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.  

eNewsletter
 

     Orchard Restoration          Science Night

     Parents Night                   Green Up Day

     Ecology Night                   Everything Watershed

Observation Skills Part 3: Into the Forest!

PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS

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.

SCHOOLYARD HABITAT IMPROVEMENT

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. 

OUTDOOR CLASSROOMS & FIELD SITES

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!  

HOME SCHOOL

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!

COMMUNITY EVENTS

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.  

 

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. 

CONNECT & EXTEND LEARNING

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. 

CHOOSE FROM THESE

 

SUMMER PROGRAMS

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.

AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS

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 DAY

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.   

Canceled for 2020.

Check back for 2021 information.

 

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

Cidery Mural Design Contest

Invasive Plant Removal

Water Quality Testing

Create a Valley Quest

Biodiversity Inventory

Pollinator Garden Phenology Project

Mission Monarch

EXTENDED LEARNING EXPERIENCES (ELOs)

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 2021 Spring Plant Sale.

 

Open to: Sullivan County Middle and High School Students

Theme: Seed Mandalas
 

Mediums: These can be made with real seeds or the seeds can be drawn or painted on.  Collect seeds from the forest, field or garden, ask a nursery for old seed stock, paint a background, glue seeds onto a mandala or draw the mandala and fill it in.

​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. 


Deadline for submissions is April 10, 2021!

Seed Mandala in CD Case! – One idea of how to create a seed mandala that can be displayed afterwards. Make sure the glue is completely dry or it may mold.

5 collage.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 exhibited at Saint Gaudens during the summer. 

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

​Saving seeds and storing them in seed banks promotes healthy ecosystems and preserves genetic diversity. Seed banks are important for several reasons including climate change resilience, natural disasters, research, and diseases.  There are around 1400 seed banks in the world.  Some focus on preserving native wildflowers and heirloom vegetables, while others focus on global food crops. Most seeds are frozen and can be preserved this way for decades.  They are planted and new seeds are collected before they lose their ability to produce a plant. 

The Conservation District doesn't have a seed bank, but we do collect seed from our native pollinator plant garden each year and distribute it in the spring to help preserve our local genetic diversity and promote native pollinators. Plants included in the Native Pollinator Mix are as follows: 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.

Cidery Mural Design Contest

Help us brighten up the outside wall of the Public Cidery building at the Sullivan County Complex by designing a mural for it! This is a place where community comes together to make apple cider in the fall and we want it to be welcoming.

 

Open to: Middle and High School Students living in Sullivan County, NH

Theme: Apples
 

Artwork Specifications: The artwork should reflect some aspect of the theme. The work can be realistic or abstract and can be created in a variety of two dimensional media, including but not limited to: drawing with markers, colored pencils, pastels, painted with watercolors , tempera, acrylics, or created on the computer.

All original artwork must be 8 inches high by 16 inches.
 

​Submissions: Art work to be considered must be photographed or scanned and submitted digitally as a jpeg or no more than 15 MB and emailed to Dawn at ddextraze@sullivancountynh.gov . Please include the artist’s name and parent's address, email, and phone number with all work to be considered.


Deadline for submissions is May 31, 2021!

Check out these murals made by the Walldogs in Keene last summer for ideas!

 
 

Excellent! 

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

Education is not preparation for life,

education is life itself.

-John Dewey

Stay tuned for upcoming workshops!

 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.

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Sullivan County Conservation District

 95 County Farm Rd. Unity, NH 03743

 603-542-9511 x269