Earth Partnership for Schools

2006 RESTORE Institute participants identify prairie plants

Participants in the 2006 RESTORE Institute identify plants in the Wisconsin Native Plants Garden overlooking Curtis Prairie, the world's oldest restored prairie.

RESTORE Institute

The Earth Partnership for Schools RESTORE (Restoration-Education, Science Training and Outreach for Regional Educators) Initiative was established to expand our nationally recognized model for teacher professional development to a nationwide audience, leading to improved teacher classroom practices.

Our goal is to use native plantings and the process of ecological restoration on school grounds as a means of placing education reform into core subject areas. EPS emphasizes inquiry-based learning, multiple intelligences, and interdisciplinary connections in a hands-on, collaborative setting.

Involvement in the RESTORE initiative includes participating in a two-week Leadership Institute for national RESTORE teams (each team consists of two non-formal educators/resource personnel from your facility and four K-12 teachers).

The goal of the RESTORE Institute is to create a national learning community of professionals interested in high-quality teacher professional development and schoolyard habitat restoration education. Institute graduates gain content-based knowledge, learn evaluation techniques, and receive curricular materials, along with ongoing support from Earth Partnership for Schools staff. They leave the institute prepared to sponsor one-week Leadership Institutes at their respective EPS Regional Facilitating Centers.

2011 Great Lakes Earth Partnership RESTORE Institute

Please review the following links for application information:

2011 Great Lakes EPS Overview
Responsibilities of Participating Organizations
Financial Matters
Program Schedule
Application Forms
Application Checklist

Additional Information and Brochures

RESTORE Leadership Institute PowerPoint

For Teachers

Great Lakes Earth Partnership Institute

General Information

RESTORE Brochure

The Challenge Facing Children Today and 10 Restoration Education Steps


RESTORE Overview

University professors, resource professionals, regional collaborators, students, teachers and EPS staff will envision and implement regional projects serving Great Lakes coastal communities – including those in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, and Wisconsin – in an effort to engage students in community outreach and action for identifying storm water impacts and instigating water quality solutions.

Teams of teachers, non-formal educators, natural resource professionals and citizens will attend a Great Lakes Earth Partnership RESTORE Institute August 1-5, 2011 at the Annis Water Resources Institute at Grand Valley State University in Muskegon, MI, AND August 8-12 at the Dunes Learning Center at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in Chesterton, IN. Teams will be trained on how to work with students to design and build rain gardens, how to collect and input data for models and public outreach, how to develop outreach materials, along with learning EPS guiding principals for learning and professional development. These teams will return to their home communities and immediately integrate Great Lakes EPS at participating schools and plan and conduct one-week trainings for additional teachers and community partners in 2012.

Content for the Great Lakes Earth Partnership Institutes will include:

  • How to use the EPS 10-Step Restoration Education Process with students and community to design and build rain gardens, collect and input data and develop outreach materials.
  • On-the-water experiences for teachers on research and education vessels on Lake Michigan.
  • Great Lakes-EPS Curriculum Guide, Resource Binder, and Rain Garden and Storm Water curricula adapted to include species and land and water dynamics from riparian and shoreline habitats.
  • Activities adapted from other curricula: Great Lakes in My World. Adopt-a-beach, COSEE Greatest of the Great Lakes, UW-Extension’s Freshwater Estuary and Coastal Wetlands programs, and Just Add Water, and National Estuarine Research Reserves curricula.
  • How to seek additional funding for summer courses, winter experiences, on-the-water experiences for students and teachers, transportation for students with little or no experience with the Lake, and Citizen Science, on-line and distance learning experiences.

Piloting new models

  • University researchers, students and natural resource professionals will work with K-16 students and teachers to develop models for tracking the number and size of rain gardens in their communities and determining the aggregate reduction of storm water run-off.
  • Students will observe before and after storm water outflows from subject areas and then follow these impacts through the watershed from the school to the lake, providing a more visceral experience of where water goes, and connecting them to both lake and community.
  • Employ Participatory Photo Mapping, a community-based partnership model, in which students use digital photography, GPS, GIS and Google Earth to document, track and map their projects and data collection activities. The collective map, which gathers together all student projects, will serve as the centerpiece of a Great Lakes Earth Partnership website and link to other sites.

Service Learning projects

  • Service learning projects will utilize the Connecting the Coasts (CTC) website that invites students to take a systems approach to creating service learning experiences developed by UW-Extension. Students Investigate, Create, Act, and Reflect
  • Students and their partners will be involved in citizen monitoring, assessing the causes and potential risks from storm water run-off, deciding on what impacts may be of greatest concern in their communities, strategizing how to mitigate these impacts, and evaluating the results.
  • Data generated will be contributed to citizen science databases.
  • Students will generate public information materials and strategies such as news conferences, public letters, Powerpoint presentations or PSA’s


Illinois: Chicago Botanic Garden, Forest Preserve District of DuPage County; McHenry County Conservation District, Lake County Forest Preserves

Indiana: Dunes Learning Center, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Great Lakes Research and Education

Michigan: Annia Water Resources Institute, Grand Valley State University; Grand Traverse Conservation District; Cranbrook Institute of Science; Six Rivers Regional Land Conservancy; Greening of Detroit

Ohio: Herb Broda, Ashland College; Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center, in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

New York: USFWS Lower Great Lakes and Wildlife Conservation Office; First Hand Learning, Inc.; Buffalo Audubon Society Buffalo

Wisconsin: Kenneth W. Potter, Samuel Dennis Jr., UW-Madison; Robert Bohanon, UW Center for Biology Education; Roger Bannerman, WDNR; Sandra McLellan, Great Lakes WATER Institute; Nancy Frank, School of Architecture and Urban Planning, UW-Milwaukee; Dennis H. Yockers, Center for Environmental Education, UW Stevens Point; Mary Balcer, UW-Superior, Lake Superior Research Institute; St. Louis NERR; James F. Lubner, Sea Grant; Bayfield School District; Washburn School District; Ashland School District; Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center (NGLVC); Apostle Islands National Lakeshore; Lake Superior Research Institute (LSRI), UW-Superior; Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest; UW-Green Bay Cofrin Center for Biodiversity; Fallen Timbers Environmental Center; Lower Fox River Water Monitoring Program (LFRWMP); WI Sea Grant; Urban Ecology Center; Riveredge Nature Center; Alliance for the Great Lakes; Discovery World; Intercoastal Cleanup; Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District; Milwaukee Public Schools; 16th Street Community Health Center; USDA Forest Service, Urban Connections.

Regional/National: National Wildlife Federation; Alliance for the Great Lakes


Responsibilities of Participating Organizations

  1. Form a team that will attend the Great Lakes RESTORE Institute consisting of two to three non-formal educators/resource personnel from partnering organizations and four teachers (preferably 2 teachers from 2 schools).
  2. Participate in the 10-day Great Lakes Earth Partnership Institute August 1-5, 2011 at the Annis Water Resources Institute in Muskegon, MI, AND August 8-12, 2011 at the Dunes Learning Center at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in Chesterton, IN, and a winter meeting scheduled during the school year (location and dates to be determined during the Institute).
  3. Develop a cooperative plan to implement Great Lakes Earth Partnership restoration projects, field work, data collection and outreach with students.
  4. Introduce Great Lakes Earth Partnership to colleagues and school community and implement GL-EPS learning experiences across grade levels and subject areas.
  5. Offer a one-week GL - EPS Institute (or equivalent) in 2012 and follow-up meeting during the 2012 - 2013 school year.
  6. Participate in program evaluations and/or provide classroom and student-based assessments you have used. Our funders request evaluation of Earth Partnership program activities.
  7. Consider participating as an individual or team in an action research project during the school year. Participants receive 2 graduate credits with tuition waived through UW-Madison Department of Curriculum and Instruction. UW-Madison staff will implement the course through distance learning.

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Financial Matters

  1. Each GL - EPS team will receive at least $750/person to assist with travel, meals and lodging costs during the 2011 Institute.
  2. Lunch costs are covered during the GL - EPS RESTORE Institute.
  3. Each GL - EPS team will receive $10,000 to partially cover the costs of planning and implementing the 2012 one-week Institute and $2000 for follow-up meetings.
  4. Limited funds are available for student field trips and “ship time” for the 2011-2012 school year.
  5. Each participating team receives services and materials through this program with a monetary value of approximately $60,000.


The 2011 Institute is offered through University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction for six credits. These credits are classified as “special student” credits. The credits generally (always, in our experience) can be transferred to graduate credits by the graduate department with whom you are enrolled. The course is a UW-Madison graduate level course with a graduate level course number, and tuition is waived. Tuition is worth $5050.55. Participants are responsible for the UW segregated fees of $264.50. If the fee causes a hardship, please contact Cheryl Bauer-Armstrong listed below. Assistance is confidential.


Program Schedule

Spring 2011
Form teams. Each team is comprised of four teachers from two schools and two to three non-formal educators, natural resource professionals and citizens.
Submit application by March 15.
EPS staff in Madison and GL - EPS teams network and collaborate via phone and email to identify strengths, needs, and expectations to ensure long-term commitment and sustainability.

Summer 2011
Great Lakes Earth Partnership RESTORE Institute
August 1-5, 2011 at the Annis Water Resources Institute at Grand Valley State University in Muskegon, MI, AND
August 8-12, 2011 at the Dunes Learning Center at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in Chesterton, IN.

2011 – 2012 School Year
Form an ongoing team to pilot Great Lakes EPS learning experiences
Attend winter meeting (location and dates to be determined during the Institute)
Participate in an optional Action Research Course offer during Spring Semester for two additional graduate credits

2012 Summer
Hold a one-week local Great Lakes Earth Partnership Institute (location and dates to be determined by each team)

Fall 2012 and Beyond
Hold a one-day follow-up meeting during the 2012-2013 school year. (TBD by each team)
Continue cycle of ecological restoration-based Great Lakes education. Maintain student, school and community involvement.

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Application Forms

Great Lakes Earth Partnership RESTORE Institute

Application Checklist

  • Partnering Organization Administrator Form(s)
  • Two (2) Partnering Organization Staff Forms
  • Four (4) Teacher Forms
  • At least one (1) Natural Resource Agency Staff Form
  • Two (2) Signed School Administrator Letters

Please keep copies for your records

Return to:

Earth Partnership for Schools - RESTORE
UW-Madison Arboretum
1207 Seminole Highway
Madison, WI 53711

Deadline: June 15, 2011
After June 15, 2011, call for availability

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For questions about the institute or application procedure, call the Earth Partnership for Schools office:

Cheryl Bauer-Armstrong, Director - (608) 262-5264 or
Rick Hall, RESTORE Project Specialist (608) 262-5367 or