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Here's What's Trending for June/July

10-YEAR ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION - Boosting Climate Literacy Through Eco-Schools USA

As part of our 10-year celebration, we are continuing to share program highlights and accomplishments through a series of stories on the National Wildlife Federation blog.  The latest story showcases ways our Eco-Schools students are boosting climate literacy by addressing climate challenges faced on a local, national, and global level. Using the Seven Step Framework and the 12 sustainability pathways, students engage in inquiry-based investigations, participate in youth-led environmental justice activities and take advantage of curriculum that has been created through movie and documentary partnerships. Read the full story to learn more.

We’ll be celebrating throughout the summer, so join us by sharing photos of ways your students used Eco-Schools USA to address sustainability. Be sure to use the hashtag #EcoSchoolsUSA10 on social media.


WORLD OCEANS DAY

On June 8 each year, we celebrate the ocean, its importance in our lives, and how each of us can protect it, no matter where we live. World Oceans Day raises the profile of the ocean, connects people worldwide, and inspires continuing action year-round to protect and restore this amazing resource that we all depend on.

2019 Conservation Focus
Together we can protect and restore our ocean. Demonstrate leadership in preventing plastic pollution and share solutions that inspire and activate the global community.

2019 Theme
Gender and Oceans

Here are 10 ways you can participate in World Oceans Day:

  1. Commit to implementing the Watersheds, Oceans, or Wetlands Pathway at your school.
  2. Participate in a World Oceans Day event or download their resources.
  3. Organize a community clean-up of your local waterway AND create awareness about plastic pollution.
  4. Join the #OceanChallenge.
  5. Take a trip to your nearest aquarium.
  6. Explore careers that impact our coasts and oceans.
  7. Research bird species who rely on healthy coasts, tidepools and oceans.
  8. Calculate your plastic footprint.
  9. Spread the word about #WorldOceansDay on social media.
  10. Read All the Way to the Ocean by Joel Harper.

SCHOOLYARD HABITATS®

National Pollinator Week

Did you know the U.S. Senate has designated a week in June as National Pollinator Week? June 17-23 is set aside as a time to celebrate pollinators, and to raise awareness about ways to protect them. The Pollinator Partnership provides resources and an event map, along with directions for requesting an official state proclamation for Pollinator Week. A simple way to spread awareness is to share pollinator week images on social media. Find all these resources and more on the Pollinator Partnership website. Don’t forget to catch up on all the latest stories about pollinators and learn how to certify your school’s pollinator gardens.


FROM THE WILDLIFE GUIDE

Horseshoe Crab

Horsehoe Crab

If you walk along the beach on the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf Coast, you may stumble upon the unusual horseshoe crab. This prehistoric looking crab has been around for over 300 million years, and boasts some interesting features like eyes that are scattered around their body, hidden legs and a long, pointy tail. According to the National Wildlife Federation Wildlife Guide, they are a keystone species within the Delaware Bay ecosystem. Learn more about horseshoe crabs including their life history and a fun fact in the Wildlife Guide. After reading the Here Come the Horseshoes! story in the June issue of Ranger Rick® magazine, follow up with the discussion questions in this month’s Educator’s Guide.

JUNE IS GREAT OUTDOORS MONTH®

It’s June and that means it’s time to celebrate Great Outdoors Month®. Public and private organizations from across the country are coming together as members of the Great Outdoors Month® Council to help all Americans celebrate the educational, economic, health, and social benefits of an active fun outdoors. 

Events like Kids to Parks™ Day, the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day®, Bike Travel Weekend, National Fishing and Boating Week, National Get Outdoors Day, National Marina Day, the Great Outdoors' National Day of Service and the National Wildlife Federation’s Great American Campout will encourage people of all ages to discover new ways to have fun with family and friends this June. If school is not already out for the summer, encourage your students and their families to #EscapetheIndoors and explore new ways to connect with nature. Don’t forget to take the pledge to camp as part of the National Wildlife Federation’s Great American Campout™.

ENVIRONMENTAL FOCUS AREAS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR ACTION

Healthy Living | SDG 3 Good Health and Well-Being

Monthly Pathway

As we celebrate the start of summer, our pathway focus turns to the Healthy Living Pathway and related Sustainable Development Goal 3, Good Health and Well-Being. Given that, on average, children spend over six hours a day at school, it is vital to students' development that schools help educate students on how to incorporate healthy attitudes and habits as a part of their daily lives. Implementing the Healthy Living Pathway provides opportunities to conduct audits assessing current levels of health and activity on the school campus and beyond, and create action plans around outdoor activity, physical education, and other issues related to living a healthy lifestyle.

While much of Sustainable Development Goal 3 targets the reduction of global diseases and mortality, students here in the United States can take action to seek environmental justice, help raise awareness about the importance of a healthy lifestyle in reducing disease in an effort to support communities, and promote safe and healthy actions for all. Student activities include actions to promote more outdoor time both during and after school hours, advocating for clean water and soil, exploring options for nearby walking field trips, and encouraging teachers to assign outdoor homework like collecting weather data or recording observations in nature.

Follow @EcoSchoolsUSA on Facebook and Twitter to get more tips and information related to this pathway and the Global Goals. Remind students to share our tips and information during morning announcements, news programming, and/or monthly communications. #GlobalGoal3 #HealthyLivingPathway 

ON THE BLOG

Earth Day Celebration: From Grass to Garden | Building a Pine Rockland Habitat in Florida

Royal Palm Garden

Celebrating Earth Day every day, so we’re sharing a wonderful story from an Eco-School in Florida. When Royal Palm Elementary School celebrated Earth Day, they decided to create a Pine Rockland habitat demonstration garden as a lasting gift to the school. What’s so special about this habitat? Well for one, it’s a globally and critically imperiled habitat which supports some endemic species. It’s also important to note that only two percent of Pine Rockland remains outside of national park land in urban Miami-Dade County. Students at Royal Palm were looking to increase biodiversity at their school, and longer-term, are hoping to attract Atala butterflies along with the Miami tiger beetle. Follow their journey in photos as the students work to transform an empty green space into a lasting garden.



REMINDERS

Tell Your Stories

  1. We want to hear your stories! Now more than ever, it’s important for us to show the impact of the Eco-Schools USA program through personal stories.  Images of excited and engaged students and successful project implementation can be powerful storytelling elements!
  2. When you share on social media, be sure to tag @EcoSchoolsUSA and @EcoSchoolsInt (the global Eco-Schools organization), along with #EcoSchoolsUSA10. It’s an easy way to help us grow awareness of the program.

       

Submit Your Award Applications

  • Don't forget to apply for an award once your school has met the criteria for either a Bronze, Silver, or Green Flag award.   

Website Redesign

  • We are getting excited as we get closer to the summer launch of the newly-designed Eco-Schools USA website!  

GREEN OPPORTUNITIES

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Happening Near You

You don't have to travel far to join us for an event. Attend an upcoming event with one of our regional centers.

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