ARBORETUM NEWS (EARTH PARTNERSHIP FOR SCHOOLS)

Earth Partnership for Schools Exhibit at the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) May – October, One Planet—Ours! Sustainability for the 21st Century

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2008

UW Madison Arboretum’s Earth Partnership for Schools (EPS) exhibited at the USBG as a model K-12 educational program that connects children to nature through the process of restoring native ecosystems. One Planet – Ours! featured programs, organizations, agencies and individuals who are leading efforts toward sustainable lifestyles. Key ideas in the EPS exhibit:

•EPS makes a difference through using school grounds as outdoor classrooms to advance sustainability, improve ecological literacy, and nurture stewardship.
•EPS goes beyond the school by getting the community involved and modeling what people can do on the land.
•EPS promotes a dynamic learning environment – students learn by doing in all subject areas.
•EPS can be adapted to every school in the country.

EPS collaborated with UW artist Megan Lotts to develop an exhibit based on the EPS Activity, “An Underground Prairie,” showing a tactile, 3-D sculpture of prairie roots along with panels emphasizing the process of restoration ecology, children and stewardship. Prairie species planted in large planters offered visitors observational activities reflecting EPS learning approaches. Earth Partnership staff participated in a “Family Day” event during the summer. At other times, trained volunteer docents offered guided experiences based on the EPS Schoolyard Restoration curriculum.

EPS partner organizations include Chicago Botanic Garden, Field Museum, and DuPage Co. Forest Preserve District in the Chicago, IL area; Litzsinger Road Ecology Center, St. Louis, MO; Institute of Applied Ecology in Corvallis, OR; Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and Eagle Bluff Environmental Center in MN; Dyck Arboretum of the Plains, KS; Return of the Natives, Watershed Institute, USC Monterey Bay, CA; Indiana~Purdue Universities’ Center for Earth and Environmental Science, Indianapolis IN; Louisville/Jefferson Co. Schools Center for EE, KY; Urban Ecology Center, Milwaukee, WI; Carthage College, Kenosha, WI; Northland College, Ashland, WI; and UW-Stout/Standing Cedars Land Trust in Western WI.

Point of Contact: Cheryl Bauer-Armstrong
Phone: 608-262-5264
Email: cherylbauer@wisc.edu

Located between Lake Wingra and the West Beltline Highway at 1207 Seminole Highway, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum features the restored prairies, forests and wetlands of pre-settlement Wisconsin. This 1,260-acre arboretum also houses flowering trees, shrubs and a world-famous lilac collection. Educational tours for groups and the general public, science and nature-based classes for all ages and abilities, and a wide variety of volunteer opportunities for groups, families and individuals are available.