Webinar recording available: Safer Products for Facilities in Your Community

The recording of the September 9 webinar: Safer Products for Facilities in Your Community is now available for viewing on PeaksToPrairies.org.

Learn about unsafe product chemicals, the Safer Choice program, and how to choose safer products for yourself and your community.

A Crumpled Watershed Model

Download the activity sheet. Includes discussion questions.

Stormwater Sleuth and Running Rain talk about watersheds. In this activity, you can make a watershed model. Remember, a watershed is all the land that “sheds” water from rain and snowmelt into a specific stream, river or lake. The boundaries of a watershed are the mountains, hills, or other high points where land slopes toward the water. Watersheds can be very small or very large. A large watershed may have many smaller watersheds. It’s like the branches of a
tree. The tiny twigs join bigger twigs, the bigger twigs join larger branches, and the branches join the trunk. Small streams flow into larger streams, larger streams flow into rivers, and rivers flow into larger rivers or even gulfs, seas and oceans.

Webinar: Putting Food Waste on the Scoreboard: What You Need to Know

September 29, 2015, 1:00 pm CDT
Register at http://info.leanpath.com/webinars/092015-putting-food-waste-on-the-scoreboard

You measure your foodservice operation’s health by looking at a range of key metrics: quality, safety, sanitation and profit. But what about food waste? Is that on your daily “scoreboard” as a measure of success? For most, it’s missing.

Ignoring food waste as a component of an operation’s health is dangerous. The reality is, food is money. And every time food gets thrown in the trash, it literally represents money leaking from your bottom line.

This webinar will cover what you need to know about putting food waste on your operational scoreboard, starting with measurement and data. Attendees will learn about the principles of food waste prevention, tools to provide data, and strategies to make food waste a central focus for your operation.

What You Will Learn

  • Tools for gathering data and the key performance indicators of food efficiency
  • 5 questions to pressure-test whether food waste is currently on your scoreboard
  • Tips for staff engagement and consistent focus on food waste in the kitchen



Nature Works Everywhere Garden Grants

The Nature Works Everywhere program is currently accepting applications for garden grants during the 2015–16 school year. Grants will be given in the amount of $1,000–$2,000 dependent upon the needs of the project. Funds may be used to support the building, amendment, or revitalization of gardens on school campuses, with preference given to rain, pollinator, native habitat, and other natural infrastructure projects. Food gardens will also be funded.

For all details including timeline, activities, requirements, grant benefits, and eligibility, please refer to the Garden Grant Description document. Commitment letters from the project lead and your school administrator are required. For questions, email natureworks@tnc.org. Apply online by October 28, 2015.

Webinar: Changing How We Think About Our Resources for a Better Tomorrow: How to Donate Surplus Food from K-12 Schools

Thu, Sep 17, 2015 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM CDT
Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/9090418359952984578

Every year, Americans throw away $165 billion worth of food. World-wide, 1/3 of all food is lost or wasted. We use 25% of our potable water to grow food that is ultimately lost or wasted. This occurs while 1 in 6 Americans is food insecure.

This U.S. EPA-hosted webinar will show K-12 schools how to improve their bottom line, feed hungry people, and reduce wasted food by learning from schools engaged in surplus food donation from school cafeterias. Also, the USDA will clarify its food donation policy and the legal implications of surplus food donation.


Jimmy Nguyen – U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington D.C., works for the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, where part of his role is to promote food waste reduction, recovery, and recycling activities in school cafeterias. Jimmy is also a part-time farmer and home builder in Fauquier County, Virginia, where he employs sustainable techniques to reduce consumption and increase fertility.

Gloria Quinn – Faculty at Ramona High School, Ramona, California, teaches functional skills training for grades 9-12 where students participate in hands-on activities that connect learning in a meaningful way.

André Villaseñor – Sustainable Materials Management coordinator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Los Angeles Field Office has served at EPA since 2005 and coordinates the Food Recovery Challenge. Prior to EPA, he served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Ecuador.

Kathleen Weil – Founder and Executive Director of The Food Bus, Arlington, Virginia leads this non-profit organization that helps K-12 schools build the foundation for recovering surplus food that is then donated to local food banks. Before Food Bus, Dr. Weil was an asst. professor of Health Sciences at Marymount University, after having spent many years working in the research areas of Genomics & Mental Health at the National Institutes of Health.

Indiana school adopts Great Lakes Literacy Principles

Read the full post at Lakeside Views.

“This is awesome! You guys are going to be the pedestal by which we hold everybody else up,” IISG environmental educator Kirsten Hope Walker proclaimed to a roomful of teachers last week at the Discovery Charter School in Porter, Ind.

What was so “awesome” is the school’s adoption and focus on the Great Lakes Literacy Principles for the upcoming year.

Discovery Charter School, a public school of about 500 students from grades kindergarten through eighth, was founded six years ago with an emphasis on place-based education.

So what better place to learn about the Great Lakes when the Indiana Dunes and Lake Michigan are right within sight?

Webinar: Nab the Aquatic Invader! Educator Resources

Aug 26, 2015 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Register at https://ohioseagrant.osu.edu/news/calendar/2015/08/26/hdb6s/webinar-ais-education

Learn a multi-disciplinary approach for enhancing your current curriculum on biology, environmental science, and geography using an engaging web site; discover how to reduce the risks of school, science curricula and biological supply houses as pathways for aquatic invasive species; and hear about exemplary education resources to incorporate into your classroom instruction.

The webinar will be presented by Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant staff who have incorporated the tools and resources in their professional development training with formal and non-formal educators.

Certificates of attendance for professional development contact hours can be requested after the webinar. Instructions will be provided during the session.