do as much as possible to repair New Jersey's wildlife habitats while teaching others that a difference can be made. Learn More.
Leadership
As a Senior Fish and Wildlife Biologist at the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Wendy Walsh has proven herself invaluable in the endangered species field for her work with wildlife such as the piping plover, swamp pink, and seabeach amaranth. Her most notable work is with the red knot. Ms. Walsh took the species lead in the middle of the federal listing process. Her tireless efforts coordinating, analyzing and interpreting data, particularly detailing the effects of changing climate on these long-distance migrant shorebirds has made her work widely acclaimed as the final rule. From biology to policy, she has an uncanny ability to grasp important information and translate it for any species she finds herself working with. She has created partnerships with additional organizations to accelerate conservation efforts. In such collaborations, Ms. Walsh's open-mindedness to others' expertise makes for effective planning and implementation of the vision she has to one day recover all threatened and endangered species. Learn More.
Education
Tanya Sulikowski works tirelessly to connect New Jersey's people and wildlife. A champion in environmental education, Ms. Sulikowski is currently the Manager of Programs at Duke Farms where she hosts hands-on creative projects that include bird banding and monitoring, as well as rain gardens and barrels just to name a few. However, Ms. Sulikowski considers her creation of the Teen Action and Leadership Opportunities for Nature program to be her greatest professional achievement because it inspires urban students to make lifestyle changes that incorporate their newly discovered love of nature. Her reach has extended statewide through her various roles within the Alliance for NJ Environmental Educators, where she currently serves as Vice President. Learn More.
The Women & Wildlife Awards, featuring keynote speaker Governor James J. Florio, will also celebrate CWF's dedication to honoring women for their success in protecting, managing, restoring, and raising awareness for New Jersey's endangered and imperiled wildlife species.

Hors d'oeuvres and cash bar provided.
$250 sponsorship includes 2 tickets and will be listed in the event program
Reserve online or mail your check to:
P.O. Box 180, Trenton, New Jersey 08601-0040

Please join us to celebrate New Jersey's wildlife and the women who protect our unique biodiversity. Purchase tickets or make a contribution to support our work.

Have questions about the event or want to learn about sponsorship opportunities? Please contact:

Liz Silvernail, Director of Development

 

 

As a Wildlife Ecologist for the Conserve Wildlife Foundation, Stephanie Feigin serves as one of New Jersey's leading shorebird and bat ecologists. With many of New Jersey's bats suffering tragic declines, Stephanie utilizes habitat enhancement, mist-netting and tracking, White Nose Syndrome research, passive acoustic and banding surveys, population monitoring, and the nation's only wild "Bat Cam". She also conserves and researches at-risk shorebirds along the entire Atlantic Flyway, from Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic - with New Jersey's Delaware Bay as the centerpiece. Stephanie's work includes restoration of the coastal habitat destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, migratory shorebird tracking projects, shorebird banding, resighting and survey projects, and volunteer coordination. 
 
Kelly Triece is a Biologist with Conserve Wildlife Foundation, and works in partnership with the federal Natural Resources Conservation ServiceShe protects and restores degraded wetlands for threatened species such as the Bog turtle, which has seen its national population cut in half over the past few decades. She also works with private landowners to create and monitor young forest habitat for the Golden-winged warbler, a forest species that has plummeted in New Jersey. Kelly leads the Amphibian Crossing Project, which works with teams of volunteers to protect at-risamphibians on their migration routes to vernal pools. Finally, she pursues other conservation, enhancement and restoration projects for diverse habitats ranging from grasslands to freshwater wetlands.
THE JAMES FIORENTINO TRAVELING ART EXHIBITION
Please Join Us for our Opening Reception at 
Studio 7 Fine Art Gallery

CWF partners with nationally acclaimed wildlife and sports artist
James Fiorentino
to educate and inspire New Jerseyans about wildlife and
 conservation through 25 stunning original watercolor paintings
 
WHEN
Friday, November 4th, 2016
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

WHERE
5 Morristown Road
Bernardsville, New Jersey 07924

Please join us for light fare, special label wine, and Flying Fish beer.
 
Meet James Fiorentino along with leading
CWF field biologists Stephanie Feigin and Kelly Triece


JAMES FIORENTINO'S SPORTS ART AND PORTRAITS
James Fiorentino started painting sports celebrities to obtain their autographs. Autographs are now requested of him nationwide. Prestigious companies, galleries, museums, politicians, athletes, and entertainment personalities have commissioned his artwork. James has worked with Yogi Berra, Cal Ripken Jr., Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Greg LeMond, and many contemporary athletes.
Many of James's lithographs are part of the permanent collection in the United States Sports Academy Museum (Daphne, Alabama). James also has his work displayed at the National Basketball Hall of Fame, The National Museum of Art & Sport (NAMOS) (Indiana), Cycling Hall of Fame (New Jersey), Roberto Clemente Museum (Puerto Rico), and The Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center (New Jersey), just to name a few.
Sales of the original paintings, limited edition digital prints and a book with a foreword
by Governor Kean and introduction by CWF Executive Director David Wheeler,
as well as wildlife merchandise, will benefit Conserve Wildlife Foundation. 

For more information, please visit Conserve Wildlife Foundation's website or 
call Liz Silvernail at 609-292-3707.
 
September 6 - October 16, 2016
D&R Greenway Land Trust
1 Preservation Place, Princeton, NJ 08540
 
November 1, 2016 - January 14, 2017
Studio 7 Fine Art Gallery
5 Morristown Rd, Bernardsville, NJ 07924

January 17 - February 28, 2017
Mayo Performing Arts Center
100 South Street, Morristown, NJ 07960                                                    

April 3 - April 8, 2017
Salmagundi Club (Patrons Gallery)
47 Fifth Avenue, New York, NJ 10003

May - July 2017
Hiram Blauvelt Museum
705 Kinderkamack Rd, Oradell, NJ 07649

September - October 2017
Duke Farms
1112 Dukes Pkwy W, Hillsborough, NJ 08844 

May 21 - June 22, 2018
Drew University - Korn Gallery
36 Madison Avenue, Madison, NJ 07940

 

ANJEE Online: 348th Edition             (Posted: 11-10-16)

Click HERE.

C&NN's News Roundup             (Posted: 11-10-16)

Click HERE.

Science Update: Help Purple Martins             (Posted: 10-28-16)

Click HERE.

Notes from the New Nature Movement for 10/18/2016             (Posted: 10-19-16)

Click HERE.

Coastodian Autumn 2016             (Posted: 10-19-16)

Click HERE.

NWF: October in the Wildlife Garden: Birds, Bats and Boneset             (Posted: 10-19-16)

Click HERE.

CWFNJ: October E-News 2016             (Posted: 10-19-16)

A successful night for art and wildlife!
OVER 200 SUPPORTERS ATTEND OPENING RECEPTION FOR 
RARE WILDLIFE REVEALED: THE JAMES FIORENTINO TRAVELING ART EXHIBITION 
CWF launched our exciting partnership at a reception at the beautiful D&R Greenway Land Trust for over 200 guests with the nationally recognized artist James Fiorentino. Former Governor Tom Kean headlined the program, along with Fiorentino, Conserve Wildlife Foundation executive director David Wheeler, and D&R Greenway president & CEO Linda Mead.
CWF field biologists discussed their innovative work protecting and restoring the region's vulnerable wildlife species, many of which were featured in Mr. Fiorentino's paintings. And Mercer County Wildlife displayed a live peregrine falcon, the fastest animal on earth to the thrills of the guests. 

The event also honored several 5th-grade winners of the statewide 2016 Species on the Edge Art and Essay Contest, who were congratulated by the former Governor and Mr. Fiorentino before a cheering audience.
After the exhibit concludes at D&R Greenway on October 16th, it will travel to Studio 7 Fine Art Gallery in Bernardsville to be displayed from November 1, 2016 - January 14, 2017.
If you missed the first opening reception, Studio 7 Fine Art Gallery will host an opening reception on Friday, November 4, 2016 at 5 Morristown Rd, Bernardsville, NJ 07924. We hope to see you there!

WOMEN & WILDLIFE AWARDS CEREMONY

Conserve Wildlife Foundation's Women & Wildlife Awards celebrate and recognize outstanding women and their achievements and advances in protecting wildlife in New Jersey.

This year's Awards Reception & Silent Auction will take place on November 16, 2016 at Duke Farms from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM. 

 
ATTENTION NEW JERSEY 5th GRADE STUDENTS

Enter the 2017 Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest! Download your kit today. The deadline for entries is January 31, 2017.
  

THE MONTH OF THE BAT
Do you know the benefits of having bats in your backyard? What about your bedroom window? Though that may be a bit too close for comfort for many of us, one family in New Jersey has taken pride in having big brown bats as their permanent house guests.

Watch our Bat Cam to see these creatures of the night up close and learn for yourself just how amazing these animals are.

Then it's up for you to decide - do you think bats are spooky or beneficial?

 
VOLUNTEERS AND BIOLOGISTS ADD NEXT OYSTER REEF TO DYERS COVE
Team works to strengthen Delaware Bay's resiliency and ecology with inspiring volunteer project.
NEW JERSEY'S KEY ROLE IN THE MONARCH MIGRATION
The Garden State annually hosts swarms of southbound Monarch Butterflies - a vital stop on their unbelievable migration



RENOWNED ARTIST BRINGS TALENTS TO NEW JERSEY WILDLIFE
"Rare Wildlife Revealed" exhibition celebrates local wildlife and brings attention to the steps we can take to save our most vulnerable species.
KIDS ARE BACK IN SCHOOL - BUT THEIR SUMMER WILDLIFE LESSONS ENDURE! 
CWF brought three conservation-themed summer learning experiences to the New Jersey coast.

ED-GRS Visits Pennsylvania for Some ‘Real-World Learning’             (Posted: 10-12-16)

PA Schools Host Green Strides Tour
Green Strides Design

 

          U.S. Department of Education

   Green Strides

ED-GRS Visits Pennsylvania for Some ‘Real-World Learning’

Broughal MS
Broughal Middle School educator Ms. Sobrinski shares her classes’ avocado tree growing project with Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera and ED-GRS Director Andrea Falken.

ED-GRS Visits Pennsylvania for Some ‘Real-World Learning’

In its eighteenth state of the Green Strides tour, U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) visited eleven past honorees, including seven school and three district sites, along with one postsecondary institution site in Pennsylvania. True to the aims of the Green Strides Tour, it brought more attention to honorees’ practices and celebrated their sustainability achievements, alongside communities, partners, and elected officials.  Hear more about this year’s tour in this blog from the Director.  >>>>

Take a trip down 2014 and 2013 Green Strides Tour memory lane with blogs from West Virginia, Kentucky, Florida (1 and 2), Colorado (1 and 2), Minnesota (1 and 2), Maryland, New England, New York and New Jersey, California, Oregon and Washington, Wisconsin, AlabamaIt’s also not too late to share tour photos and impressions with us on Twitter (EDGreenRibbon) and Facebook (EDGreenRibbonSchools) using hashtag #GreenStridesTour.

GSNN logo

Executive Director of Green Schools National Network Shares Vision for Schools

In this TEDx Herndon, Executive Director of the Green Schools National Network Jenny Seydel shares her vision for green schools, according to the three Pillars we know and love, and highlights innovative examples, including numerous past ED-GRS honorees!  >>>>

Leadership

More Green Schools Research Hits the Shelves!

A new book entitled Leadership for Green Schools provides educational leaders, teachers, facility professionals, and community partners the tools they need to lead and manage greener, more sustainable schools.  Authors Lisa A.W. Kensler and Cynthia L. Uline draw from the fields of sustainability science, built learning environment, and educational leadership to explain what green schools look like, what role school buildings play in advancing sustainable organizational and instructional practices, and why school leaders are "greening" their leadership. The book uses real life examples of successful schools and leaders, demonstrating how green schools advance the work already underway to restore engaged learning within our schools and communities. >>>>

gsa logo

Green Schools Alliance Launches Interactive Online Community

The new Green Schools Alliance website includes an interactive member community designed to make it easier for you and your fellow school sustainability champions to connect with others, find green resources, and save money.  It features blogs, forums, calendar, resources, and membership interaction. >>>>

children and nature network

Children and Nature Network Launches New Green Schoolyards Initiative

To launch its green schoolyards initiative, the Children and Nature Network has published four research infographics on the benefits of green schoolyards  and a full report of the findings from the recent 16-city listening tour: Building a National Movement for Green Schoolyards. >>>>

us map

State Authorities Seek Nominees for 2016-2017 ED-GRS Award Cycle

For 2016-2017, states are now seeking school, district, and postsecondary applicants to nominate by Feb. 1, 2017 to ED-GRS.  Applicants can find state-specific contacts here.  State education authorities should contact U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools for more information and can find updated criteria and other state implementation guidance on our website.

 GRSlogo

Meet the 2016 Honorees

Want to make some sustainable improvements on your school this year? Take inspiration from the 2016 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, District Sustainability Awardees, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees and learn more about their work on Green Strides.

Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Virginia

Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) has completed eight LEED buildings ranging from basic certification to Platinum, with more LEED projects under construction and in the design phase.  It also has 31 ENERGY STAR buildings.  Since November 2008, VBCPS has spent $14 million in performance contract work, resulting in $1.8 million in cost avoidance each year.  Since 2006, VBCPS has increased in size by approximately nine percent to over 10.6 million square feet, and yet still has reduced energy use by 24 percent.  VBCPS has a full-time energy manager and an energy management plan.  Many schools offer garden composting and a few have piloted whole-school composting.  The division is home to several demonstration renewables that serve as learning tools, specifically wind turbines, solar hot water systems, and photovoltaics.  All elementary schools are irrigation-free.  Each school appoints a sustainable school liaison.  VBCPS has 64 schools with outdoor teaching gardens, 72 schools with environmental clubs, and over 60 schools that partner with third-party environmental organizations.  Participation in various programs and initiatives are promoted through the district’s own Sustainable School Recognition Award.  Sustainability education includes meaningful watershed experiences -- funded in part by a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation; student participation in an Urban Tree Canopy project; and LEED design as part of the middle school curriculum.  The district offers an annual sustainability course as professional development for all VBCPS employees, as well as other more specific quarterly options.  VBCPS also expects all architects, engineers, and consultants working on building projects to provide an educational component to their work. >>>>

VB VA Kellam
Students at Kellam High School in Virginia Beach City Public Schools District participate in a beekeeping club.

Triton Regional High School, Camden, N.J.

Triton Regional High School, constructed in 1957, received EPA ENERGY STAR certification with a score of 83.  The school produces 45 percent of its energy onsite with roof-mounted solar arrays.  Triton maintains two functioning greenhouses that are used to nurture plants from seeds to supply the organic garden housed at another school in the district, which is maintained by the green team, AP Environmental Studies classes, and Horticulture classes.  Triton has discontinued the use of chemicals used to strip flooring, improved indoor air quality by installing filters in HVAC systems, and improved recycling and composting behaviors with the help of Organic Diversion, a company that mentors students and staff on how to collect materials, reports on collection quantities, and strategizes to improve composting and recycling efforts.  Students have taken part in the Thirst Project, which collects money to establish freshwater wells in historically malnourished areas of Africa.  The AP Environmental Science class created environmentally-sound solutions for unused land in the community, and presented them to the town council for consideration.  Horticulture students learn how to propagate lemon geranium from cuttings, which then are used as a natural pesticide.  Nutrition and culinary and hospitality courses discuss nutritional concepts, food contamination, and organic foods.  Marine culminates the course by studying human effect on the oceans, and sustainable ways to interact with the ocean’s resources.  Students compete in Envirothon, as well as the Sea Perch competition, whereby students develop a submarine that can simulate a Navy mission. >>>>

Triton Regional HS NJ
Over the course of the last four school years, Triton Regional High School has reduced waste and enhanced sustainability learning through a proactive approach to conservation, recycling, and education.

Prescott Elementary School, Lincoln, Neb.

Prescott Elementary, constructed in 1922, was renovated with LEED Silver specifications as a guide, and has an ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager score of 83.  The school has reduced greenhouse gas emissions 29 percent and energy use 23 percent over just three years, and features ground source heat pumps.  To date, Prescott has diverted over 261,000 pounds of recyclables from the landfill.  The school oversees safe walk and bike to school programs, including a walking school bus effort.  Prescott was a 2013 HealthierUS Schools Challenge awardee, and offers both cooking and gardening clubs.  Its wellness committee meets monthly, and the school uses Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Tools for Schools.  In October 2015, Prescott hosted a districtwide farm to school summit, inviting district staff and community members to learn more about the farm to school movement and to explore opportunities for engaging students in outdoor classrooms and garden spaces.  Prescott students experience instructional units in plants, seasons, animals and habitats, soil, prairie, ecosystems, and water and wetlands.  Prescott families, staff, and community have collaborated to build and provide a Nature Explore Certified Outdoor Classroom on Prescott Park.  >>>>

Prescott Elem NE
Prescott Elementary includes a walking path, rain garden, bridge, weather station, raised vegetable beds, designated learning areas, an arbor, stage, gazebo, and fossil dig area.

Resources and Opportunities

Green Strides Design

Webinars

The Green Strides Webinar Series Continues All Fall

The Green Strides Webinar Series promotes sessions that provide free tools to reduce schools' environmental impact and costs; improve health and wellness; and teach effective environmental education.  Consult the webinar calendar and submit suggestions of free webinars related to school, district, and postsecondary sustainability to ed.green.ribbon.schools@ed.gov for listing.

Oct. 11, 2016, 4:00-5:00 pm  Parent Advocacy:  School Food Change (CAF)

Oct. 11, 2016, 5:00-6:00 pm   NASA Literacy Resources in Earth Science (NASA)

Oct. 12, 2016, 4:00-4:30 pm  Portfolio Manager - Ask The Expert (EPA)

Oct. 12, 2016, 6:30-7:30 pm  NASA Weathering the Storm – Atmosphere (NASA)

Oct. 17, 2016, 6:30-7:30 pm  NASA Weathering the Storm – Space Weather (NASA)

Oct. 18, 2016, 6:00-7:00 pm  NASA Weathering the Storm – Snow? (NASA)

Oct. 19, 2016, 4:00-4:30 pm  Portfolio Manager - Ask The Expert (EPA)

Oct. 19, 2016, 5:00-6:00 pm  NASA Weathering the Storm –Hurricanes (NASA)

Oct. 20, 2016, 1:00-2:00 pm  How to Apply for the ENERGY STAR (EPA)

Oct. 20, 2016, 1:00-2:30 pm  Campus Food Recovery Programs (CURC)

Oct. 20, 2016, 1:00-2:30 pm   Funding to Address and Prevent IAQ Issues (EPA)

Oct. 24, 2016, 6:30-7:30 pm  NASA Weathering the Storm—Weather to Fly By (NASA)

Oct. 25, 2016, 1:00-2:00 pm  Portfolio Manager 101 (EPA)


Oct. 25, 2016, 5:00-6:00 pm  NASA Weathering the Storm – Hurricanes (NASA)

Oct. 25, 2016, 7:30-8:30 pm  Biomimicry:  Innovation for Today’s Students (Green Teacher)

Oct. 26, 2016, 1:00-2:00 pm  Portfolio Manager 201 (EPA)

Oct. 26, 2016, 6:30-7:30 pm  Weathering the Storm –Meteorology Educator Guide (NASA)

Oct. 27, 2016, 1:00-2:00 pm  Portfolio Manager 301(EPA)

Oct. 31, 2016, 6:30-7:30 pm  Cosmology 101 (NASA)

Events

NFTSN logo

October is National Farm to School Month…

National Farm to School Month was designated by Congress to symbolize the growing importance of farm to school programs as a means to improve child nutrition, support local economies, and educate children about the origins of food.  The National Farm to School Network has developed resources and activities to promote Farm to School Month in schools, communities, and media outlets. >>>>

AASHE logo

…And Also Campus Sustainability Month

Campus Sustainability Month (CSM) is a celebration of sustainability in higher education.  During October, colleges and universities organize events on campus and elsewhere to engage and inspire incoming students and other campus stakeholders to become sustainability change agents.  Events include teach ins, sustainability pledge-drives, zero energy concerts, waste audits, green sporting events, letter writing campaigns, and service projects.  >>>>

edspaces

EDSpaces is Nov. 2-4 in Cincinnati, OH

EDspaces is the gathering place for architects, facility planners, designers, administrators and dealers to learn about trends and experience the latest products and services to enhance student learning.  >>>>

Connect with Green Strides

Green Strides: Resources for School Facilities, Health, and Environment
U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools
Facebook: @EDGreenRibbonSchools
Twitter: @EDGreenRibbon

If you received a forwarded newsletter, sign up to receive us directly next month.

SD of Jenkintown PA
Toddler Green Ribbon kid tests (and approves!) the truck park at Jenkintown School District while on the Green Strides Tour in Pennsylvania.

October Sustainability Hero Announced             (Posted: 10-12-16)

Click HERE.

WSGN: Farm to School             (Posted: 10-12-16)

So, What Is Farm to School?

October is National Farm to School Month, so you may have been hearing that phrase a lot lately. But what is farm to school?
  • It’s an elementary school cafeteria full of kids eating pasta with sauce made from tomatoes grown in their school garden.
  • It’s locally sourced milk served daily with lunch.
  • It’s a sixth grade class biting into apples donated by a local orchard to celebrate The Great Lakes Apple Crunch.
  • It's kindergarteners singing about the dirt that made their lunches.
  • It’s a high schooler yanking a carrot from the school’s garden bed before feeling it crunch between her teeth.
  • It's eating a bean while talking about the plant it came from and the soil it grew in.
  • It’s your school's garden.
Farm to school is all about helping kids access healthy foods through a combination of health and agricultural education, hands on garden-based learning, and incorporating locally produced foods.
 
And we’re so thrilled to be part of it. School and community youth gardens can be an integral component of farm to school initiatives, from seed-to-plant connections, to hands-on learning opportunities, to cultivating enthusiasm for snacking on veggies.
 
Below you’ll find great resources, stories, and ideas to help you, your students, and your community get involved in Farm to School Month.
 
Are you planning an activity or lesson to celebrate Farm to School Month? Send us us your story or tell us about it on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #F2SMonth!
 
-Renata, WSGN Communications Manager

Resources

Home Grown Taste Test Guide

Crispy or soft, tart or sweet, russeted or smooth: all apples are not created equal! Introduce Crunch participants to more than one kind of apple variety for a deliciously educational experience with the Taste Test Survey on pg. 9 or guidance in this Apple Handout. Or simply have tasters vote for their favorite variety!
 

Celebrate Farm to School Month Fact Sheet

This is your go-to resource for facts and ideas about Farm to School Month, including activities for teachers, schools, and organizations. And you can even enter a drawing for $1000 towards your farm to school project. Want more information from www.farmtoschool.org? Check out some of the helpful blog and social media accounts listed in the document. Farm to School Toolkits

The Wisconsin Farm to School Toolkits from the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems are interactive. They include a wealth of information to help you plan your farm to school program, source locally grown fruits and vegetables, work out purchasing details, estimate quantities, educate students, develop strong community partnerships, and more.

Garden Trivia Game

Even without access to a youth garden, kids can play and learn fun facts about the foods they love with this garden trivia game. Use the trivia cards provided or have students make their own as an assignment. This game is easily adaptable for elementary school kids of any age. Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch

Having trouble identifying a local apple orchard to source apples from? Here are some helpful resources:
-Wisconsin's Apple Growers Association has a map of the state's orchards.
-Farm Fresh Atlas is organized regionally with dozens of producers listed for each region.
-Local Harvest has an extensive list of small and mid-sized farms, searchable by product. Food Day School Curriculum

Every October 24, thousands of events all around the country bring Americans together to celebrate Food Day. This curriculum offers five lessons to teach children the importance of eating real, fresh food and advocating for a healthier community. The lessons can be easily adapted for older or younger students.

wischoolgardens.org

Events & Grants ... visit our Events page for more

October is National Farm to School Month! Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch
October 13, 2016

CRUNCH! We can't wait for it! We're so excited to celebrate National Farm to School Month with our friends at Farm to School by biting into a local or regional apple this October! Sign up (it's free!) to be part of the crunch, and receive a guide to sourcing local apples, event promotion materials, and more. This event is fun, and is a great way to promote (or begin) your Farm to School program!

Sign up to CRUNCH! NAAEE National Conference
October 19-22, Madison, WI

Madison, Wisconsin has been chosen as the location for the 2016 North American Association for Environmental Education Conference! The conference theme is "From Inspiration to Impact." Join other Environmental Educators as this national conference comes to Wisconsin!

Learn more about the conference

Food Day 
October 24, 2016

Food Day inspires Americans to change their diets for the better and to improve food policies. Every October 24, thousands of schools across the country participate in Food Day with a variety of activities including using the Food Day School Curriculum in the classroom, taste tests introducing children to new and healthy options, and health fairs.

Find a Food Day event near you or to register your own food day event here! Roots & Shoots Mini-Grants
November 11, 2016

Roots & Shoots Mini-Grants award $200-$400 for projects serving people, animals, and/or the environment. Students can help get the process started by mapping out their service campaign together.

Scholarships for Growing Power's Urban and Small Farms 2016 Conference 

Join Growing Power's Lead Farmer and Master Composter Will Allen and other experts in community based approaches to growing fertility on November 17, 2016. This is a unique 'master compost' level training and skills building experience. Then stay for the Urban and Small Farms Conference November 18-20, 2016

Scholarships will be awarded on a rolling basis. Learn more and apply for a scholarship to attend the conference here.

Tasty Tidbits ... of wisdom, fun, and information

Garden Joke of the Month

Why should you never tell secrets on a farm?

Click here for answer


Back to School: Local School Gardens Help Kids

Fall means back to school -- and back to the garden! Check out this story and video about the Hatley Elementary School and Community Garden in Marathon County, where kids are growing tasty treats from seeds. 

Success Story: Sheboygan Falls High School

Sheboygan Falls High School: A Farm, A School, and 1,200 Pounds of Tomatoes

At Sheboygan Falls High School, the farm to school program is as local as it gets. Each year, the agricultural education program feeds students’ minds and bodies, growing 1,200 pounds of tomatoes, as well as hundreds of pounds of cucumbers, peppers, carrots, kohlrabi, lettuce, garlic, and herbs, all grown on the school’s third-of-an-acre farm.

Bruce Brunner, agricultural instructor at Sheboygan Falls High School, saw a gap in his students’ education. “Every year, it seems we’re a little further removed from where we grow our food – from that agricultural or farm setting,” Brunner explains.
 
Now, thanks to a robust agricultural education program, nearly a quarter of the high school’s students are involved in the farm. Students can choose from 9 agricultural courses and 3 culinary arts classes integrated into the agricultural program. From a horticulture class planting seeds in a 20 ft. x 50 ft. hot house in March to harvesting tomatoes well into November from the 72 ft. x 30 ft. high tunnel greenhouse, students spend much of the school year experiencing firsthand how to grow their own food.
 
But the lessons don’t stop with chomping down on a freshly picked cherry tomato. Thanks to culinary arts teacher Diana Woodworth and dedicated support staff, the farm’s produce is used to teach students what happens next in farm to table progression. Culinary arts students process hundreds of pounds of the farm’s vegetables into tomato sauce and salsa to freeze and serve in the school’s cafeteria.
 
And tomatoes are only the beginning. This month, students are expecting to harvest 100 pounds of honey from their two bee hives, and Woodworth says her culinary arts students are already thinking about how to incorporate honey into recipes. Students even prepare food from the farm – which includes a flock of 100 chickens – as a catering service and provide dinner at school functions.
 
This extensive programming, while invaluable, can be costly. Efforts to make the program self-sustaining offset much of the expense. The school buys produce from the farm for the cafeteria and culinary arts classes, much as they would if the food were grown by a local farmer. The honey, along with pickles made from the farm’s cucumbers, can be sold to back to the community for fundraising, as well. These funds are used for farm upkeep and improvement, such as drip lines for irrigation or supplies for the horticulture classes. The farm is also able to save money on compost by using composted materials from culinary arts classes. Eventually, Brunner hopes, half of the budget for the school’s agricultural education will be covered selling produce grown on the farm.
 
Seeing hundreds of pounds of harvested and processed vegetables is very satisfying. But for Brunner and Woodworth, the real satisfaction comes from seeing how the farm can unearth interests that students never knew they had. “You never know what’s going to be a trigger for a student,” Brunner recalls. “I had a student who was forced into taking one class with me. She ended up in college at UW Madison. She told me before she left that she thought she was just going to major in business, but she ended up minoring in environmental studies and now she works for a nonprofit that does food-related work.”

Read other Wisconsin school garden success stories

Share your garden story #wischoolgardens

Every garden is ripe with stories.  Maybe it is one about the day the first shovel-full of soil was turned over and the garden was underway.  Or about that time a brave rabbit dared to sample lettuce amidst a class of kindergartners partaking in a garden lesson. Each story has the potential to connect others with your garden program. Send us your story idea, or read our garden storytelling brief for tips on collecting and sharing thestories that make your garden program so special.  

Getting Started with School Gardens

Just starting a school garden? We're here to help. Check out these free resources, developed right in Wisconsin. Or, send us an email with your questions! 
 
            

Got Dirt? Garden Toolkit: Simple, step-by-step guide for starting a school garden
Got Veggies? Nutrition Education Curriculum: Aligned with state standards
Cultivating Childhood Wellness through Gardening Free online training with chapters on planning, planting, growing, and harvesting a garden with kids. Approved for continuing education hours for child care providers (1.5 hours of Registry credit).
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This Week In the Media: Children & Nature Network's News Roundup             (Posted: 10-12-16)

Click HERE.

Green Link Suggestions             (Posted: 10-5-16)

Sustainability Hub.
Green Living: A Family Guide to Going Green.

Great Places: Join a Climate Chat with Our CEO             (Posted: 10-5-16)

Click HERE.

NAAEE: eeNEWS for September 29, 2016             (Posted: 10-5-16)

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Welcome to the Children & Nature Network Research Library and Digest             (Posted: 10-5-16)

Click HERE.

Fall Edible Garden Essentials             (Posted: 10-5-16)

Fall has officially arrived in the northern hemisphere. It’s harvest season here: summer fruits are in abundance, seeds are being saved, and compost piles are being built as our summer plants die back. While we are surrounded by this bounty, it’s often challenging to remember that the end of a season is also the beginning of another.

 

Whether you’ve had a garden for decades or are growing one for the first time, this is an optimal time of year to begin making a list of winter projects and begin thinking about next year’s summer garden. What would we do differently? Would we grow that variety again? Which areas of the garden should be cover-cropped this winter? Which crops should be rotated? Where is the garlic patch going to be planted this fall? Are we going to use season-extending row covers? Are you tight on space and thinking about developing a vertical garden?

If you’re looking for some fun garden inspiration, see this how-to guide for developing 5 kinds of gardens that we co-authored with the Center for Ecoliteracy, commissioned by Annie’s Homegrown.

To help you plan improvements to your garden space and production areas, we’ve also put together a Edible Garden Site Assessment Matrix for you to use in identifying priorities for the coming seasons. This resource is adapted from materials made available by the Washington DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education or "OSSE." While some of the elements of this list might be more relevant for educational programs, we hope that backyard and community gardeners will find them equally useful.

Happy Growing!

We love Sarah Henry's new book "Farmsteads of the California Coast"
University of Florida study finds that college "students who had gardened as children consumed about 15 percent more fruits and vegetables than those who hadn’t."

Read full article from Modern Farmer here

347th Edition September 30, 2016             (Posted: 10-5-16)

Click HERE.

Discover DEP Podcast: Environmental Education             (Posted: 10-5-16)

This week's episode of Discover DEP is now live on the DEP website. It focuses on DEP's active role in promoting environmental education throughout New Jersey and provides information on how and where educators can find a wide variety of environmental education resources. Tanya Oznowich, Environmental Education Supervisor, sits down with Bob Bostock to discuss this program and the benefits it has to New Jersey.

This episode can be found HERE.

For more information on environmental education resources, please visit SEEDS. You may also contact Tanya Oznowich at 609-984-9802 or Marc Rogoff at 609-292-1474.

In addition to accessing the podcast on the DEP homepage, you can download our podcasts and subscribe to future editions through iTunes and Google Play.

The podcast is produced by the Office of Communications and the Division of Information Technology. If you have suggestions for future podcasts, or other feedback, please email podcast@dep.nj.gov.

News from KidsGardening.org             (Posted: 10-5-16)

As many of you may know, KidsGardening.org has re-launched as an independent non-profit with a new mission, focus, and leadership. 

We are continuing many of our earlier programs and grant opportunities for school and youth gardens. 

We hope that you will stop by and say hello and use and contribute to any and all of the following resources: 

Our main web site is at http://www.kidsgardening.org

Our staff and guests blog is at http://blog.kidsgardening.org

Our grants programs are at http://www.kidsgardening.org/garden-grants/.  Watch for our upcoming Youth Garden Grant which should be opening sometime in mid to late October. 

Our curriculum books, including the LIFE series, Math in the Garden, and Books in Bloom can be purchased at http://www.gardeners.com/buy/kids-gardening/books-and-curriculum-for-kids/

We recently welcomed our new Executive Director Emily Shipman. 

Finally, we have a busy Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/KidsGardening.org which gathers many of our resources in one place.  

We would love to hear from you! 

Larry Keyes and the team at KidsGardening.org

larryk@kidsgardening.org

(802) 660-4601 

Archived WEB-LINKS are available upon request throught the webmaster.