ARBORETUM NEWS (EARTH PARTNERSHIP FOR SCHOOLS)

Great Lakes Earth Partnership to be piloted in Lake Superior, Green Bay and Milwaukee River Basins

THURSDAY, APRIL 15, 2010

Great Lakes Earth Partnership, partially funded by Wisconsin Sea Grant, will employ restoration of native plant communities on schoolyards, in rain gardens and nearby shoreland, wetland, riparian and estuarine habitats as a basis for a) interdisciplinary K-16 curriculum activities, b) professional development of teachers and c) citizen science resulting in greater applied environmental literacy and restoration actions in Great Lakes schools and communities. In the Lake Superior, Green Bay and Milwaukee River basins, teams of teachers, students, and citizens will engage in research, restoration and outreach, and adapt Earth Partnership for Schools (EPS) curricula to extend the schoolyard to the shores of the Great Lakes and their watersheds. This pilot will create a comprehensive, inquiry and restoration-based approach, integrated with sustainability, biodiversity, pollution prevention and service learning.

Great Lakes Earth Partnership, partially funded by Wisconsin Sea Grant, will employ restoration of native plant communities on schoolyards, in rain gardens and nearby shoreland, wetland, riparian and estuarine habitats as a basis for a) interdisciplinary K-16 curriculum activities, b) professional development of teachers and c) citizen science resulting in greater applied environmental literacy and restoration actions in Great Lakes schools and communities. In the Lake Superior, Green Bay and Milwaukee River basins, teams of teachers, students, and citizens will engage in research, restoration and outreach, and adapt Earth Partnership for Schools (EPS) curricula to extend the schoolyard to the shores of the Great Lakes and their watersheds. This pilot will create a comprehensive, inquiry and restoration-based approach, integrated with sustainability, biodiversity, pollution prevention and service learning.

Teams of teachers, community educators, natural resource professionals and citizens will attend 10-day Great Lakes Earth Partnership Leadership Institutes at the Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee and Great Lakes Visitor Center in Ashland in 2010. These lead teams, in turn, will plan and conduct one-week professional development for additional teachers, students and community partners in 2011 and 2012 in the three basins.

Service learning components will be integrated at all levels with University students engaged with k-12 students and teachers carrying out restoration-based activities on the schoolyard, in the community and in riparian, wetland and shoreland areas. Students will employ:
•Participatory Photo Mapping utilizing GPS, digital photography and Google Earth
•Citizen Monitoring tools and activities (UEC, Riveredge, LFRMP)
•10-step EPS restoration process for building rain gardens and restoring habitats
•Connecting the Coasts (CTC) website developed by UW-Extension that invites students to take a systems approach to creating service learning experiences. Students Investigate, Create, Act, and Reflect
•Outreach strategies such as PSA’s, news conferences, public letters, and powerpoint presentations.

Collaborators: Kenneth W. Potter, PhD, UW-Madison Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will help design tools to evaluate and track the performance of rain gardens; Roger Bannerman, WDNR, will provide student–friendly monitoring and sampling techniques for “moments of discovery”; Samuel Dennis Jr., PhD, a geographer in the UW-Madison Department of Landscape Architecture will adapt a tool kit for students at different grade levels to use “participatory photo mapping” (PPM) to learn about their place, and water and land relationships; assess human activities on the watershed; and record real time events with digital cameras, GPS units and GIS. Photos, videos and narratives with GPS coordinates will be located on “Google Earth” for connecting sites to the larger landscape scale, constructing watershed explanations and sharing data with other students in Great Lake coastal communities; Robert Bohanon, PhD, UW Center for Biology Education will analyze and adapt EPS restoration, rain garden and storm water curricula to align with the FOSS curricula in use by many school districts; Sandra McLellan, PhD, Great Lakes WATER Institute, UW Milwaukee will work with colleagues and students to interpret and communicate research data; Nancy Frank, PhD, Department Chair, School of Architecture and Urban Planning, UW-Milwaukee will coordinate participation by students and teachers at the School for Urban Planning and Architecture (SUPAR) Charter School.

Project Advisors: In addition to our principal partners and regional collaborators, the following individuals will advise on program design and dissemination:
Mary Balcer, PhD, chair, UW-Superior Biology Department; Director, Lake Superior Research Institute;
Julie Ernst, PhD, Associate Professor, Center for Environmental Education, HPER, U of MN-Duluth;
Dennis H. Yockers, PhD, Assoc. Professor, Center for Environmental Education, UW Stevens Point;
James F. Lubner, PhD, Great Lakes WATER Institute, Wisconsin Sea Grant Education Coordinator

Lake Superior Basin Key Collaborators:
Linda Kunilius, Superintendent, Bayfield School District, Susan Nelson, USDA Forest Service Interpretive Specialist, Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center (NGLVC); Cathy Techtmann, NGLVC UW-Extension Education Coordinator; Jim Nepstad, Acting Superintendent, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore; Susan O’Halloran, Lake Superior Research Institute (LSRI), UW-Superior; Dr. Ted Cox, UW-Superior, Assoc. Professor of Education; Spring Rosales, Washburn District Ranger, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

Lower Fox River/ Green Bay Basin Key Collaborators
Vicki Medland, PhD, Cofrin Center for Biodiversity, UW Green Bay; Libby Dorn, Director, Fallen Timbers Environmental Center; Jill Fermanich, Lower Fox River Water Monitoring Program (LFRWMP); Vicky Harris, Water quality specialist. UW-Green Bay Sea Grant.

Milwaukee River Basin key collaborators:
Beth Fetterley, Urban Ecology Center (UEC), Sunny Knudson, Riveredge Nature Center, Testing the Waters; Todd Brennan, Wisconsin Outreach Coordinator, Alliance for the Great Lakes; Kay DonLevy, Coordinator, Just Add Water Project; Cora Lee-Palmer, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District; Karen Green, H.S. Science Teaching Specialist and STEM coordinator, Mary Staten, Science Curriculum Specialist, David Weingrod, Service Learning Coordinator, Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS); Jean Claasen, USDA Forest Service, Urban Connections ; Megan Forseth, Discovery World.

Objectives and outcomes:

1. Teams of teachers, community educators, university students, natural resource professionals and citizens will attend a 10-day Great Lakes Earth Partnership Leadership Institute (training of trainers) at the Urban Ecology Center in June 2010 and Great lakes Visitor Center in August 2010;
1.1. Provide professional development to at least 9 GL-EPS Teams to work with teachers and students to design and build rain gardens, collect and input data and develop outreach materials
1.2 Orient GL-EPS Teams to EPS 10-Step Restoration Education Process. These teams will integrate Great Lakes EPS at participating schools in a minimum of six districts in 2010-2011 (WI)
1.3 Plan and conduct one-week professional development for additional teachers, students and community partners in 2011 and 2012. Schools with underserved populations will have priority along with participants from “coastal” and watershed communities. Teachers trained will implement Great Lakes Earth Partnership curricula in at least 18 additional schools in 2011-2012 (WI).
1.4 Invite School District administrators and policy makers to attend or visit the Great Lakes EPS Institutes in Milwaukee, Superior/Ashland, Green Bay, WI (2010-2011to lay the ground-work for wide-spread adoption of Great Lakes Earth Partnership curricula and restoration-based approaches.
1.5 Provide Great Lakes-EPS Facilitator Manual, Curriculum Guide, Resource Binder, and Rain Garden and Storm Water curricula in print and digital forms. All EPS activities are keyed to WI Standards.
1.6 Include on-the-water experiences on research and education vessels on Lakes Superior and Michigan.

2. EPS staff and collaborators will adapt EPS activities and incorporate existing Great Lakes curricula
2.1 Adapt activities from EPS Rain Garden, Stormwater and Schoolyard curricula to include species and land and water dynamics from riparian and shoreland habitats
2.2 Incorporate activities from existing curricula: Great Lakes in My World, COSEE Greatest of the Great Lakes, Great Lakes Aquarium: Lake Effects, UW-Extension’s Freshwater Estuary and Coastal Wetlands programs, NERR programs, B-WET and several others.
2.3 Integrate state standards and learning objectives into all new activities Examples include science standards: designing, conducting and reporting on inquiry-based investigations (C.8.3 – C.8.11, C12. – 12.6); math standards: working with data in real world situations (E.4.1, E.8.1, E.12.1); language arts standards: reading to acquire information (A.8.4), creating editing, & publishing writing (B.8.1-2, B.12.1-2), conducting and communicating research (F.8.1, F.12.1).
2.5 Seek additional funding for alternative venues including summer courses, winter experiences (i.e. sub-nivian adventures), on-the-water experiences for students and teachers, transportation for students with little or no experience with the Lakes, supplies and equipment for monitoring, on-line and distance learning.
3. Develop new models
3.1 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.
3.2 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.
3.3 Adapt and share data and practices among monitoring projects such as Lower Fox River Watershed Monitoring Project, River Watch, Testing the Waters, etc.
3.4.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/or part of the website proposed by the Alliance for the Great Lakes, and link to other sites.

4. Develop Service Learning projects using existing EPS Stormwater and Rain Garden Curricula, Connecting the Coasts and other approaches:
4.1 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
4.2 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.
4.3 Data generated will be contributed to citizen science databases.
4.4 Students will generate public information materials and strategies such as news conferences, public letters, powerpoint presentations or PSA’s.
4.5 College Students will be recruited from existing service-learning courses through UW-Madison CBE, UW-Superior, Northland College, UW-GreenBay, UW-Milwaukee, Carthage College and other campuses, to work with K-12 teachers and students on service-learning projects in their communities.
4.6 AmeriCorps members will be recruited from local teams to participate in special restoration events.

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.