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CONTENTS:
How Environmental Education Influenced the Early Stages of the Green Schools Movement
USDOE Green Strides: The 2017 ED-GRS Honorees Are Here!
This Week In the Media: C&NN's News Roundup
U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Honorees Announced
Dinosaur sites, preserved land, pipeline concerns & more
Children & Nature Research Digest and New Nature Movement Notes | April 2017
Juicy stories with a peel
State We're In - NJ's 'marl' pits yield dinosaur discoveries
This Week In the Media: C&NN's News Roundup & Notes from the New Nature Movement for 04/18/2017
Why has everyone stopped going green?
112,500 FREE TREE SEEDLINGS TO MUNICIPALITIES FOR DISTRIBUTION TO RESIDENTS
Releasing Balloons
This Week In the Media: C&NN's News Roundup
GA’s Keisha Ford-Jenrette to Receive 2017 Director’s Award
This Week In the Media: C&NN's News Roundup
Christie Administration Marks 125th Anniversary Of New Jersey Division Of Fish And Wildlife
This Week In the Media: C&NN's News Roundup
Guest Blogs and Commentary from the New Nature Movement
How Environmental Education Influenced the Early Stages of the Green Schools Movement             (Posted: 5-11-17)

The Green Schools Catalyst Quarterly Journal Winter 2017 Click HERE.

USDOE Green Strides: The 2017 ED-GRS Honorees Are Here!             (Posted: 5-8-17)

2017 ED-GRS Selectees Announced
Green Strides Design

 

          U.S. Department of Education

   Green Strides

In the News

 GRSlogo

2017 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools  Announced

The U.S. Department of Education announced the 2017 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, District Sustainability Awardees, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees on May 4th. Across the country, 45 schools, nine districts, and nine postsecondary institutions are honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education. This year's honorees were named from a pool of candidates nominated by 28 states and the Department of Defense Education Activity. Thirty-nine public schools (including five magnet schools and one charter school), as well as six nonpublic schools, received awards. Forty-four percent of the 2017 honorees serve a predominantly disadvantaged student body and 14 percent are in rural areas. The postsecondary honorees include three career and technical and community colleges. The list of all selected schools, districts, colleges, and universities, as well as their nomination packages, can be found here. A report with highlights on the 63 honorees can be found here. More information on the federal recognition award can be found here. Resources that all schools can use to move toward the three "Pillars" on which the awards are based can be found here.  >>>>

Learn From the 2017 Honorees

Take inspiration from the 2017 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, District Sustainability Awardees, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees and read more about their work in our annual Highlights Report

Discovery Elementary Solar panels
A second-floor outdoor solar lab at Discovery Elementary School provides flexible learning spaces to explore the renewable energy sources onsite.

Discovery Elementary School, Arlington, Virginia

Discovery Elementary School is the largest Net Zero Energy elementary school ever built in the U.S. and the first in the Mid-Atlantic region. Sustainable features include 1,706 roof-mounted solar panels; a three-ply built up roof with two layers of ENERGY STAR cool roof coatings; a geothermal well field; solar preheat of domestic hot water; 100% LED lighting; ideal solar orientation and shading; and exterior walls using insulated concrete forms. Discovery’s energy costs are one-third that of comparable elementary schools. Discovery’s Eco-Action Team supports a variety of initiatives, including incentive programs to reduce lunch waste; collection of uneaten lunch food for donation; initiatives to promote walking, busing, biking, and carpooling to school; offering items like reusable lunch boxes, water bottles, and coffee mugs through the PTA; production of student videos on environmental topics; outdoor education through gardening and park cleanups; working towards the NWF Eco-SchoolsUSA Green Flag; and rewarding sustainable practices. Discovery has several outdoor learning environments, including a butterfly garden, an outdoor garden that uses rain barrels for its water source, and an outdoor exploratory lab that allows students to study the natural processes and species found in two bioretention basins. Teachers use Discovery’s extensive environmental signage in lessons. School leadership has redesigned the dining commons to enhance hygiene habits by requiring all students to proceed through a handwashing station prior to entering the area. Teachers are encouraged to take “brain breaks” with students frequently.  Monthly recipe challenges invite staff to bring healthy meals to share.  An annual "Biggest Loser" challenge combats obesity. Discovery has a robust school garden program and strong ties to local farms.  >>>>

Washburn School District elementary garden
Washburn students plant, harvest, and cook from the school garden every year, and have planted trees that will provide apples.

Washburn School District, Wisconsin

The Washburn School District serves roughly 630 students, 43% from economically disadvantaged households, in prekindergarten through 12th grade and its early learning center. The district has implemented a variety of energy-saving initiatives which include upgrading lighting, switching from electric to natural gas hot water heaters, districtwide recycling, and composting of garden waste. A team of students has created a community outreach recycling program. Classrooms take walking field trips instead of using buses whenever possible. Students in the ecology club choose an environmental topic each year and educate their peers with ongoing projects, culminating with an expert guest speaker who addresses an all-school assembly. Algebra classes conduct calculations of alternative transportation use to school. Washburn uses innovative techniques, including grazing goats in its invasive species removal, as part of its prairie restoration project. The district partners with community organizations for nutrition and agricultural education. Students engage in snowshoeing, skating, cross-country skiing, and canoeing. Washburn removed old asphalt and replaced it with a bioswale, pollinator garden, high tunnel greenhouse, outdoor lunch area, compost area, aquaponics lab, and monarch oasis. The district is home to a forested 40-acre environmental learning site. Learning opportunities include the Agripreneur Program, aquaponics lab, monarch butterfly study, and several sustainability-based classes. The ecology class conducts water quality testing, analyses habitats, and studies population density. Educators have access to an outdoor classroom kit, including a set of collapsible, lightweight chairs and clipboards, to allow classes that wouldn’t normally need to go outside to teach their content to spend time outdoors. >>>>

CMC students and faculty explore aspen grove
Colorado Mountain College students and faculty explore an aspen forest.

Colorado Mountain College, Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Colorado Mountain College (CMC) serves approximately 22,000 students at 11 instructional sites annually in a service area of more than 12,000 square miles across the state's Western Slope. Highlights of CMC's sustainability efforts include the installation of solar farms and geothermal systems; upgrades to HVAC systems, lighting, and insulation; and the addition of motion sensors. Despite campus climates ranging from high alpine to high desert, and at altitudes ranging from 10,152 to 5,348 feet, the college has undertaken initiatives to mitigate water use, including xeriscaping with native plants and nighttime watering; low-flow and sensored bathroom fixtures; and the installation of water bottle filling stations. Waste reduction efforts have included single-stream recycling; plastic and glass recycling; composting; participation in a local food recovery network to donate unused human-edible food to local nonprofits; and an organic recycling program in collaboration with a local pig farmer. The college offers a ropes course; has a co-ed college ski team and an outdoor mountain biking club; provides mental health specialists, physician assistants, and professional counselors; and coordinates with local community clinics. Community gardens, a greenhouse, and a student beekeeping club are features at various campuses. The new Bachelor of Arts degree in sustainability studies blends classroom instruction with experiential education. CMC’s natural resource management program focuses on hands-on experiential education designed to develop students’ skills in a variety of environments. CMC’s environmental science program is focused on environmental problems and biological and ecological approaches to addressing them. CMC offers a popular technical training program in solar energy with three certificates. >>>>

Resources and Opportunities

Mundo Verde teacher uses Learning Lab

Learning Lab

Learning Lab is product of the U.S. Green Building Council Center for Green Schools that provides K-12 teachers and school leaders with comprehensive, project- and STEM-based curriculum that encourages student leadership, environmental literacy, and real-world action. Learning Lab offers in-class content, training, and tools; it also gives access to a curated catalogue of lesson plans, interactive projects, assessment opportunities, and other multimedia resources in English and Spanish. Lessons are mapped to meet current educational standards, and were created by educators, for educators. >>>>

Fuel Up to Play 60 Logo

Fuel Up to Play 60 Funding Deadline Is June 14

Funding opportunities are available for any K?12 school enrolled in Fuel Up to Play 60 and participating in the National School Lunch Program. The competitive, nationwide funding program is sponsored by the National Dairy Council, state and regional Dairy Councils, and other supporting organizations, the competitive, nationwide funding program provides money — up to $4,000 per year, per school — to jump start healthy changes. Funds are used to help schools implement one Healthy Eating Play and one Physical Activity Play from the 2016?2017 edition of the Fuel Up to Play 60 Playbook. >>>>

Green Schools National Network logo

Become a Green Schools National Network Member

Through the Green Schools National Network (GSNN) membership program, you can show support to the green schools movement and become a catalyst for change for green schools everywhere. GSNN’s membership program is designed for leaders who use sustainability to drive innovation in their classrooms, schools, or school districts. >>>>

Education Facilities Clearinghouse Logo

The Education Facilities Clearinghouse Launches a New Website

The Education Facilities Clearinghouse (EFC) recently launched its new website with resources in areas including planning, design, financing, construction, contract management, operations, maintenance, school safety, and environmental issues. The EFC has gathered some of the best research pertaining to effective practices in learning environments. Learn more from the EFC's online library and contact the EFC for school facility expertise. >>>>

Events

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The CELF Education for Sustainability Summer Institute is July 1013

The Annual CELF Summer Institute in Education for Sustainability is July 10—13, 2017 at Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York. The Institute is an intensive four-day workshop that enables teachers to integrate the concepts of sustainability into their existing curricula. >>>>

Water Quality Monitoring Colorado Mountain College

Applications Open for the Education for Sustainability Leadership Academy

The Education for Sustainability Leadership Academy at Shelburne Farms in Vermont is a recently launched, year-long program for those wishing to be part of a learning community exploring education for sustainability, systems thinking, and school transformation. ?Applications are due by June 9. >>>> 

Shelburne Farms Logo

The Summer Institute on Education for Sustainability Celebrates its 10th Anniversary

Spend five  days with colleagues from around the country at an informative and restorative institute at Shelburne Farms in Vermont created to give educators the opportunity to deepen their understanding of education for sustainability. This week is part conference, part workshop, and part retreat. Participants develop connections between curriculum and community, work and dialogue together, and reflect in an inspiring setting that models sustainability and systems-thinking. >>>>

Wilton Manors Environmental Ed

The Get Out of the Classroom Conference Is August 3-4

The 2017 Get Out of the Classroom Field Studies Conference is set to take place August 3-4 at Northwest Passage High School in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. Join educators, practitioners, and innovators who have explored learning environments with their students through field studies, urban travel, and wilderness expeditions. >>>>

Webinars

Green Strides Design

The Green Strides Webinar Series: May

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

May 9,  6:30-7:30 p.m.  BEST Satellite (NASA)

May 10, 12-12:30 p.m.  Portfolio Manager – Ask The Expert (EPA)

May 16, 6:30-7:30 p.m. One Year Crew (NASA)

May 17,  12-12:30 p.m. Portfolio Manager – Ask The Expert (EPA)

May 23, 6:30-7:30 p.m.  Sally Ride EarthKAM (NASA)

May 24,  12-12:30 p.m.  Portfolio Manager – Ask The Expert (EPA)

May 31,  12-12:30 p.m.  Portfolio Manager – Ask The Expert (EPA)

May 31, 4:00-5:00 p.m.  NASA Digital Badge for Educators (NASA)

June 1,  6:00-7:00 p.m.  Journey to Mars (NASA)

June 8,  4:00-5:00 p.m.  Modeling the Solar Eclipse (NASA)

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

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This Week In the Media: C&NN's News Roundup             (Posted: 5-8-17)

Click HERE.

U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Honorees Announced             (Posted: 5-8-17)

Announcing the 2017 ED-Green Ribbon Schools Honorees
Green Strides Design

 

          U.S. Department of Education

   Green Strides

U.S. Department of Education
Office of Communications & Outreach, Press Office
400 Maryland Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC  20202

 

FOR RELEASE:  May 4, 2017

CONTACT: Press Office (202) 401-1576 or press@ed.gov

2017 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, District Sustainability Awardees, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees Announced

Award Honors Schools, Districts, and Postsecondary Institutions for Reducing Environmental Impact and Costs, Improving Health and Wellness, Offering Effective Sustainability Education

The U.S. Department of Education today released the names of the 2017 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, District Sustainability Awardees, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees. Across the country, 45 schools, nine districts, and nine postsecondary institutions are being honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education. A state education official was also honored for her efforts to advance school sustainability in the state of Georgia.

“I commend each school, district, and institution of higher education for their efforts to create a healthy learning environment for students, faculty and staff,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.  “These schools have done exemplary work to help prepare the rising generation for the careers and challenges of the 21st Century.” 

The honorees were named from a pool of candidates nominated by 28 states and the Department of Defense Department of Education Activity. The selectees include 39 public schools, including five magnet schools and one charter school, as well as six nonpublic schools. Forty-four percent of the 2017 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body and 14 percent are rural. The postsecondary honorees include three career and technical and community colleges.

The list of all selected schools, districts, colleges, and universities, as well as their nomination packages, can be found here. A report with highlights on the 63 honorees can be found here. More information on the federal recognition award can be found here. Resources for all schools to move toward the three Pillars can be found here.

New Jersey

  • George L. Catrambone Elementary School

            Long Branch, NJ

  • Long Branch Middle School

            Long Branch, NJ

Dinosaur sites, preserved land, pipeline concerns & more             (Posted: 5-8-17)

Click HERE.

Children & Nature Research Digest and New Nature Movement Notes | April 2017             (Posted: 5-5-17)

Click HERE and HERE.

Juicy stories with a peel             (Posted: 5-5-17)

Click HERE.

State We're In - NJ's 'marl' pits yield dinosaur discoveries             (Posted: 5-5-17)


NJCF logo small    Photo collage header

THE STATE WE'RE IN

by Michele S. Byers

Executive Director 

Michele S. Byers   

NJ's 'marl' pits yield dinosaur discoveries 

Ever wonder how New Jersey towns like Marlton and Marlboro got their names? Look no further than "marl," a soil also known as greensand.

Marl deposits date to the time when the southeastern half of this state we're in was the sea floor, and greensand was deposited in coastal bays and freshwater river mouths. The marl contains fossils of ancient shelled invertebrates and freshwater and marine forms of every vertebrate group - fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and even primitive mammals!

Colonial-era farmers discovered that marl - which contains clay and calcium carbonate - made great fertilizer. Many marl pits were dug in the narrow geographic band now known as the Inner Coastal Plain. Greensand was sold to farmers all over New Jersey and beyond.

Mosasaur

Mosasaur skull in New Jersey State Museum

Marl pits contained more than fertilizer. In about 1838, a farmer in Haddonfield, Camden County, spotted gigantic bones in a sand pit on his property. Two decades later, fossil hobbyist William Parker Foulke heard about the bones while vacationing nearby.

Foulke called in his friend, paleontologist Joseph Leidy, and hired a crew of diggers. They excavated the bones of an animal larger than an elephant, with structural features of both a lizard and a bird.

The fossilized bones were the world's first nearly complete dinosaur skeleton. The dinosaur died along the shallow coastline during the Cretaceous period 65 to 145 million years ago and sank to the bottom, where its skeleton fossilized in the greensand.

The creature was named Hadrosaurus foulkii after Foulk and Haddonfield, and was the first mounted dinosaur ever to be displayed to the public when it was put on exhibit at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia in 1868.

Nearly 160 years after the dinosaur discovery made Haddonfield the birthplace of American paleontology, the Garden State is still rich in fossils.

"New Jersey is a great place to be if you're a paleontologist," says David Parris, paleontologist and head curator of natural history at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton.

The state's most productive fossil region is the Inner Coastal Plain, which runs from Raritan Bay to the upper reaches of the Delaware Bay in Salem County. During the Cretaceous period - when New Jersey was located much closer to the equator, the Earth was warmer and sea levels higher - the Atlantic coastline was located there.

Thanks to their ancient history, the sediments of the Inner Coastal Plain contain fossils of both sea creatures like mosasaurs and giant crocodiles, and land creatures that lived in swamps on the edge of the continent, like the hadrosaurus.

Two Inner Coastal Plain sites where land has been permanently preserved are especially good for finding fossils.

The first is within Monmouth County's Historic Walnford Park, preserved with the help of New Jersey Conservation Foundation in the 1970s. The dig site, called Ellisdale, is yielding thousands of fossils of all sizes, from large to microscopic, all being studied at the New Jersey State Museum.

The second is the former Inversand Quarry in Mantua Township, Gloucester County, where mosasaurs - ancient sea lizards resembling Komodo dragons - were excavated. Thanks to donors, Rowan University purchased the quarry in 2016. It is now called the Jean and Ric Edelman Fossil Park and is available to Rowan students as well as schools and individuals attending "Community Dig" days.

The former quarry must be continually pumped to keep out water, but the marl there is so soft that paleontologists can dig with a garden trowel rather than having to chip through rock.

Due to suburban development, the site where "Haddy" the hadrosaurus was discovered is no longer a viable dig site. In fact, its exact location was lost until 1984 when a local Boy Scout named Chris Brees used old maps and Joseph Leidy's descriptions to rediscover it. Thanks to Brees' Eagle Scout project, the site is marked with a plaque commemorating its amazing history.

If you want to learn more about New Jersey's Inner Coastal Plain and the fossils discovered there, take time to visit the New Jersey State Museum. Among the exhibits are a full-size hadrosaurus, made from casts of the original bones excavated in Haddonfield in 1858, and a giant crocodile from Burlington County just found in the last couple of years!

You can even watch as scientists carefully remove this fossil crocodile from the rock in which it is embedded.  The original Haddonfield dinosaur is kept at the Academy of Natural Sciences and is too fragile to be displayed. Find out more about the NJ State museum exhibit at http://www.nj.gov/state/museum/dos_museum_exhibit-written-rocks.htm .

For a great online dinosaur exhibit, go to the Academy of Natural Sciences website at http://ansp.org/explore/online-exhibits/dinosaurs/.

And to learn more about preserving New Jersey's land and natural resources,  visit the New Jersey Conservation website at www.njconservation.org or contact me at info@njconservation.org.

This Week In the Media: C&NN's News Roundup & Notes from the New Nature Movement for 04/18/2017             (Posted: 4-18-17)

Click HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Why has everyone stopped going green?             (Posted: 4-18-17)

Click HERE.

112,500 FREE TREE SEEDLINGS TO MUNICIPALITIES FOR DISTRIBUTION TO RESIDENTS             (Posted: 4-18-17)

Click HERE.

Releasing Balloons             (Posted: 4-4-17)

Click HERE.

This Week In the Media: C&NN's News Roundup             (Posted: 3-22-17)

Click HERE.

GA’s Keisha Ford-Jenrette to Receive 2017 Director’s Award             (Posted: 3-16-17)

2017 Director's Award Announced
Green Strides Design

 

          U.S. Department of Education

   Green Strides

In the News

Keisha FordJenrette of Georgia Department of Education

The 2017 ED-Green Ribbon Schools Director’s Award Goes to Keisha Ford-Jenrette of Georgia

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 free, publically-available 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.  

This year, the Director’s Award goes to Keisha Ford-Jenrette of the Georgia Department of Education.  Ford-Jenrette fosters collaboration among many government, non-profits, and for-profit partners, and schools.  She supports schools and districts in the process of applying, including providing feedback and mentoring so that they can improve for re-application.  She partners with Captain Planet Foundation to offer a significant cash award to honorees in the state and liaises with the Georgia Lieutenant Governor’s office for state recognition festivities, press releases, and honoree citations each year.  Ford-Jenrette has also developed a state-level honorable mention to broaden recognition and reward promising efforts.  Ford-Jenrette will be honored, alongside school, district, and postsecondary honorees at a summer event in Washington, D.C. >>>>

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Announcement of 2017 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Coming Soon!

Participating state education authorities submit their nominations to U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) annually by Feb. 1.  ED announces honorees in the spring; invites selectees to a celebration in the summer; and conducts a fall tour to spotlight clusters of honorees, past and present.  Stay tuned for more information on the 2017 spring announcement!

Now is a great time to begin preparing 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 ED-GRS director and review Frequently Asked Questions on all three award categories.  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 can find award criteria and other state implementation guidance on ED's website and should contact U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools for more information.   >>>>

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.

 

Students Garden at Montclair Historical Society
West Caldwell Tech students garden at the Montclair Historical Society.

Essex County West Caldwell Tech; West Caldwell, New Jersey

The West Caldwell Tech (WCT) campus of the Essex County Vocational and Technical School District, serving 78 percent free and reduced price lunch-eligible and 52 percent special education students, began its sustainability efforts five years ago with an energy audit to develop comprehensive energy conservation and retrofit measures.  WCT replaced its boilers with energy-efficient ones, and implemented a one-to-one laptop initiative to reduce paper usage.  The school, with an enrollment of 343, also created partnerships with county and state officials for financial support to update lighting fixtures and add alternative energy sources to the school building.  To improve health, WCT offers a full year of physical education and health courses.  While New Jersey requires 3.75 credits of physical education and health each year, WCT provides students with five credits, and has established a Health and Wellness Family Fun Day.  The school cafeteria sources all seasonal fruits and vegetables from local farms.  The school requires an environmental science course.  As a vocational school, WCT incorporates sustainability practices into career majors.  For example, Horticulture and Agriscience students raise trout from eggs, monitor tank water quality, and engage in stream habitat study.  Its Construction Trades Academy incorporates a sustainable construction curriculum, and a WCT teacher served on the statewide development committee for green career pathways for Sustainable Design, Construction, and Energy. >>>>

Students Create Safe Healthy Cleaning Products
MBUSD students fabricate their own safe, healthy cleaners.

Manhattan Beach Unified School District, California

In Manhattan Beach Unified School District (MBUSD) two non-profit organizations, Grades of Green and Growing Great, began as groups of MBUSD parent-volunteers working to reduce waste while helping students understand the role of gardens and nutritious food.  Students and parents have led efforts in waste reduction, cutting the number of trash bins the district needs in half.  Students, dressed up as recycling clowns, starred in films doing the dirty, yet fun, work of waste audits, and positioned themselves at campus recycling centers to help fellow students know what to deposit in waste, recycling, or composting containers.  A single employee’s efforts to thank teachers and staff who changed their habits ensured that lights were turned off at night, the swimming pool was properly covered, and electronics were unplugged while schools were not in session.  One parent created a clever lunchbox that promotes trash-free lunches.  Now every first grader in MBUSD receives a free trash-free lunchbox, sponsored by Waste Management.  A walking school bus and edible school garden are in place at all five elementary schools in the district.  MBUSD has documented a 33 percent reduction in energy use over six years.  Each of the seven schools in the district is ENERGY STAR certified, and six of the seven scored 100.  Solar panels installed at the high school provide a whopping 30 percent of the facility’s energy needs.  Students have meaningful outdoor learning experiences at every grade level. Forty MBUSD students in grades three through eight initiated a successful citywide ban of single-use plastic bags and Styrofoam.  >>>>

Elon University Forest
The Elon University Forest is a 56-acre protected natural area just north of campus that serves as a teaching resource and research site, as well as a service learning site and quiet place for reflection and observation.

Elon University; Elon, North Carolina 

Elon University’s energy efficiency and conservation efforts have resulted in a 30 percent reduction in BTUs per square foot, despite the fact that its footage increased by 104 percent and the student population increased by 35 percent.  Elon adopted a Green Building Policy in 2009, which states that new construction projects and major renovations consisting of 8,000 or more square feet of conditioned, occupied space will achieve a minimum of LEED Silver certification.  There currently are 26 LEED certified buildings on campus totaling 624,240 square feet, which is 23 percent of the university’s total square footage.  Campus waste reduction efforts include yard and food waste composting.  About 39 percent of the university’s fleet is composed of alternative fueled vehicles, which includes the Elon BioBus system that is free for students, faculty, staff, and community members.  The landscaping and grounds staff incorporates integrated pest management into their operations to protect human health and the environment.  The Sustainability Faculty Scholars Program provides faculty with resources and support to incorporate or enhance a focus on sustainable principles and practices in their lessons.  Among the resources on campus for experiential learning, the Elon Environmental Center at Loy Farm demonstrates the integration of food systems with the built environment.  Its activities and functions include food and farming systems, a design-build studio for responsible architecture, the Piedmont Prairie ecological restoration project, and long-term ecological research.  >>>>

Events

Green School Conference and Expo Attendees Interact

The Green Schools National Conference and Expo is March 2122 in Atlanta 

The Green Schools Conference and Expo 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>>>>

Children and Nature Network’s Conference is April 1821 in Vancouver, Canada  

The 2017 Children & Nature Network International Conference and Summit will be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada from April 1821. The conference theme, “Kids Need Nature, Nature Needs Kids,” reflects the Network’s goal of ensuring that all children have access to the many benefits of nature — and the need to inspire new generations of environmental stewards.  The conference will promote meaningful, cross-sector engagement to create a world in which all children have access to nature in their daily lives. >>>>

Green Schools Alliance Logo

Student Conservation Corps & Congress is June 25July 1 in Shepherdstown, West Virginia

 The Student Conservation Corps & Congress is a week-long leadership training program for 8th to 11th grade students held annually at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s National Conservation Training Center.  Participants spend a week studying and discussing environmental, social, and economic interconnections to address climate change and conservation challenges affecting their generation in an ever-changing world.  >>>>

Webinars

Green Strides Design

The Green Strides Webinar Series: March and April  

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 your suggestions of free, publically-available webinars related to school, district, and postsecondary sustainability to ed.green.ribbon.schools@ed.gov for listing.  All times provided are ET.

March 14, 6:307:30 p.m.  GLOBE Atmosphere (NASA)

March 15, 4:00-4:30 p.m.  Portfolio Manager – Ask The Expert (EPA)

March 15, 4:00-5:00 p.m.  How to Make School Breakfast Work (Chef Ann Foundation)

March 16, 8:00-9:00 p.m.  Astrobiology and Looking for Life (NASA)

March 21, 4:005:30 p.m.  LaRC 100 Webinar (NASA)

March 21, 6:307:30 p.m.  Weather to Fly By (NASA)

March 22, 6:007:00 p.m.  Explore Your Watershed with Underwater ROVs (NOAA)

March 22, 7:30-8:30 p.m.  EarthPLAY for Earth Day 2017 (Green Teacher)

March 23, 6:007:00 p.m.  From Earth to the Moon (NASA)

March 27, 4:005:00 p.m.  NASA Satellite Mission GPM & SMAP (NASA)

March 27, 5:00-6:00 p.m.  Using Picture Books to Initiate STEAM PBL (NASA)

March 27, 7:30-8:30 p.m.  To Unplug or Plug In (Green Teacher)

March 28, 4:005:00 p.m.  Looking at Satellite Images (NASA)

March 28, 4:005:00 p.m.  Portfolio Manager 101 (EPA)

March 28, 6:307:30 p.m.  Space Weather (NASA)

March 29, 1:00-2:00 p.m.  Innovative Bicycling Programs for Youth (Safe Routes to School National Partnership)

March 29, 4:005:00 p.m.  Portfolio Manager 201 (EPA)

March 30, 4:005:00 p.m.  Portfolio Manager 301 (EPA)

April 3, 6:307:30 p.m.  Dwarf Planets (NASA)

April 5, 6:307:30 p.m.  Hubble – A History (NASA)

April 04, 8:00-9:00 p.m.  Tools for Diverse Learners (NASA)

April 5, 4:00-4:30 p.m.  Portfolio Manager – Ask The Expert (EPA)

April 05, 6:30-7:30 p.m.  Hubble – A History (NASA)

April 06, 6:00-7:00 p.m.  Life on Mars? (NASA)

April 10, 6:30-7:30 p.m.  Hubble Space Telescope (NASA)

April 11, 4:30-5:30 p.m.  Viewing Your Content Through a NASA Context (NASA)

Rockford Middle School Students Ice Fish
Students at Rockford Middle School - Center for Environmental Studies, a 2015 ED-GRS honoree in Rockford, Minnesota, engage in ice fishing.

Green Strides: Resources for School Facilities, Health, and Environment

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This Week In the Media: C&NN's News Roundup             (Posted: 3-16-17)

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Christie Administration Marks 125th Anniversary Of New Jersey Division Of Fish And Wildlife             (Posted: 3-8-17)

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This Week In the Media: C&NN's News Roundup             (Posted: 3-8-17)

Click HERE.

Guest Blogs and Commentary from the New Nature Movement             (Posted: 3-2-17

Click HERE.

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