Educator Climate and Conservation Colloquium (Ec3) (

Ec3 is a one-of-a kind professional development opportunity for educators and sustainability coordinators offered by the Green Schools Alliance in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.  At Ec3, participants:

  • Work with national experts
  • Receive training in sustainability leadership, financing, and assessment
  • Share ideas and network with colleagues
  • Participate in NCTC’s unique conservation programs and field work

This year’s Ec3 is being held from July 6 – 10.  For registration information, please visit:

Nature-Based Education Summer Institute (

The University of Maine at Farmington is hosting a Nature-Based Education Summer Institute on Saturday June 25, 2016, with an optional pre-conference institute on Friday June 24th.  The full day program is focused on nature-based education.  Sessions are designed to be interactive and outdoors, for a range of educators working across age levels and settings.  Programming is designed for educators- in-training as well as those who have extensive experience in the field. Opportunities to connect with colleagues will foster shared learning and exploration. The day features a keynote by David Sobel, locally grown food, and workshops that will bring participants outside to learn more about how nature-based education benefits children and adults.  Visit the website for the program schedule and registration information.




Green Schoolyards: A Growing Movement Supporting Health, Education, and Connection with Nature (

Healthy Schools Campaign and Openlands are pleased to announce the release of a new report: Green Schoolyards: A Growing Movement Supporting Health, Education, and Connection with Nature.  This report documents the journeys and lessons of green schoolyard programs across the country and is informed by a rich dialogue that has been taking place at the national and local levels about how to help children, families, schools, communities, and our environments thrive.  It shares information and stories, as well as tangible steps communities can take to develop their own green schoolyards.


Into the Outdoors (

This educational website is the online version of the Emmy-winning television series, offering free science videos and companion lesson activities for expanded learning in classrooms.  Categories include energy science, farm science, environmental science, life science, natural resource science, health science, and physical science.


National Wildlife Federation’s Schoolyard Habitats (

In 1996, the National Wildlife Federation’s Schoolyard Habitats program was created to meet the growing interest and distinct needs of schools and school districts in creating and restoring wildlife habitat on school grounds. The program focuses specifically on assisting school communities in the use of school grounds as learning sites for wildlife conservation and cross-curricular learning.  This website contains information about the benefits of schoolyard habitats, how to start one of your own, and how to apply for certification as an official Schoolyard Habitat site.


Teaching in Nature’s Classroom: Core Principles of Garden-Based Education (

In Teaching in Nature’s Classroom: Core Principles of Garden-Based Education, Nathan Larson shares a philosophy of teaching in the garden. Rooted in years of experience and supported by research, Larson presents fifteen guiding principles of garden-based education. These principles and best practices are illustrated through engaging stories from the field. The book features vivid paintings by mural artist Becky Redelings and connections to the research literature provided by Alex Wells and Sam Dennis of the University of Wisconsin Environmental Design Lab.  This publication was supported through a partnership between Community GroundWorks and the Environmental Design Lab at the University of Wisconsin -Madison.  Funding for this project was provided by the Wisconsin Partnership Program at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Schoolyard Habitat Project Guide (   

The Schoolyard Habitat program guidebook is a tool that takes teachers and administrators through the process of creating schoolyard habitat and outdoor classroom projects.  The guide covers everything from concept to completion: developing a plan, choosing a site, design and installation, maintenance, and how to incorporate the space into the curriculum.  The guide is available in Spanish as well.

Wow! The Wonders of Wetlands (

This K-12 Guide is just one of several resources offered by Minnesota Project WET, which trains classroom and other educators in hands-on, interactive lessons that are focused on water and encourage critical thinking.  The guide features more than 70 pages of background material followed by more than 40 activities. Every page is thoughtfully laid out with core text, great photographs, sidebars, maps, and illustrations to make information clear and quick to use. Activities are organized into five sections: wetland definitions, wetlands plants and animals, water quality and supply issues, soils, and people. The appendix offers instructions for planning and developing a schoolyard wetland habitat.  Learn more about Minnesota Project WET, as well as the national Project WET Foundation.



Professional Development

2016 No Teacher Left Inside Summer Institute

The annual No Teacher Left Inside Institute bring together teachers from all grade levels, content areas, and schools to learn about community-based environmental learning, learn new outdoor skills, and build a community of professionals committed to engaging students in learning about the world around them. Community-based environmental learning integrates science research and inquiry, project-based, place-based, and service-learning methodologies to empower students to make a difference in their local environment.


The No Teacher Left Inside Institute will feature organized hands-on, minds-on explorations and field experiences and collaboration time in “unconference” or “EdCamp” style.  Participants will develop action plans that meet state standards and establish student learning objectives while using the environment as a context for learning and teaching. Educators of students in grades K-12 should attend. Instructional teams are encouraged to apply. Educator scholarships and university credit are available.


This year’s Institute will be held July 18-21, 2016 at Conserve School in Land O Lakes, Wisconsin.


CELF Summer Institute: Education for Sustainability (

CELF’s Summer Institute (July 18-20, 2016) enables teachers to integrate the concepts of sustainability into their existing curricula. This program equips K-12 teachers with practices and teaching methods to address the core concepts of Education for Sustainability – the intersection of social, economic, and ecological systems.  Teachers participate in the CELF Summer Institute in order to:

  • Become familiar with teaching strategies that challengestudents to embrace complex problem solving, encourage students to transfer and relate information between disciplines through hands-on and collaborative activities, compel students to connect to their community – at home, in school, and in the world beyond, and inspire them to make a difference.
  • Explore effective and engaging methods of communicating the interconnections between a healthy environment, a vibrant economy, and a fair and equitable social sector – and how the balance of those three systems is vital to a sustainable future, and relevant to every academic subject area.


Learn more about the elementary school teacher institute ( and the middle/high school teacher institute (


Educating Children Outdoors (ECO) Summer Institute (

Standards Based Nature Immersion Graduate Courses for Educators

The ECO Institute for Teachers is a five-day nature immersion course for elementary teachers, assistants, aides, and administrators. During the week, a leadership team of professional nature immersion specialists guides teachers in direct application of outdoor classroom routines as well as ways to incorporate Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core into those routines. All courses are held in an outdoor setting so come prepared to spend the entire day outside. The North Branch Nature Center in Montpelier, Vermont hosts our group on 28 acres of diverse and abundant land.  See below for an overview of the courses and visit the website for registration information.


  • ECO Level 1- June 27-July 1, 2016
    This week-long course will introduce teachers to core routines which create the structure for an outdoor classroom experience to succeed. Through the practice of storytelling, playing, building, creating, and reflecting, you will become a student of the day-long outdoor experience. As a group, we will participate in standards-based lessons embedded within the day long outdoor experience. This learning mirrors the experience of students during a typical day of ECO. Our day includes discussion, philosophy, and planning with school teams with the oversight of an experienced instructor. We invite you to leave all technology at home. We will provide you with electronic documents at each day’s end.


  • ECO Level 2 – July 25-29, 2016
    This course continues to practice and build off of the groundwork of the core routines established in Level I, as well as dive deeper into the technical field skills and pedagogy that serve as tools to enhance the outdoor learning experience. During the course we immerse ourselves in inquiry-based learning through intensive experiential lessons, activities, and discussions, examine how storytelling can be used as a way to teach and prompt lessons, and develop science based journaling techniques and routines to introduce to students as an indoor reflection to their outdoor classroom. Participants will also be provided with sample lessons to use in their own classroom which align with Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core. Again, we invite you to leave all technology at home. We will provide you with electronic documents at each day’s end.


Green Teacher Webinars (

Transforming School Food

Presenters: Jonathan Foley and Dan Hendry

Thursday, May 19 2016 7:30-8:30pm EST

The transformation of school food is long overdue.  Our two presenters will share two different approaches that are currently underway.  In the first, we will learn about California Thursdays, where participating school districts in that state serve locally grown, healthy foods in their cafeteria every Thursday.   Following that, we will learn about the Slow Cookers for Kids project, where a partnership with the culinary arts program at a local community college teaches grade 7-8 students how to shop and prepare inexpensive, healthy meals. Please be prepared to share your own ideas for transforming school food with all the participants in this upcoming session.


Making the Connection: Climate Changes Health: A 4-Part Webinar Series (

APHA and ecoAmerica are proud to co-sponsor a four-part webinar series investigating the health impacts of climate change. The series explores the connection between climate change and key areas of our health: allergies and asthma; health risks in children; mental health; and transportation and healthy community design as a mitigation approach.


Part I – Making the Connection: Climate Changes Allergies and Asthma
Monday, May 9, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. EDT
Mark Mitchell, MD, David B. Peden, MD, MS, and Mona Sarfaty, MD, MPH

Don’t miss the start of the series! During this webinar, participants will discover how climate change conditions impact allergies and asthma.


Part II – Making the Connection: Climate Changes Children’s Health
Thursday, May 26, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. EDT
Samantha Ahdoot, MD, FAAP, and Samuel Myers, MD, MPH

In our second webinar of the series, participants will gain insights on how climate change can influence children’s health and well-being.


Part III – Making the Connection: Changing Climate through Healthy Community Design and Transportation
Tuesday, June 7, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. EDT
Richard Jackson, MD, MPH, and James Whitehead, MD

In our third webinar of the Climate Changes Health series, participants will discover how transportation and healthy community design can ease the clinical impacts of climate change.


Part IV – Making the Connection: Climate Changes Mental Health
Wednesday, June 29, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. EDT
Susan Clayton, PhD, MS, and Lise Van Susteren, MD

In our fourth and final webinar of the Climate Changes Health series, participants will gain insights on how the conditions of climate change can impact mental health and how this presents itself in our communities.


Project Learning Tree GreenSchools Training (

Project Learning Tree® (PLT) is a national environmental education program that provides PreK-12 teachers and informal educators with professional development, instructional materials aligned to state and national academic standards, service-learning programs, and grants for action projects. PLT’s GreenSchools program offers training for adults, including tips on starting a green school program, how to obtain equipment and collect data, and ways to empower your students to design and lead an action project that uses their STEM skills. It includes a set of 5 investigations for students to reduce energy and water use, recycle, and improve their school site, among other projects. For a PLT GreenSchools online course that can be completed in your own time, along with a listing of other PLT online courses and products, go to To attend an in-person professional development workshop in your state, go to




Chef Ann Foundation Project Produce Grants ( )

The Chef Ann Foundation has teamed up with Skoop, a performance nutrition brand, to launch Project Produce: Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schools.  These $2,500 grants help schools increase kids’ access to fresh fruits and veggies and nutrition education.  Any district or independent school that participates in the National School Lunch Program is eligible to apply.  Grants are determined on an ongoing basis depending on available funding.  More information about grant requirements and submitting a proposal can be found on the website.


Dominion K-12 Educational Partnership (

Dominion’s K-12 Educational Partnership grants are designed to encourage and enhance the study of energy and/or the environment. Successful grant proposals should support environmental education or the exploration of energy; represent innovative and promising ideas; teach math and/or science skills; reach a significant number of students; and demonstrate broad-based community support.  Applicants, including schools and nonprofits, need to be located with Dominion’s service area.  Grantees may receive up to $2500 to apply toward their projects.  Applications are due by 5pm on May 31, 2016.


GetEdFunding (

GetEdFunding is a curated collection of grants and awards created by education professionals for education professionals.  Its database was designed to be easy-to-use and reliable, and all grant and funding opportunities are updated daily.  Users can search by six criteria, including 43 areas of focus, 8 content areas, and 14 twenty-first century themes and skills, including environmental literacy.  Once registered on the site, users can save grants of interest and return to them at any time.


The NEA Foundation Learning and Leadership Grants (

The NEA Foundation Learning and Leadership Grants support public school teachers, public education support professionals, and/or faculty and staff in public institutions of higher education for one of the following two purposes:

  • Grants to individuals fund participation in high-quality professional development experiences, such as summer institutes, conferences, or action research.
  • Grants to groups fund collegial study, including study groups, action research, lesson plan development, or mentoring experiences for faculty or staff.


Grants awards are $2,000 for individuals and $5,000 for groups engaged in collegial study.  Applications may be submitted anytime throughout the year and are reviewed three times a year, every year.  Deadlines for applications are February 1, June 1, and October 15.


Project Learning Tree GreenWorks! Grants (

Project Learning Tree® (PLT), a national environmental education program for PreK-12 educators, offers GreenWorks! grants up to $1,000 to schools and youth organizations for environmental service-learning projects that link classroom learning to the real world.  Students implement an action project they help design to green their school or to improve an aspect of their neighborhood’s environment. The projects partner students with their whole school, local businesses and/or community organizations, and provide opportunities for student leadership. The funds can be used by students to implement recycling programs at their school, conserve water and energy, or establish school gardens and outdoor classrooms, for example. To be eligible to apply, an educator must have attended a PLT training, either in-person or online, that also provides them with PLT lesson plans and other resources to help integrate these projects and environmental education into their curriculum. Apply by September 30th, 2016.