4th Annual Spring into Science Education on Monday, March 3, 2014

EcoExpression Spring into Science Education 2014
2014 Spring into Science Education
Monday, March 3, 2014, 4:30 to 7:00pm
at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
(1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103)
Register for free here!

On Monday, March 3, 2014, EcoExpress.org, the Philadelphia Math + Science Coalition, and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University are joining forces to present this special event for local educators.

The 4th Annual Spring into Science Education Expo is a FREE networking event and celebration for local educators. Educators of grades K through 12 will learn about inspiring resources and ideas that can be immediately brought back into the classroom!

    Highlights of the Spring into Science Education include:

  • Premiere of EcoExpress.org’s STEM Careers Video Series
  • Free Access to Dinosaurs Unearthed and the Butterfly Room
  • Interactive workshops highlighting practical ideas to take back to the classroom. (See the full list of workshops here.)
  • Exhibits by Local Environmental and Science Education Organizations

Learn more and register for free on EcoExpress.org.

A Whirlwind of Activity at GreenTreks

This year has been a busy one, and we couldn’t be more pleased!

metta movement

First off, thanks to all of those who attended the party with a purpose we co-hosted last month with lululemon athletic Walnut Street. If you missed metta movement, check out our Instagram for some snapshots from the night.

EcoExpress

What a landmark year it has been for EcoExpress.org! We are working on a new video series that focuses on exciting (and surprising) careers with a STEM focus. The videos will be released early next year. We can’t wait to show you. Don’t forget, though – we’ve added a lot of videos over this past year. We’ve been focusing more on water and watersheds, as it is the environmental issue that connects to so many others.

Here are the video & lesson plan additions to EcoExpress.org in 2013:
Clean Water: A Long Journey from the Source to Our Tap
Porous Pavement
Streamside Forest Buffers
Bioretention Island
Keeping Water On Site: Waterview Recreation Center
Rain Barrels: Preventing Water Pollution Starts at Home
Rain Gardens: Saving Streams One Yard at a Time
Rain Barrels: Preventing Water Pollution Starts at Home
Gardening for a Healthier Bay
Mowing to Meadows
Green Schools: Albert Greenfield Elementary

In 2014, EcoExpress will be unveiling the new STEM careers videos, offering more teacher workshops, providing in-class support, and hosting the 4th annual Spring into Science Education. We are so excited about all of these great plans, but our efforts require more funding to make them a reality. At this critical time for schools, please help us continue to provide environmental educational services. Donate directly to EcoExpress.

Flowers

You’ve maybe even spotted Barry or myself (Meghan) giving a presentation about StormwaterPA. This year, we’ve furthered education about the impacts of polluted stormwater runoff in our local region. Here’s a snippet of what’s happened.

Clean Your Water is a new initiative of StormwaterPA.org. We are helping municipalities in watersheds across Pennsylvania educate about the value of caring for your local watershed. We curate multimedia resources that are relevant and important to diverse audiences. We provide key community groups with the knowledge to greatly benefit watershed health. So far, we’ve crafted websites for Cumberland County and the Wissahickon Watershed. Want to see your region represented? Let us know!

Rain Gardens: Saving Streams One Yard at a Time was a big hit this year. We also released a beautifully-made, animated film: Clean Water: A Long Journey from Source to Tap. Our newest film takes place in the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed. Watch as a park along Tacony Creek is transformed, to the benefit of the creek and to the joy of the community.

Help support education about the impacts of stormwater on our drinking water & communities! Donate directly to StormwaterPA.

Highlights from EcoExpress and Stormwater blogs

As part of our mission, GreenTreks Network provides two main programs to provide people with multimedia resources to take action towards a more sustainable lifestyle. StormwaterPA provides video case studies and multimedia resources for the benefit of homeowners, municipalities, developers, landscapers, and clean water advocates. EcoExpress makes available GreenTreks’ extensive catalog of environmental documentaries for use by educators and students. Each of EcoExpress’ videos are correlated to state academic standards and feature related lesson plan materials.

The unifying aspect of both EcoExpress and StormwaterPA is that both initiatives provide engaging content focused on our local environment. Here are some recent highlights from both programs’ blogs.

EcoExpress.org

Leaf Litter and Its Role in Storm Water Management
By Anita Brook Dupree
“High winds and stormy weather seem like a terrible thing to most of us, but these winds help shed leaves from deciduous trees. These leaves have to be shed. This is a story about the good things that all those leaves do for the environment (especially in wooded areas, forests, parks and even your backyard).”
Read Full Blog on EcoExpress.org’s Main Page.

No Child Left Indoors: Writing for the Common Core
By Anita Brook Dupree
“The Common Core ELA standards require the fostering of three writing capacities: writing to explain, writing to persuade and writing to convey real or imagined experience. A simple walk around the schoolyard can be the experience needed to get your students’ writing jump started.”
Read Full Blog.

 

StormwaterPA.org

Report Back from the Schuylkill Action Network Annual Meeting
By Meghan Filoromo
The Schuylkill Action Network Annual Meeting on 11/16 was quite inspiring! SAN consists of over 300 members who are working together to promote and protect the Schuylkill River! See some of my notes, and find out how you can get involved.
Read Full Blog.

What Happens to Superfund Sites after a Superstorm?
By Meghan Filoromo
“This morning when I was about to head out the door, I caught an interesting (and alarming) story on Morning Edition on NPR.

What happens to Superfund sites after a Superstorm? A few weeks after Hurricane Sandy, many are worried about the toxic chemicals from nearby Superfund sites.”
Read Full Blog.

The Street Art of Stormwater Stencils
By Meghan Filoromo
“Far too frequently, people use storm drains as mini illegal dumping grounds. Stormwater drain marking projects are an amazing (and beautiful!) way to draw attention to these oft-neglected parts of the developed landscape.”
Read Full Blog.

New Feature: Guest Blogs from PA Master Naturalists!

People throughout Pennsylvania are doing amazing things to protect and preserve our environment. We at GreenTreks always strive to share these stories with you — both in our documentaries and through our blog posts.

We are thrilled now to be able to share the experiences of two people going through the Pennsylvania Master Naturalist program!

The Pennsylvania Master Naturalist program is a growing, statewide initiative designed to train master volunteers to conduct conservation education and outreach, citizen science, and service in their communities. The Program emphasizes community-based conservation by forging vital partnerships among community members and local organizations through service activities. The Pennsylvania Institute for Conservation Education administers the Master Naturalist program.

Over the course of the next several weeks, Master Naturalists Donna and John will be guest-blogging on the GreenTreks blog. We hope you enjoy hearing about their work in our community!

Greening at School: a Learning Tool for Students, Community

From US EPA Region 3 Press Office

(PHILADELPHIA – April 26, 2012) A $200,000 grant announced today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will help fund projects to make South Philadelphia’s George W. Nebinger School and surrounding streets greener and healthier.

EPA’s grant, with matching funding from the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) and the nonprofit Partnership for the Delaware Estuary (PDE), brings the total award to $400,000 that will go towards a host of green features at Nebinger School and the adjacent neighborhood. The projects are part of the city’s wide-ranging plan, Green City, Clean Waters, to control pollutant-laden stormwater that inundates the city’s sewer system and causes sewage overflows into area waterways. EPA and the City of Philadelphia signed a partnership agreement earlier this month to help ensure the success of the city’s plan. Continued below >>

For a look at what the Albert M. Greenfield in Center City has done as part of its Greening Greenfield Initiative, check out this video:

Green Schools: Albert Greenfield Elementary from GreenTreks Network on Vimeo.

“This grant will help the city realize the environmental, economic and community benefits of the Green City, Clean Waters plan,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “In controlling stormwater runoff, we’ll also be helping students appreciate ways of preventing pollution and creating cost-effective, high-performance green streets adjacent to the school.”

In addition to the benefits for Philadelphia, controlling stormwater runoff is critical for reducing pollution to the Delaware River and Bay – the focus of joint efforts by PDE, EPA, and PWD as part of the National Estuary Program. All three are now teaming up with the School District of Philadelphia to develop what is intended as a national and international model for stormwater management and educational programming at the Nebinger School. The school is located at 6th and Carpenter Street in South Philadelphia.

Efforts at the Nebinger School will focus on using green stormwater infrastructure as a classroom, field and laboratory tool, and demonstration opportunity for students and the community. The green tools that may be integrated into the design of the school yard include rain gardens, porous play surfaces and pavement, and stormwater planters. These features will help manage stormwater runoff from the school yard and select adjacent streets.

Several streets close to the Nebinger School have been chosen as potential Green Street projects based on critical connections they create between significant neighborhood amenities and businesses, such as the Weccacoe Playground and the business corridor on Passyunk Avenue between 6th and 10th streets, which is part of the Passyunk Business Improvement District. Green tools that may be integrated into these Green Streets include stormwater trees and tree trenches.

Officials said the project may provide an opportunity for Philadelphia students to collaborate with similar schools in the City of Rio de Janeiro, Philadelphia’s sister city in stormwater management. This collaboration is an extension of the Joint Initiative on Urban Sustainability (JUIS), a partnership among the U.S. EPA, Brazil’s Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the City of Rio de Janeiro, and the City of Philadelphia, which was formed to advance sustainable cities.

For more information on the Green City, Clean Waters plan and the EPA-city partnership, visit PWD’s website >>