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Sullivan County Conservation District

 95 County Farm Rd. Unity, NH 03743

 603-542-9511 x269

Place-based Education

We offer a variety of environmental resources and opportunities to help support Sullivan County schools, teachers, and organizations and individuals related to natural resources, conservation, and education.

Our goal is to connect adults and students to our local lands and help everyone develop an appreciation for the beauty that surrounds us that will hopefully lead to a life of stewardship.

We work with many local partners to accomplish this goal.  Our work would not be possible without a generous grant from New Hampshire Charitable Foundation's Wellborn Ecology Fund.

Stay connected to Sullivan County programs and resources by signing up to receive our monthly Education and Outreach Newsletter.  



Do you want your students to learn in a natural space near your school or even just in your school yard?  We will work with you to meet your educational goals, teach or co-teach lessons in your community, and help you plan events related to natural resources or environmental education to showcase student learning.


Any of these programs can be taught in schools and after school settings as well on county or other public lands.  Below are a few examples of school events we have participated in or coordinated.

     Orchard Restoration          Science Night

     Parents Night                   Green Up Day

     Ecology Night                   Everything Watershed


We are happy to participate in and help coordinate community events such as parent nights, ecology nights, and natural resources or outdoor classroom conversations.  We have a stream table and soil tunnel that are perfect for these kinds of events.  

Observation Skills Part 3: Into the Forest!


Are you part of a home school group?  Each year we offer a 4-6 week series on county lands.  Past series have focused on Wilderness Navigation and Nature Investigations.  In the spring, we lead a couple of classes through Common Vision CSAA in Unity.  Contact us if you would like us to lead a program for your home school cooperative. 


Check out our Programs!


Do you need someone to consult with and give you advice about what plants to grow where and which ones are best to attract wildlife?  We can help out. 


We can help you identify an outdoor learning space near your school and teach you how to use it to meet your curricular goals.  We can teach you how to use the old apple trees in the school yard to connect to scientists, help you create a nature trail to access the forest, or figure out property boundaries and talk to neighbors.  If we don't have the skills, we know who does!  


Unity 7th grade students at Marshall Pond

Bring learning to life for your students! With more than 2100 acres of undeveloped land that includes old farms, cemeteries, forest, fields, streams, and wetlands, Sullivan County provides opportunities for people to connect to the natural world and each other.

The Natural Resources department has created two sites for education on the county lands so far, one at Marshall Pond that connects to Unity Mountain Trail and the other at the County Complex called the Eco Ag Center, which includes a community garden, native pollinator garden, research high tunnels, nature trail, cemetery, pond and stream, and forest classroom. 


Enhance your field trip to Sullivan County lands through pre/post lessons taught by or co-taught with the Education and Outreach Specialist at your school.  We will work with you to tailor the experience to meet your goals. 



The conservation district hosts field trips to county lands for local summer education programs, leads naturalist programs for families and works with community partners to conduct teacher workshops focused on outdoor learning.  Check the events calendar for more information.


Any of the programs that happen during the school day can be done after hours too.  They usually focus on only one activity and are more focused on exploration. 



Sullivan County 4th graders are invited to visit the County Farm and meet farmers, producers, and educators as the learn about agriculture and food systems through hands-on activities and demonstrations.   

Monday, May 13, 2019

9:30am - 2:30pm

Raindate: May 14th, 2019


The Sullivan County Natural Resources Dept, Farm Bureau, Conservation District and NH Ag in the Classroom are bringing this event to you for FREE!


Contact Us if you are in need of funds for transportation to and from this event as there is money available. 


Sullivan County welcomes educators and school groups to volunteer through service learning projects.  We want to create partnerships where everyone benefits from the experience.  We will also provide you with or create curriculum surrounding these projects so you can create a more holistic learning experience for your students.  These are just a few of the projects we have come up with, but if you have other ideas for service learning, we want to hear them!

Our Projects

Seed Packet Art Project

Create a Field Guide

Invasive Plant Removal

Water Quality Testing

Cemetery Study

Create a Valley Quest

Biodiversity Inventory

Pollinator Garden Phenology Project

Mission Monarch


These are great opportunities for high school students to get work experience and enhance their resumes.  All internships are based out of the Sullivan County Complex in Unity, NH at the Eco Ag Center.


Pollinator Garden Seed Saver Project    

Dates: Sept. - June, 2-4 hours/wk, timing flexible

Duties: Collecting, cleaning, overwintering native pollinator plant seeds, marketing the seed packet art program, creating information and care sheets; weighing and measuring seeds into packets, labeling packets; helping to sell packets.  

Trail & Boundary Line Maintenance             Dates: Sept - June, 2-4 hours/wk, timing flexible           

Duties:  Walking the trails & boundaries of Sullivan County Lands with the Natural Resources Director, marking boundaries, upkeep of trail for multiple uses including winter activities. Skills to be developed include orienteering, trail maintenance, and use of GIS mapping. 

Tips for Service Learning  

​​  for Schools

  for Organizations

  Opportunities in NH

Seed Packet Art Project

Help us put the culture back in agri-culture as we promote pollinators by submitting a design for the front of our Native Pollinator Seed Packets that will be given to area schools and sold at the SCCD 2019 Spring Plant Sale.


Open to: Sullivan County Middle and High School Students

Theme: Busy Bees

Mediums: We are looking for a diversity of mediums including but not limited to watercolor, oil, collage, quilting, carving, assemblage, stained glass, etching, seed mosaic, plant material collage, wood burning, etc.  

​Submissions: Please submit 2 digital photos of your art work to Dawn Dextraze at ddextraze@sullivancountynh.gov.  Please include artist name, grade, and school as well as artwork title. 

Check back Spring 2020!

art project snip.JPG

Chosen works of art will be displayed on the front of the seed packets and the artist information will go on the back. A gallery of all submissions will be put on this website and offered to local media outlets with a write-up of the project. 

​Art on seed packets will measure 3 x 4" tall in final form.

​​Plants included in the Native Pollinator Mix include: Golden Alexanders, New Jersey Tea, Swamp Milkweed, Butterfly Weed, Boneset, Spotted Joe Pye Weed, Closed Gentian, New England Groundsel (ragwort), New England Aster, Great Blue Lobelia, Broad Mountain Mint, Sundial Lupine, Northern Blazing Star, and Yellow Wild Indigo

There are many types of bees that are native to New Hampshire. Some are very colorful and would make fine subjects for art.  Check out some of the families represented here: http://www.nativebeesofnewengland.com/bee-diversity.html



Exploration and Engagement.

Learning at it's best!

We partner with many Upper Valley organizations to bring Place-based Education professional development opportunities to Sullivan County Educators.  These include the Wellborn Place-based Ecology Education (PBEE) Institute and Parks for Every Classroom Teacher Workshops as well as the Watershed Ecology Institute (WEI) and NH Envirothon Environmental Science Workshop in select years.

FREE Public Lands as Outdoor Classrooms Teacher Workshop Series

This hands-on, minds-on workshop has been created specifically for Sullivan County Elementary Educators. You will learn simple ways to increase student engagement, connect students to their communities, and add relevance to the curriculum.  You can expect to experience student activities, practice outdoor learning skills, and participate in discussions.  


Each participant will receive a starter kit.  Snacks will be provided.  Please bring your own lunch and water.  

To register or if you have questions, please contact either:
Dawn Dextraze, 603.542.9511 x269, ddextraze@sullivancountynh.gov

or Kerstin Burlingame, 603-675-2175 x100, kerstin_burlingame@nps.gov

Stay tuned for winter and spring workshop dates!  If your school would like to be a host site for part of this workshop, please let us know.

Education is not preparation for life,

education is life itself.

-John Dewey

Wellborn Institute

Wellborn Place-based Ecology Education (PBEE) Institute is a year-long professional development program focused on place-based education for educators in the Upper Valley of NH and VT.  Sullivan County and our partners plan and implement the Summer Institute, workshops, and retreats for each cohort.  The Wellborn Institute is funded by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation's Wellborn Ecology Fund. 

The 2018-2019 Institute is full.  Check back for next year for new dates.

The Wellborn Ecology Fund (WEF) was established in 2000 following an unannounced $9.8 million bequest to New Hampshire Charitable Foundation by the late Marguerite Wellborn, a former Hanover resident and avid naturalist. She believed that teaching people to appreciate our natural systems and to understand their scientific underpinnings were crucial first steps toward developing the attitudes and skills necessary to protect and conserve those systems. WEF is dedicated to increasing environmental and ecological knowledge in the Foundation’s Upper Valley Region.

Wellborn Institute 2016 - 2018 Cohort at The Common Man

What can the Wellborn Institute
offer you?

 Upper Valley Teaching Place Collaborative (UVTPC) 


The UVTPC is a network of Upper Valley educators working together to advance high-quality place-based ecology education.  They share the following vision statement: 


All Upper Valley students are deeply engaged in education that

fosters ecological understanding and connection to place.

SCCD is a part of this Collaborative.  If you are interested in joining us, contact Emily Shipman, the UVTPC Coordinator: coordinator@uvtpc.org.  Check out the website and sign-up to receive the newsletter.