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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.  

children outside in snow learning
School Programs

     Orchard Restoration          Science Night

     Parents Night                   Green Up Day

     Ecology Night                   Everything Watershed

Observation Skills Part 3: Into the Forest!


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.

group of students walking in the woods in fall
students sitting on a log in a snowy forest


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!  


Are you part of a home school group?  All of the school programs and field trips are available to be taught to home school students.  There needs to be a minimum of 6 students, mixed ages are encouraged.  Students 7 and under need adult supervision. We have teach series too. Contact us if you would like us to lead a program for your home school cooperative. 


Check out our Programs!


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.  

students journaling in the forest
Field Trips
students in a pond collecting water quality data

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. 


Lesson Series


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. 

School to Farm


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 22, 2023

The Sullivan County Natural Resources Dept, Farm Bureau, Conservation District and NH Ag in the Classroom are bringing this event to you for FREE! Register your class soon with NH Ag in the Classroom. Raindate is May 23, 2023.


Contact Us if you are in need of funds for transportation to and from this event.

Service Learning

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
Invasive Plant Removal
Water Quality Testing
Create a Valley Quest
Biodiversity Inventory
Pollinator Garden Phenology Project
Mission Monarch

Tiger swallowtail butterfly nectaring on purple flower
adults collecting water quality information


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
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 2023 Spring Plant Sale.


Open to: Sullivan County residents ages 5 to 18 years

Theme: Caterpillars

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  Please include artist name, grade, and school as well as artwork title. 

Submission Deadline is April 6, 2023.

caterpillar (2).jpg

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 possibly exhibited at a local venue during the summer. 

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

​Plants included in the Native Pollinator Mix may 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.

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glowing silk caterpillar.jpg
Educator Workshops
collage of adults learning outdoors

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 (PEC) Workshops as well as the Watershed Ecology Institute (WEI) and NH Envirothon Environmental Science Workshop in select years.


Exploration and Engagement.

Learning at it's best!

teacher pointing ot buds on trees to students

Education is not preparation for life,

education is life itself.

-John Dewey

The Caterpillar Lab is an excellent resource for information about and photos of native caterpillars. They offer school and community programs. Make sure to check them out!

spotted tussock moth caterpillar crop.jpg

NGSS Toolkit Training: Electricity


These workshops integrate energy literacy and the three-dimensional learning of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Participants will engage with a climate and energy focused anchoring phenomenon and teaching routines to experience the shift from "learning about," to a more student-driven "figuring out."


March 18, 2023

8am - 3pm

Newport Middle/High School


We will collaborate, conduct investigations, share resources and reflect on how to promote student voice, sense-making, and engagement within your curriculum. This workshop will focus on electricity.


These workshops are offered at no cost to NH teachers thanks to our partnership with NHSaves, and also no cost to VT teachers thanks to generous funding. Teachers from other states may take the workshop for $175.

 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 Gabrielle Ratté Smith, the UVTPC Coordinator:  Check out the website and sign-up to receive the newsletter.

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 2022 UVTPC Conference

Renewal and Connection

Friday, November 4th

Lake Morey Resort, Fairlee, VT


The annual conference is back! Come and join other Upper Valley educators and administrators to celebrate place-based and ecological education. In addition to sessions from local professional development providers, educators, and community partners, there will be many opportunities throughout the day to renew and connect with your colleagues as you spend time together learning and immersed in nature.

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