March 2012


The Water Page

Information on general water conservation, the water cycle, and teaching about water conservation. Downloads include activities, diagrams, lessons, and fun water facts.  

The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies has released six new publications in its award-winning North American Conservation Education Strategy Tool Kit for Achieving Excellence. The new publications are designed for grades 9-12 and include:
  • Fostering Outdoor Observation Skills
  • Landscape Investigations Guidelines
  • Schoolyard Biodiversity
  • Investigations Educator Guide
  • Project-Based Learning Model
  • Outdoor Skills Education Handbook
  • Sustainable Tomorrow: Applying Systems Thinking to Environmental Education Curricula, for Grades 9-12.

These and other publications are available free; download HERE.  




Cornell Garden-Based Learning (CGBL)

Cornell Garden-Based Learning (CGBL) announced a new professional development program called  Take Root! A Training for Garden Educators. Take Root! trainings are open to educators and youth workers from the region interested in, or already implementing, garden-based learning. 



Student Watershed Symposium 

The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development is hosting a Student Watershed Symposium on Wednesday, April 4 from 10:30am -1:30pm at Belleayre Mountain's Longhouse Lodge. The symposium is for students to create a poster/presentation about the NYC Watershed. Topics can include, but are not limited to:
  • Water quality testing data and results.
  • History of the NYC watershed.
  • Economic development in the Catskills - suggestions for utilizing the NYC watershed lands and reservoirs to promote economic development.
  • Student led research about water.
  • Affects of the recent floods.
  • Importance of forests to water quality.
  • Other topics teachers and students come up with.
A short presentation by a stream scientist and some ice breaker activities will also be included. For questions, assistance, or to RSVP email Nicole Vente or call 845-586-2611. A free lunch will be provided for students and teachers.





Water Resources Art and Poetry Contest
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection is pleased to announce holding its 26th Water Resources Art and Poetry ContestStudents in grades 2-12 can submit photographs, digital art, and video in addition to other forms of artwork and poetry that creatively express an understanding of, an appreciation for, water. Submissions will be accepted through April 6thGUIDELINES

I Love NY Agriculture Art and Writing Contest
The I Love NY Agriculture Contest is an opportunity to explore agriculture and the food system while meeting the New York State Learning Standards. Students can discover more about where food comes from and why agriculture is important for all of us everyday. The contest is divided by grade level categories and statewide winners (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 2 Honorable Mentions) are selected for each grade level. Winning entries will be exhibited at the "Moo County" Exhibition in the Dairy Cattle Barn at the Great New York State Fair. Deadline for entries is April 13th. GUIDELINES 


Sense of Wonder Contest

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency invites the public to submit creative projects to the 6th annual Rachel Carson intergenerational "Sense of Wonder" contest. There are four categories: photography, essay, poetry and dance. Entries must be created by teams of young and old. This year, in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, the contest will focus on a "Sense of Water." Contest submissions are encouraged to focus on the various properties of water - how it sounds, feels, tastes and looks - and what water means to the entrants. The deadline for entries is June 1.  GUIDELINES




The sixth module in the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development's curriculum - Catskills: A Sense of Place entitled "Sustainable Catskills" is complete and ready for use. Sustainable Catskills can help teachers tackle difficult concepts like green energy, food miles and carbon footprints, sustainable agriculture and agrotourism. The use of in-class activities accompanied by place-based field trips help make these concepts enjoyable for teachers to communicate with their students.  The curriculum was written in conjunction with New York State Learning Standards, and are easily applied to the lives of students growing up in the Catskill Mountain Region.  Lessons are written for grades 4-12 with extensions for older students. Learn more about Sustainable Catskills HERE .  The Sense of Place modules are available for free; download or purchase of hard copies HERE

Free Tree and Shrub Seedlings for NYS Schools

The NYSDEC's Planting for Knowledge - School Seedling Program offers schools in New York State (both public and private) free tree and shrub seedlings for planting. Planting can be related to a wide variety of scholastic programs and is not confined to any given subject, purpose or age level. Plantings increase students awareness of the role they play in protecting the environment through personal involvement.  


 Cornell High Tunnels Project

 New York Agriculture in the Classroom recently partnered with researchers in the Cornell Department of Horticulture on the Maximizing Gardening Experience in Schools with High Tunnels Project. The project is currently accepting applications for one rural and one urban school site for the 2012-2013 school year. Schools are required to have an established garden program. The application requires one project director to serve as the primary contact; however, partnerships are encouraged between schools, CCE, or another nonprofit organizations. All schools must be elementary, though detailed plans for a partnership between elementary and secondary schools will be considered.

North Face Explore Fund
The North Face Explore Fund inspires the next generation of young explorers and conservationists by supporting nonprofit organizations throughout the country that help kids discover nature's playground. Grants of up to $2,500 are provided to organizations that encourage youth outdoor participation, focusing primarily on creating more connections between children and nature, increasing access to both front and backcountry recreation, and providing education for personal and environmental health. Funded programs should seek a specific audience and reach out to a specific community or place of interest. The application deadline is April 6. APPLY HERE

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The Reservoir is brought to you by the Watershed Agricultural Council. The Watershed Agricultural Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to promote the economic viability of agriculture and forestry, the protection of water quality, and the conservation of working landscapes through strong local leadership and sustainable public-private partnerships. The WAC is supported by the U.S. Forest Service, New York City Environmental Protection, U.S.D.A and other sources. The Watershed Agricultural Council is an equal opportunity employer and provider.