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Grants, events and outreach, and resources


EDUCATION GRANTS $25,000-plus from SD WOMEN’S FOUNDATION.  Letter of Inquiry due Wed. Oct. 26.  Grants will be for “programs that develop basic skills and knowledge for improved performance in school and life…. for individual and small groups of San Diego County elementary school students who are living at or below poverty level.  Guidelines at  Here’s a children and nature perspective:  Nature and the schoolyard garden/habitat seem like great settings for more effective learning, and perhaps some organizations can work with school(s) that already has a schoolyard habitat/garden, teacher(s) that want to use it, and a plan for lessons and learning that involve smaller groups or individual students (see grant guidelines).  Nature is accessible (nearby), affordable (low-cost), and such an awesome “outdoor classroom” for students to experience science, math, language and group learning by observing, touching, listening, smelling, telling and doing…. and much more.  The grants are for basic skills defined as Academic: foundation skills related to school performance, including skills in reading, writing, mathematics, and English as a second language; and Practical: foundation skills related to optimal functioning in everyday life, including learning skills and study skills.

GARDEN GRANTS.  Due November 18, 2011, San Diego Ag In The Classroom is offering School Garden/Ag Project Grants from $250-$1000, about $10-15,000 total awarded each year.  School gardens offer children a fabulous hands-on opportunity to bring learning alive! In this outdoor classroom, students can study science, math, literature, art, social studies – you name it!  There isn’t any subject that can’t be taught in a school garden, especially the life-long and valuable lessons about agriculture.  More info at .  More information from  Let’s get growing!

  Weingart Foundation, informational session on their San Diego County Small Grant Program.  Monday, October 17, 2011, 1:30 pm – Registration, 2:00pm - 4:00 pm – Program, Market Creek Events & Venues, at the Joe & Vi Jacobs Center, 404 Euclid Avenue, San Diego, directions at <> .  Highlights of the San Diego County Small Grant Program:  Targeting established and well managed organizations with operating budgets of $1.5 million or less working in San Diego County in the areas of health, education or human services serving predominately low-income and underserved populations.  Maximum grant awards of $25,000 for a 12-month period.  Next application deadline is January 27, 2012.  Please RSVP via email to  If you have any questions, please contact Angela Carr at (213) 688-6314.

AAUW COMMUNITY ACTION GRANTS, from AAUW-American Association of University Women, .  In 2011, 27 grants were awarded, total $225,000.  Community Action Grants provide seed money to women, AAUW branches, AAUW state organizations, and local community-based nonprofit organizations for innovative programs or nondegree research projects that promote education and equity for women and girls. Recipients must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.


TIDEPOOL NATURALIST TRAINING, Saturday, October 22, 2011, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM .  Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego's National Park, invites you to help protect the monument's popular rocky intertidal area as a volunteer in the Volunteers-In-Parks Program (VIPs). Volunteers-In-Parks in the Tidepool Protection, Education and Restoration Program (TPERP) help the National Park Service protect this intricate, fragile area by educating visitors and helping them to create their own personal, intellectual, and emotional connections with this fascinating environment.  Please register as soon as possible by contacting Park Ranger Bonnie Phillips at (619) 523-4586 or via email to, and you will be sent directions, a class schedule and other relevant information.

SAN DIEGO AGRICULTURE IN THE CLASSROOM, Tues. Oct. 25.  (“Food and Flower Happy Hour”).  Third Annual Teacher’s Resource Fair on Tuesday Oct. 25th from 4 to 6 PM in the San Diego Botanic Garden’s Paul Ecke Room.  Free, but RSVP to  or 760-745-3023 by Tues. 10/18. The purpose of this event is to familiarize local teachers with the major agricultural products grown in San Diego County, and ways in which this information can be incorporated into classroom teaching. This event will also connect teachers to local resources for garden-based learning, including nutrition, native plants, and environmental awareness.  San Diego Agriculture in the Classroom (SDAITC) was founded in 1996 and aims to increase awareness, understanding, and appreciation of agriculture among San Diego County’s educators and students.

CANYONEERS SCHEDULE FOR free guided nature walks.  Get info about each walk at and the overall schedule at  No reservations needed.

for teachers and educators on Sat. Nov. 5.  Held at Cal State University San Marcos and co-sponsored by SD Science Educators Association (SDSEA)and SD Computer-Using Educators (SDCUE).  Classroom ideas for science, technology, math (STEM), and all other areas of the curriculum.  More than 400 attendees expected, most novice to experienced technology-using educators and core content teachers, also IT and science coordinators and administrators. Sessions are 45-minute, lecture-style presentations that address all areas of the curriculum and appeal to a variety of educators. More info at . To present a session, register by Oct. 14 at and submit application at

BRIGHT GREEN FUTURE Conference, Oct. 21-22, for green jobs and project networking will take place at University of San Diego on October 21 and 22nd.  Get schedule at and register at

  • Topic tracks on Friday: Green Business, Green Building, Zero Waste, Water, and Climate Change/Transportation.  Special events on Friday: San Diego Mayoral Candidate's Forum (5:30pm) hosted by the San Diego Sierra Club and followed by a Green Networking Reception.
  • Topic tracks on Saturday: All About Food, Green Jobs Workshop, Climate Change, Zero Waste and Water.  Special Events on Saturday: All-day Green Jobs Workshop, Million Letter March Activist Workshop, "Permaculture and Graywater," Electric Car Owners Panel, CalGreen Building Codes Workshop.

NATURE IMMERSION COURSE FOR FAMILIES.  Waldorf and Reggio Emilia-inspired Nature Immersion for the grade K-6 Child and the whole Family.  Explore native habitats, learn about local  plants and wildlife, gather and prepare wild foods, build stick huts, and more.  Develop a deep connection with nature and community through hiking, playing, singing, creating in a beautiful wilderness setting in the foothills of Ramona at Rock Rose Nature Center.  Every 1st and 3rd Saturday, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.  $120 for series of 6 classes, $30 per class for drop-in. To get more information and register, contact Bonnie or 760-788-4394.

HEALTHY BEHAVIORS CONFERENCE on Dec. 7-9 in San Diego from THE BOOST COLLABORATIVE.  Workshop topics include physical activity, gardning, health, summer learning, social policy, family advocaty, built environment, and more.  The BOOST Collaborative is committed to creating opportunities for change in educational and social services agencies serving youth in the out-of-school time hours. They support out-of-school time professionals through quality professional development opportunities, program and resource development, building community partnerships, promoting the importance of quality. More information at, The conference fee is $325 per person, more info at  Program is not announced yet but conference brochure for 2010 is posted at

CONSERVATION CONFERENCE for Calif. Native Plant Society, Jan. 12-14, 2012 in San Diego.  Outstanding opportunity to learn more about California’s habitats.  Conference is at Town and Country Hotel and there are plenary sessions and keynote speakers, over 200 presenters in 22 sessions (Including Vital Role of Education in the future of Conservation), poster sessions, two days of pre-conference workshops, field trips, and public events (Sat. Jan. 14).  More info at

SCIENCE FESTIVAL, Sat. March 24, BOOTH FEE DONATION.  An anonymous donor has committed to paying the $125 fee for a booth at the Science Festival for any organization or program that is willing to arrange and staff a nature-activities exhibit at “Expo Day” at Qualcomm Stadium on Saturday March 24 (this fee does not include electrical hookup). Then SDCaN would be listed as a co-exhibitor (or in the description of the activity/exhibit) and have a handout for participants. Details and sign-up at  Contact Anne Fege by November 1 if you’re interested, at



CHAPARRAL SHRUBLANDS Pocket Naturalist Guide is AVAILABLE FOR SALE!  The Chaparral Shrublands of Southern California--A Pocket Naturalist Guide has been revised and reprinted (based on comments from those using the first version)!  It can be ordered for resale (at nature centers, bookstores, museums, etc.) from Sunbelt Publications (contact them for prices, ).  Cover price is $6.95.  If you want to purchase copies for educational use (and will not sell the guides), we are offering them through the Collaborative for $5.00 each plus shipping, and we have an inventory of 2,000 copies.  The $5 will cover the $3 printing cost and net $2 for the Collaborative. Send email to

NEW SCHOOLYARD HABITAT GUIDE 132 pages!  Clear steps, rationale, worksheets, examples, and inspiration to plan, design, install, maintain, and communicate about schoolyard habitats; it’s posted at (132 pages, 2011).  There’s information about the Schoolyard Habitat program at  with 5-minute video by FWS that’s followed by two videos by National Wildlife Federation (NWF), and a two-page fact sheet at .  ” The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Schoolyard Habitat program allows teachers and school children to build habitat for wildlife, and in doing so, learn about the outdoors through interdisciplinary learning in a broad context involving math, reading and writing skills, and science among others.” Also resources are provided by the NWF at , with curriculum at .  Local resources for school gardens and schoolyard habitats are available at

800 CARLSBAD THIRD GRADERS funded for field day at AGUA HEDIONDA LAGOON.  The Carlsbad Charitable Foundation and Carlsbad Educational Foundation have granted $60,000 for every third grader in the Carlsbad Unified School District to participate in the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation’s "Third Grade Academy for Environmental Stewardship.”  This covers staffing and transportation for the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation to provide "hands-on” demonstration classes that stress responsible interaction with the natural surroundings and create an awareness of the impact of day-to-day human activities. There will be hands-on learning experiences for small groups of students, eight hours of instruction at the Lagoon’s Discovery Center, and professional "edu-tainers” to enhance the curriculum, along with games, props, and outdoor activities to engage the students in lagoon resources.  More info at

THE MORE HIGH-TECH SCHOOLS BECOME, THE MORE THEY NEED NATURE, at  (part two, follows part one, “Want your kids to get into Harvard? Tell ‘em to go outside!” See link at bottom of blog).  Also glance through this 23-page review of research on benefits of nature-based learning in educational settings, at

LEARNING SCIENCE IN INFORMAL SETTINGS.  Report by National Academy of Sciences, Information at  Register and download the report. From description: Informal science is a burgeoning field that operates across a broad range of venues and envisages learning outcomes for individuals, schools, families, and society. The evidence base that describes informal science, its promise, and effects is informed by a range of disciplines and perspectives, including field-based research, visitor studies, and psychological and anthropological studies of learning.  Contributors have… experience in a range of settings--museums, after-school programs, science and technology centers, media enterprises, aquariums, zoos, state parks, and botanical gardens.

TIJUANA ESTUARY EDUCATION PROGRAMS.  On a field trip preceding the national Children & Nature Network conference, the staff featured the restoration research, projects with neighboring high school, high school students serving as “estuarine ambassadors” and Junior Ranger programs.  Two-page outline of Education Programs at .  Their Junior Ranger Program takes place every Thursday from 3:30-4:30pm with different topics presented at each session.  Two-page outline posted, including the 12 themes that rotate and have different lessons throughout the year, .  Info on high school program at

VERY YOUNG CHILDREN.  Linda Hawley wrote an article on “Nature Adventures” in the September 2011 issue of Family Magazine, pages 66-67, posted at . An excerpt:  “Even the youngest children, at age 3, continually amaze me with their retention. No matter how young the audience, students learn scientific terms like camouflage, herbivore, metamorphosis, nocturnal. They learn to respect and co-exist with nature, rather than fear, disturb or avoid it.  Parents learn along with children.”  Nature Adventures! schedule of dates, topics and registration at or contact Linda at 619-582-6261. October for bats, November for Kumeyaay Life before 1769, December about mule deer.

NATURE’S OWN STIMULUS PACKAGE, a great blog by Richard Louv, at  Excerpts:

1. With high gas prices, families are rediscovering both the joy and the cost-effectiveness of getaways in nearby nature, including regional, state or national parks. As Outside magazine puts it, “near is the new far.”

2. Unless we’re talking about a new bass boat or a high-tech tent, nature toys are free or cheap, and they encourage self-directed creativity.

3. Green exercise is free. Groups of families form ” green gyms” and meet once or twice a week to hike, garden or take some other type of exercise in the natural world.

4. By planting trees and preserving open space, we can improve energy efficiency, reduce the carbon footprint and protect property values.

5. Back-yard or community gardens offer improved nutrition and, for the wider society, reduced long-distance shipping costs.

6. To shorten the recession, we’ll need to teach better and work smarter. Students learn better when schools promote place-based learning in the largest classroom of all: the natural world. And outdoor classrooms cost less than brick and mortar.

7.  Nature can help us build social capital.  In hard times, we need cohesive neighborhoods and supportive kinship networks more than ever.  The family that plays together stays together.

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