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  • 2 May 2022 10:29 AM | Anonymous

    For the first time in two years we were able to come together again safely for our annual Spring Member Gathering. Audubon Vermont hosted us in their newly renovated Education Barn. It was so wonderful to see familiar faces in the network and welcome some new ones!

    We started our gathering with a short hike up the Green Mountain Audubon Center's Hires Trail. It was a beautiful, clear evening so at the peak of the trail we were able to see Camel's Hump and Mount Mansfield in the distance. After our hike, we dove into delicious snacks and refreshments provided by our board. Then, it was down to business! We received updates from the board committees and welcomed five new professionals to our board. To conclude our meeting, we brainstormed ideas for mini grants by asking folks to think of what they would put $500-$1000 towards at their own organizations. We received wonderful feedback and hope to offer mini grants soon. 

    Thanks to all who attended and to our thriving member network!

  • 15 Apr 2022 1:44 PM | Anonymous

    Wondering how to spend your Earth Day meaningfully and give back to our beautiful home? Look no further! We've done the work for you by rounding up some regional events that encourage celebration and stewardship of our local environment. 

    Earth Day Volunteer Invasive Removal

    Friday, April 22, 2022 10:00am – 1:00pm

    Muddy Brook Wetland Reserve, Van Sicklen Road, South Burlington

    Join WVPD Staff and other volunteers to celebrate Earth Day by helping to improve important shrubland habitat. Parking at trailhead off Van Sicklen Rd. South Burlington. There is limited parking so please reach out to timlarned@wvpd.org if you are planning to attend. Mud Boots recommended! We will plan to get in a couple hours of Invasive ID and removal and then save some time (12-1) for a hike out to a recent shrubland habitat restoration project the Winooski Valley Park District worked with the Champlain Valley Conservation Partnership (CVCP), the City of South Burlington, Audubon VT and US Fish and Wildlife Services to complete. The hike will be dependent on the ground drying out enough for a group to use.

    VEEP Conservation Kids

    Join Julian Leon from Vermont Energy Education Program to explore how we can use less energy!

    This program is geared towards children from Kindergarten to Grade 3. Participants will gain a basic understanding of energy and the importance of conservation and efficiency. Hands-on activities help students explore transportation, basic home appliances, and the difference between human energy and power plant energy, with a focus on simple conservation behaviors that students can do at home or school. 

    Registration required.

    Vermont Nature Institute of Science (VINS) Earth Day Celebration 

    Join the Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS) as we celebrate Earth Day for two days on Saturday, April 21, and Sunday, April 22, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

    In conjunction with Earth Day we are celebrating the Year of the Bird, to mark the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, so come to the VINS Nature Center to learn how you can be “bird-friendly & planet-friendly” in your daily life. Simple changes around your house or yard can be bird-friendly and better for our climate. Explore the habitat needs of local animals by building “fairy houses” for them in the woods. Take a guided hike down to the famous Quechee Gorge and marvel at millions of years of geological change. Meet some of our resident raptors and reptiles up close, and learn what you can do to help these majestic creatures thrive in their environments.

    All activities are included with general admission to the Nature Center, which is $15.50 for adults; $14.50 for seniors 62 and above; $13.50 for youth ages 4-17; and free for Members and for children 3 and under.

    Rutland County Audubon Society Earth Day Marsh Walk

    Celebrate Earth Day! Join us for our monthly monitoring of West Rutland Marsh! Meet at the boardwalk on Marble Street at 8 a.m. Go the whole 3.7 mile route or go halfway.

    Earth Day March and Rally for All Species

    This family-friendly event begins with march participants gathering at Montpelier City Hall at 11am and marching to the Statehouse at 11:30. Costumes focusing on creatures of land, water, or sky are encouraged. Marching music will be led by Brass Balagan.

    The rally will feature young people speaking to their concerns regarding threats relating to species extinction - which, if not dealt with effectively, will have a devastating impact on their future. There will be a special focus on pollinators and aquatic life, ie: species that are most threatened at this time in Vermont due to agricultural pesticides and toxic pollutants in lakes, ponds, and waterways. Musical interludes during the rally will feature environment-related songs led by Aro Veno and Friends.

    Presented by the Mobilization for Pollinator Survival and VT Military Poisons /PFAS Coalition. Free and open to all.

    Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) Earth Day Tips

    In the spirit of Earth Day, the Agency will be celebrating all week long. Here are a few tips and activity ideas for each day of the week (April 22-26). 

    VT Department of Environmental Conservation Earth Day Photo Contest

    How do you take care of Vermont? In celebration of Earth Day later this month, we want to see how you care for Vermont's environment!

    Share a photo of your newly planted tree, your commuter bicycle, your roadside trash pick-up haul, your thriving rain garden, or whatever else you do to care for our world to Instagram! 

    Be sure to TAG us and use the hashtag #takecareVT and we will feature our fav photo on April 22 (Earth Day!).

    UVM Earth Week Events

    Join the Department of Student Life, the UVM Eco-Reps, the Student Government Association, and other campus partners for UVM’s annual celebration of the environment, sustainability, and the Earth itself.

    Friday, April 22nd marks the 52nd anniversary of Earth Day – and UVM has been there from the beginning. There’s a range of events to pique your interest and deepen your understanding and advocacy around sustainability, ecology, and all things green! Join us for a mix of virtual and in person events that celebrate our progress and successes, continue the learning about a variety of ever evolving issues and explore new ways we can act to create a better future.

  • 22 Mar 2022 11:15 AM | Anonymous

    The Maine Environmental Education Association is cohosting an exciting event with the Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative!

    Relearning Place:

    Join us as we gather with Black, Indigenous, other people of color, and folks with white privilege from across the Northeast who are engaged with the land and place through the environment, education, conservation, agriculture, spirituality, medicine, and recreation.

    This convening is an opportunity to build relationships with others through the common grounding factor of place within our communities, the environment, the land, and the networks we live and work in. Through our convening, we hope to articulate a collective vision of the future for our communities and our worlds.

    We strive to foster a space that addresses the need for BIPOC folks to gather, share resources, and build relationships while also providing folks with white privilege the opportunity to reflect, learn, and contribute.

    You can expect to:

    • Build relationships
    • Share space
    • Create art
    • Be in community
    • Practice self-care

    We recognize that everyone’s perspective is necessary for creating a just and livable future. This is also an opportunity for white privileged folks to share learnings and identify problematic behaviors within their predominantly white organizations in ways that are often inaccessible to BIPOC folks.

    This is an in-person event with an expected size of 30-50 folks.

    Dates:  The event is May 31-June 2 held at Ferry Beach Center in Saco Maine.

    Cost:  Free for BIPOC folks with stipends to offset travel, suggested donation for white privilege folks.

    Application Due March 25


  • 7 Mar 2022 2:30 PM | Anonymous

    Originally posted on Project Learning Tree's website:

    As we all know, this has been an incredibly difficult period for educators, and we want to recognize the dedication and perseverance of educators to bring students the best environmental education experiences possible, despite all the barriers that have arisen to make their work harder than it’s ever been before.

    PLT wants to help you green your community and show a little love to outstanding educators in the U.S. and Canada! We’re giving away an Outdoor Classroom Kit to celebrate and uplift educators who go above and beyond for their students, and encourage those working with children to take students outside to learn.

    Nominate an educator or yourself to be entered into the draw to win the PLT Outdoor Classroom Kit. PLT will highlight many of the nominees on the PLT website, social media, and in PLT's newsletter, The Branch.

    Submit your nomination before the March 14, 2022 deadline to celebrate educators!


  • 4 Mar 2022 3:34 PM | Anonymous

    The following is an article originally published by the North American Association of Environmental Education (NAEE).


    NAAEE is on the search to find 30 changemakers under 30 years of age who are using environmental education to build a sustainable and just future for all.

    The EE 30 Under 30 Class of 2022 will receive global recognition, join a growing community of inspiring EE leaders, and receive ongoing opportunities for professional development and networking, including scholarship opportunities to attend the 2022 NAAEE conference. We know that environmental education and leadership take many different forms, and welcome applicants from across sectors and disciplines. You can read more about what environmental education is and why it matters here and find some examples of leadership (if you need some inspiration!) in our online application.

    Eligibility: Nominees must be 30 years old or under (as of December 31, 2022). We accept nominees from any country in the world. Nominations must be submitted in English, but your nomination will not be judged based on your English ability. You can submit more than one nomination (e.g. yourself and someone else, or nominate two different people), but you must submit a separate nomination for each person (we do not accept joint nominations).

    Deadline: April 11 at 11:59 PM US Eastern Time

    Applicant webinar: Register here for our 2022 Applicant Webinar(link is external) on March 9 at 10 AM US Eastern Time (time converter here(link is external)) to learn more about the program and some tips for writing a strong nomination.

    About EE 30 Under 30: Since 2016, NAAEE's EE 30 Under 30 program has recognized 180 individuals from 40 countries who are making a difference through environmental education. To address today’s complex challenges, we need a diversity of perspectives, skills, and experiences. EE 30 Under 30 celebrates the unique and passionate leadership of talented young leaders around the world and gives them a professional boost to increase their impact. Each year our awardees join a growing alumni network of inspiring environmental education leaders and receive ongoing opportunities to network, grow professionally, and promote their work. This program is made possible by the Global Environmental Education Partnership (GEEP) and the U.S. Forest Service.

    For more information about the program and to read alumni biographies, visit naaee.org/ee30under30. Please direct any questions to Nina Hamilton at nina@naaee.org(link sends e-mail).

  • 8 Dec 2021 3:46 PM | Ashley Eaton (Administrator)

    When the pandemic forced schools to pivot to online learning in March of 2020, teachers and students were thrust into an unfamiliar and less-than-ideal learning environment. We all muddled through the end of the school year; teachers working hard to provide some semblance of a “normal” school experience to students who appeared (when they did) as a sea of icons or initials on a screen. As Vermont schools were given the go-ahead to return in person in the fall of 2020, districts scrambled to meet the health and safety stipulations handed down by the state while bringing large amounts of students back on campus. Across the state, using an outdoor classroom model seemed to be a viable solution to maximizing the amount of students returning for in-person learning.

    Many schools in Vermont, from elementary to middle to high school, are lucky to already have an established outdoor classroom facility – a pavilion or covered structure, a natural amphitheater, a courtyard with tables -  these spaces are often designed with a single class in mind, or may function as just an outdoor cafeteria space. In an effort to accommodate many more classes taking advantage of outdoor learning spaces, many schools began acquiring event tents and pop-up style canopy tents. A tour of rural campuses around the state might give the illusion that we were embarking on a school-year, state-wide flea market. White event tents and blue pop-ups dotted campuses; picnic tables and camp chairs replaced desks.


    At Northfield Middle High School and Elementary School, giant tarps were erected in the school forest to provide cover, and stumps were cut for seats, as teachers planned for their classes to meet outside. The outdoor classroom structure, also located in the school forest, was on heavy rotation by multiple grade levels. Departments in the middle/high school all creatively claimed outdoor spaces close to the building and students became quite adept at quickly putting up the pop-up tents we had bought to provide some cover from the sun or light rain. The sidewalks and parking lots around both schools were (and still are) covered with spray-paint dots, six feet apart to provide students with safe spaces to place their camp chairs. In my physics class, one of the students’ first labs reviewing measurements was to estimate tarp sizes needed to cover several outdoor spaces adjacent to the science wing and humanities wing, as well as come up with a creative means for installing them.

    Teachers who may otherwise have been reluctant to bring their students outside found creative ways to deliver instruction. Students eased into the idea that a camp chair served the same purpose as a desk chair, and realized the advantage to bringing a hat and sunglasses to school each day. Throughout the school year, when the weather was amenable to it, many classes spent much more time outside than in previous years.

    For as much as these options provided a temporary solution and gave many Vermont schools a chance to broaden the idea of what a classroom can be, they haven’t always been ideal. Schools and districts dropped a lot of money on tents and tarps, some of which didn’t function as desired for as long as they needed to. Adding sides to event tents may have kept out the elements, but with a group of 18-20 teenage bodies, they were apt to get quite stuffy quite quickly. With Vermont’s ever-changing “wait five minutes” weather, it was not always practical for classes to be outside under a tent. Anyone who has had the misfortune of attending a party in a tent on a rainy day knows that the sound of rain is a distraction to any conversation, let alone to a lesson being delivered. Camp chairs and plastic chairs, conveniently bought in bulk for a low, school-friendly price point, often become broken – even under typical use. The pop-up tents we merrily used on a weekly basis in the fall and spring last school year sit bundled in the corner of several hallways and unused classrooms this year. The camp chairs issued to every student last fall are scattered around campus, if they weren’t taken home by students or tossed out because they were broken. And some teachers who were willing to venture out last year haven’t made so much as an effort to consider bringing their classes outside this fall.


    Schools are constantly looking at ways to get creative with classroom spaces, to provide students with options for learning environments, and to break away from a traditional model dating back decades, if not centuries. Last school year showed us that the outdoors is a viable classroom space, but needs to be structured with purpose. Vermont schools, like other northeast states, do need to be considerate of limited weather windows that will allow for students to comfortably be outside. Event tents may be a good solution, so long as they are good quality and set up in locations that are easy to access for teachers, and tables and chairs are durable enough for regular use by the typical student. Permanent structures, like pavilions, can offer longer-term use at a higher cost. So long as districts value the benefit of the outdoors as a worthwhile learning space, investing in accessible, quality outdoor classrooms is something to be considered beyond just the pandemic.

    Written by board member Meg Lyons 

  • 2 Jul 2021 10:03 AM | Ashley Eaton (Administrator)

    Whether you are a formal teacher or a non-formal educator, you likely have just ended a constantly changing and challenging school year. Now it is time for summer fun and the many extended learning opportunities that are available for children and adults throughout the state!  Some educational organizations have chosen to focus on virtual learning for one more summer, while others are operating in ways that resembled life in 2019.  Regardless, everyone is ready for some relief from stress, connections with others, and time to celebrate the beautiful summer in Vermont.  Environmental education comes in many forms with an equal number of names such as sustainability, nature, outdoor, conservation, and more. Whatever the label, what has been emphasized more than ever this past year is that this type of education is just what everyone, young and old, is searching for right now.  Environmental education offers opportunities for place-based, relevant, and experiential learning that empowers and inspires.  So let’s take a collective breath together, get involved, and celebrate the many environmental education extended learning opportunities that exist this summer in in Vermont.

    The Vermont Education and Environment Network is here to help you navigate continuing education through in-person and virtual programs that range from climate education, food systems, to geology, job openings throughout the Northeast, and community connection opportunities through a variety of membership options.


    Written by Alison Thomas, Education Manager, VT Dept. of Fish and Wildlife 

  • 23 Apr 2021 10:50 AM | Deleted user

    A picture containing tree, outdoor, sky, mountain Description automatically generated

    Tabsidemagok (tah-bsi-dem-agok)

    Written by: Board Member Rebecca Roy, Vermont State Parks 

    It is difficult to turn the huge ship that is Vermont State Government. Bureaucratic and container ship jokes aside, it takes time for large organizations to make important changes. I hope you feel comforted knowing there are caring people in state government working extra hard to make important changes. One example is our project at Vermont State Parks incorporating Abenaki place names into our state park signs.  

    With feedback from my Department, Governor Scott signed into law H.880, Act 174, an act relating to Abenaki place names on State park signs in October 2020. This law requires state parks to include Abenaki place names on state park signs as we replace them. This is an exciting moment at a time when we are opening our eyes to the people who came before us, the native peoples who have lived in Vermont for over 10,000 years and continue to live here. This is a beautiful opportunity to have a meaningful way to acknowledge the original inhabitants of N’Dkinna, the Abenaki people who have cared for the land for many generations and continue to do so. 

    Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs leadership is providing state parks with a list of Abenaki place names for state parks, and features within state parks. We are redesigning signs to include Abenaki place names, as well as the pronunciations and name meanings. We are adding Abenaki place names to signs as we need to replace them. Abenaki place names, stories, and history will be added to interpretive signs in state parks. 

    Abenaki names describe how these places and features fit into the larger landscape and are not named after people as many of our colonial culture names. Abenaki names tell a rich story about different elements fitting into larger landscapes around us. For example, the popular destination, Elmore State Park, has an Abenaki name:  Tabsidemagok (tah-bsi-dem-agok) which means at the shallow/low water.

    Want to get started with land acknowledgements and using native place names? Look at this map, you can zoom in close and see native place names wherever you are: https://native-land.ca/ 

    Want to learn more about the Abenaki people, or take an Abenaki language course? https://www.ndakinnacenter.org/ 

    Whether you have a large ship to turn, or if you have a smaller nimble canoe—now is a great time to make some positive changes no matter how large or small and acknowledge the great nation that has been in Vermont for over 10,000 years and continues to thrive here today.


  • 5 Mar 2021 10:27 AM | Deleted user

    How will you celebrate International World Water Day this year?  

    What does water mean to you?

    Join the Champlain Basin Education Initiative this month to celebrate International World Water Day! This marks the 17th anniversary of the United Nations International World Water Day and people are finding creative ways to join together virtually to acknowledge the value of water in all our communities!

    We welcome students, teachers, families, scientists and community partners to join our local, virtual celebration of the value of water to our community! Each year we host a student art show centered on the World Water Day theme. This year that theme is Valuing Water. What does water mean to you? 

    We will be featuring our annual student art show and reception virtually this year!  Classes that submitted works of art will be featured in our virtual gallery for attendees to view.  We will celebrate the winners in several recognition categories with fun prizes!  

    Our guest speaker, Neil Patterson of the Center for Native People in the Environment at SUNY’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry will speak on this year’s World Water Day theme--valuing water--through the lens of traditional ecological knowledge and multiple ways of knowing.

    Teachers are encouraged to attend with their students as the reception is scheduled during the school day at 10am on Tuesday March 23rd.   

    Register Here

    Thanks to our Champlain Basin Education Initiative partners! You can learn more about the professional learning opportunities for teachers and resources CBEI offers in and outside the classroom at WatershED Matters. 


    More Education Resources for World Water Day

    Nebi: Abenaki Ways of Knowing Water

    This film was created in an effort to share cultural history and knowledge with public and school audiences.  Working with chiefs and members of the Nulhegan, Missisquoi, and Elnu Bands of the Abenaki Nation, and Peregrine Productions, LLC, Lake Champlain Sea Grant and UVM Extension, are thrilled to share this short film.

    Class activities from International World Water Day

    The World Water Day website highlights global efforts--everything from fun runs to professional development opportunities, to social media campaigns, to art showcases like ours!  You can join the ongoing conversation about valuing water and learn more about working toward the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, particularly #6 clean water and sanitation for all!  

    Class resources from WatershED Matters

    Many teachers have used the unique character of the Champlain Valley to create meaningful learning opportunities for their students.  If you have been within sight of the Lake and its drainage basin, you can easily grasp the significance it has held for residents for thousands of years. The Lake Champlain Basin is rich with many stories that can be explored and woven from and to traditional school subjects, school community partnerships, and meaningful service. 

    Past Galleries of World Water Day Student Art

    CBEI's World Water Day celebrations include an exhibit of entries into the International World Water Day contest. Students submit photos, artwork, maps, dioramas, and videos that address one of four past themes: Celebrate Water, Spread the Word, Citizen Science and Civic Action, and Act Locally-Think Locally.

  • 13 Jan 2021 10:11 AM | Deleted user

    2020 has been a strange and difficult year for all and we at Vermont Education & Environment Network are ever optimistic that the New Year will bring changes for the better in our country, in education and in our communities. Even with such a trying year, we have plenty to be thankful for and proud of. 

    Vermont Education & Environment Network 2020 Accomplishments

    • Secured funding to hire a part-time coordinator for the Network. Which, in turn allowed us to increase our social media presence, update and increase our communication efforts as well as provide the board with meeting and event support. 

    • Board members Ashley Eaton and Kerri McAllister presented a workshop at the 2020 North American Association of Environmental Education (NAAEE) national conference Systems Change for More Welcoming Organizations.

    • Administered a survey for environmental educators across the State to help assess current educational needs during the pandemic. If you missed it, you can check out the November 2020 blog post summary of the results here.

    • Free monthly educational webinars with registrations far exceeding our expectations with one workshop registering 603 individuals. See our Events & Webinar page for information on upcoming webinars. 

    • Development of an equity statement to aid in refocusing our work as we look to understanding systemic racism in our organizations.

    As we enter into 2021 we are looking to continue the work we have moved forward this past year and aim to better understand the needs of VT Educators and youth. We will continue to help others connect to the outdoors with our digital content and offer high quality professional development opportunities for our members. Lastly, we want more diversity across our board and membership. Please spread this open invitation to engage with us and Happy New Year!

    Author: Beth Roy

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