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We gratefully acknowledge PSE&G and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation for their support of Eco-Schools USA.  Additional funding comes from the Horizon Foundation, Spencer Savings Bank, Wells Fargo Foundation, individual donors and members of NJ Audubon.  

NJ Eco-Schools Action Newsletter

NEW JERSEY ECO-SCHOOLS USA 

A partnership between National Wildlife Federation and New Jersey Audubon

 

Eco-Schools USA is now over 3,400 schools strong with 185 registered schools in New Jersey. The opportunities for collaborating with peers and sharing best practices continue to grow. We hope you will remember to visit the Eco-Schools website to update your dashboard and for environmental learning ideas and free resources. Follow the link to the pathway of interest and look under “resources” in the left sidebar for access to curriculum guides and activities. Visit other schools’ dashboards for ideas and contact information.  

 

FEBRUARY 2016 NEWSLETTER

2016 TEACHERS' SCHOOL OF ECOLOGY: JULY 11 to 15, 2016

NJ Audubon's Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary in Bernardsville, NJ - New Jersey Audubon extends an invitation to you to join us for this week of professional development to help you integrate ecology, STEM and sustainability concepts into your existing curricula. As educators, we are in a unique position to help children become tomorrow’s environmental stewards.

New Jersey Audubon’s Teacher’s School of Ecology sponsored by Ashland, Inc. is a week-long program for elementary and middle school teachers. The program offers in-depth experiences that use inquiry as a basis for building effective field studies. By connecting the classroom to the real world, teachers can help students become more aware of the world around them, take an active role in preserving their local environments and acquire the critical thinking, problem solving and basic life skills necessary to become informed global citizens. READ MORE AND REGISTER

CLICK HERE FOR MORE PD OPPORTUNITIES

SUPPORTING S.T.E.A.M THROUGH SUSTAINABILITY ACTIONS

New Jersey Audubon’s centers and programs provide direct support to schools engaged in the Eco-Schools program. Consider these: Energy Pathway – participate in habitat explorations to learn how energy is cycled through nature in order to better understand how to reduce energy usage in schools. Biodiversity Pathway – participate in a species “bioblitz” to practice skills for plant and animal identification and data collection. Sustainable Foods Pathway – conduct plant inventories to learn about pollinators and their roles with native plants and food production. CLICK HERE to find a center near you! 

GRANT OPPORTUNITIES & RESOURCES

$700 GRANTS FOR FIELD TRIPS

Field Trip New Jersey is a new fund to support opportunities for students in under served communities to connect classroom learning with real-life experiences. Educators at schools with 65 percent of students eligible for free and reduced lunches under the National School Lunch Program may apply for grants of up to $700 to cover transportation costs for field trips to arts and culture sites, historic landmarks, nature preserves and science institutions like yours throughout New Jersey, as well as college campuses throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Schools may apply now through February 19 for field trips to take place between March 15 and the end of the 2015-16 school year. Full grant eligibility and guidelines are at fieldtripnj.org.

The fund is administered by the Community Foundation of New Jersey, which partnered with the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. Additional support was provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

WANT $4,000 FOR YOUR ECO-SCHOOLS PROJECTS?

Join our Spring cohort to fund your sustainability projects. Learn crowdfunding to earn up to receive up to $2,000 with up to $2,000 in match from PSEG. Check out what schools participated in Fall 2015. Schools must be a registered Eco-School and reside in a PSEG service area. Eligible projects must have a direct relationship to an Eco-Schools pathway and be implemented by Fall 2016. Contact Allison Mulch to apply at (856) 404-7657 or allison.mulch@NJAudubon.org. 

$1,000 GRANTS COASTAL RESILIENCY PROJECTS - AVAILABLE NOW!

Challenge your students to help improve NJ’s Coastal Resiliency. Participating schools will receive $1,000 to complete their sustainability projects using any Eco-Schools pathway or NWF’s Cool School Challenge. Projects must show how school-based ecological actions contribute to helping create resilient coastal communities. Ideal for schools along the coast or along tributaries. Contact Allison Mulch for help with project ideas or to apply at (856) 404-7657 or allison.mulch@NJAudubon.org

FREE NATIVE TREE SEEDLINGS FOR ECO-SCHOOLS

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) provides free native tree seedlings to Eco-Schools to plant them through local restoration projects or community tree giveaway events. READ MORE AND APPLY

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE FOLLOWING SCHOOLS THAT EARNED AWARDS!

ECO-SCHOOLS GREEN FLAG AWARD   (300 POINTS)

William Annin Middle School 

ECO-SCHOOLS SILVER AWARD  (200 POINTS)

Readington Middle School 

ECO-SCHOOLS BRONZE AWARD  (100 POINTS)

Raritan High School

Camden County Technical Schools

Lyncrest School

Fields of Green Montessori School

Williamstown Middle School

Frank R Cornwell Elementary School - PS #3

Have you applied for an award yet? You may be eligible for one. If you have established an Eco-Action team, completed an environmental audit, and created a basic action plan that focuses on at least one Eco-Schools pathway you may qualify for the Bronze award. If you have done all that and created a detailed action plan that addresses at least two Eco-Schools pathways – one of them being energy – then you may even qualify for a Silver award. Those of you going for a Green Flag award will need considerably more, including documentation of your Eco-Action team, audits, and photographs. If you have a school garden or outdoor classroom, your school may also qualify as a National Wildlife Federation Schoolyard Habitat! 

ED-GRS SELECTS NJ RECIPIENT FOR 2016 DIRECTORS AWARD!

The U.S Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools has selected Bernard E. Piaia, Jr., Director of the Office of School Facilities at the New Jersey Department of Education as the 2016 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Director’s Award Recipient.  Bernie will be honored, alongside schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions at a ceremony in Washington, DC on July 20th. 

ABOUT YOUR ECO-SCHOOLS NJ COORDINATOR! 

Allison has been active with greening New Jersey’s schools through her prior role as the Senior Manager of the Educational Information and Resource Center’s New Jersey Sustainable Schools Consortium and joins NJ Audubon after doubling state-wide participation in the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) award program. Allison collaborated with numerous corporate, government, and non-profit agencies to serve the environmental and sustainability programs in schools throughout the state. Allison continues to manage New Jersey's participation in the ED-GRS award program. In her spare time Allison is highly involved in the Boy and Girl Scouts in her community of Sewell.

Allison is based out of NJ Audubon’s Plainsboro Preserve and can be reached by phone (856) 404-7657 or by email allison.mulch@njaudubon.org.  

SHARE YOUR STORIES!

It’s OK to brag! Are your students doing something you are particularly proud of? Insight inspires action! By sharing your story with the broader community you not only gain well-earned recognition for your school, but you also help other schools follow suit. Please send us your stories at ecoschools@njaudubon.org.