Winter 2016-17 eNewsletter
TOC Table of Contents
Time to Renew Your SWEEP Membership!
About SWEEP: Our Strategic Framework
Year-round Curriculum to Grow in Community Sailing Center's New Facility
Vermont Envirothon 2017
Every Student Succeeds: State Plan Ready for Review
Everything Watershed: A Stream Table Showcase
World Water Day
Watershed Alliance Programming Infographic
Calling all Vermont High Schoolers Interested in Science and the Environment!
Become a Certified Let's Go Fishing Instructor with the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department!
Professional Development Opportunity from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department
Great Backyard Bird Count: Birding for Beginners
Shelburne Farms School Programs
Shelburne Farms Professional Development
Science Resource Sharing for Expanded Learning Providers
The Garden of Wisdom: Middle Eastern Stories for Environmental Stewardship
Working Together to Learn about Mercury in our Environment 
Program Updates with the Winooski Valley Park District
Job Openings at the Winooski Valley Park District
Four Winds Celebrates 10 Years
Four Winds People
Four Winds Professional Learning Communities 
vermont sweep
LetterFromChairTime to Renew Your SWEEP Membership!

Greetings SWEEP Members and Community,

The SWEEP Board hopes that you are having a wonderful winter. Please take some time to browse this enewsletter made up of SWEEP member news, events, updates, resources, and more.

Also, as we operate on a calendar year, it is time to renew or join SWEEP! Membership dues, the same as last year, are as follows:

Organizations - $50 (includes three free individual memberships)
Individuals - $20
Students/interns - $15

In addition to the SWEEP newsletter and membership meetings, SWEEP members get a discount on registration to SWEEP-sponsored conferences. For example, at last year's Cultivating Climate Resilience Summit, the discount members received would have paid for their entire year's membership dues!

You can download the 2017 Membership Form here to pay with a check and send to: VT SWEEP, 20 Damon Rd., Hartland, VT 05048. Or you can go online to pay with a credit card.

Please contact SWEEP Membership Coordinator and Treasurer, Rob Anderegg ( with questions.

strategic framework
AboutAbout SWEEP: Our Strategic Framework

SWEEP is the Vermont State-Wide Environmental Education Programs, a nonprofit coalition of individuals and organizations whose mission is to promote a resilient future by fostering exceptional environmental education through our state and regional networks.

SWEEP envisions a society that strives for environmental resilience for the well-being of humans and global ecosystems.

With its relatively intact natural landscape and a population that values it, Vermont supports efforts to promote environmental health. SWEEP offers a forum that helps its members create awareness, knowledge, and action to build resilient environmental and social systems.

SWEEP is one of the six environmental education organizations that make up the New England Environmental Education Alliance (NEEEA). SWEEP represents Vermont in the North American Association of Environmental Educators (NAAEE) Affliliate Network.

Click here to view the Working Draft of SWEEP's Strategic Framework

Comm. Sailing Center
SailingYear-round Curriculum to Grow in Community Sailing Center's New Facility

Now in its second year, the Community Sailing Center's (CSC) year-round STEM & Sailing program is preparing to grow again. In Fall 2015, partnering schools enrolled their classes in a full-year curriculum taught from September to May. Students made several visits to the waterfront with half of the time on sailboats, and included classroom visits throughout the winter. The full-year program evolved from the CSC's initial STEM programming (one-time visits to the waterfront) and expanded to include national curriculum from US Sailing and regional experiential educators' expertise. The lessons are aligned with Burlington Schools District's curriculum as well as Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core. This year, eighteen local 4th and 5th grade classrooms are participating in Floating Classrooms. Though there are many more eligible classes in the area, capacity is limited by the Community Sailing Center's present limited facilities. We are excited to announce that with the generous support of our community we will be able to accommodate more students in Fall 2017 with the completion of the Pomerleau Community Waterfront Campus and Raymond P. Sullivan Sailing Education Center. The new community waterfront facilities will also offer new after school options for students, adult classes, events, and much more for our community to pursue their love for their lake!
EnvirothonVermont Envirothon 2017

The 2017 VT Envirothon will take place on Thursday, May 18 at Camp Plymouth State Park in Plymouth. The event is a day-long culmination for high school student teams on a program they've worked towards throughout the school year. They'll display their knowledge of wildlife, aquatic systems, soils, forestry and a special topic. The Current Issue topic for 2017 is "Agricultural Land and Water Conservation Stewardship", particularly relevant to Vermont this year in light of the VT Clean Water Act and the state's emphasis on cleaning up our rivers and lakes. If you are interested in more information about the VT Envirothon or volunteering on May 18, please contact Stacey Waterman at:
StatePlanEvery Student Succeeds: State Plan Ready for Review

After nearly a year of work, a draft of the Vermont state plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act is out for public comment. This is your chance to review the plan and offer your suggestions on how to strengthen it.
The plan is divided into six discrete sections allowing you to comment only on the portions you find relevant.  Please navigate to the website where you will find links to:
  • The full text of each section.
  • Brief narrated videos providing an overview of each section.
  • The survey to record your thoughts.
If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Patrick Halladay (802.479.1712; or Chris Case (802.479.1179;
WaterShedEverything Watershed: A Stream Table Showcase

February 28, 2017,
6 -8pm
Charlestown Primary School
84 East Street
Charlestown, NH
Snow date: March 1st

View Event Flyer Here

Discover how students are making positive impacts on their community through service learning.
Charlestown Middle and Primary School students will share what they have learned during their time spent exploring watersheds using Sullivan County's stream table. There will be demonstrations and hands-on exhibits.

Enjoy refreshments and fellowship as you learn more about watershed organizations and projects including the Charlestown Culvert Youth Experience ( CCYE), Lake Sunapee Protective Association ( LSPA), Project Wet, Saint Gaudens National Historic Site, Sullivan County Conservation District and NH Fish and Wildlife's Trout in the Classroom program.
water day
WaterDayWorld Water Day

Wednesday, March 22, 2017
ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain
World Water Day is coming up! Many of you have participated in World Water Day in previous years. It is a great opportunity to celebrate our relationship with water, promote student voice and accomplishment and share our community's understanding of some important water issues.

As you know-there are many ways to involve your students. With the limit of 3 entries per class, teachers have organized it different ways. Your class, in groups, could create one, two or three final products. Or each student could create an individual entry and the class could choose the 3 best ones! Or you might have a small group of students working on a personalized research project and their one entry represents your class. There are great prizes!  

Bring your students! The event itself consists of a Gallery of Student Work with all the entries on display and a celebration that includes guest speaker Becky Tharp, the manager of Green Infrastructure Collaborative, Lake Champlain Sea Grant & VT Dept. of Environmental Conservation. The title of her talk, geared for all ages, is: "What? You Can Clean Up Water With That? Cool Green Technology for Managing Water in the 21st Century."

Click here for more information! 
Questions? Contact Ashley Eaton:
watershed stats
WatershedWatershed Alliance Programming Infographic

Here is a snapshot from our fall 2016 Watershed Alliance programming season. We had a fantastic field season with 8 full weeks of Stream Monitoring and Lake Champlain Live Programming. This season was one of the most successful seasons yet, reaching over 600 K-12 students. We continue to be excited about the remarkable diversity of stewardship projects, including collaborations with the Trout in the Classroom Program to raise and release brook trout as well as a stream bank stabilization project to reduce erosion and nutrient runoff.

The Watershed Alliance team of undergraduate educators worked with 11 schools in the Lake Champlain Basin and collected data from 10 streams. Rows 3-5 of the attached infographic give a snapshot of the health of the streams surveyed. For more information about stewardship projects or to keep up to date with Watershed Alliance happenings, please visit our website.

The infographic represents the season in numbers, celebrating many of the successes. With questions please reach out to Ashley Eaton or Amelia Tarren at
HSCalling all Vermont High Schoolers Interested in Science and the Environment!

Join the Governor's Institutes of Vermont this summer for a week-long exploration of our state's landscape and environmental health!

The Environmental Science & Technology Institute invites you to investigate and help solve the mysteries of Vermont's natural world in this week-long "environmental CSI." You'll be the specialist collecting, analyzing, and interpreting pollution data from local communities using professional-grade laboratory and field instrumentation. What's in our air, water, and soil, and what are the impacts for public and environmental health? Working with peers and experts, you'll present your data and recommendations to the community. What solutions will you propose?

The Environmental Science & Technology Institute takes place at the University of Vermont in Burlington, VT from June 25 - July 1. Our sliding scale tuition ensures that GIV is affordable for all Vermonters. Applications launch on February 1, so visit to learn more!
go fishing
FishingBecome a Certified Let's Go Fishing Instructor with the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department!

Are you an environmental educator looking to enhance your programs? Vermont Fish & Wildlife's Let's Go Fishing Program may be able to help! Aquatic ecology, knot tying, fish Id, habitat management, and advanced fishing skills like ice fishing and fly fishing are just a few of the topics covered in a Let's Go Fishing clinic. All clinics are free, and the department supplies all of the equipment, including educational resource materials, rods, and reels. The best part? You can become a certified instructor and teach the program anywhere in Vermont! Many summer camp instructors, school teachers, afterschool program providers, and other non-formal educators have become instructors to help enhance their education programs.  Becoming an instructor is an easy process, as you just have to attend a free, one-day training and pass a required background check. The next training is Saturday April 15 in Montpelier, VT. To find out more information about becoming an instructor email or call 802-505-5562.
PDFISHWILDProfessional Development Opportunity from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department

View Course Flyer Here

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is offering a course that allows you to go to summer camp again, participate in hand-on learning opportunities about wildlife management.

Titled "Wildlife Management & Outdoor Education Techniques for Educators," this one-week course will be held July 16 - July 21, 2017 for formal and non-formal educators of all disciplines and grade levels.

Educators interested in integrating environmental topics into their curriculum and programs can learn about Vermont's wildlife and fisheries from professional biologists, foresters and educators through hands-on activities. You'll receive 3 graduate-level credits from Castleton University, and earn up to 60 hours of continuing education credits! Scholarships available. Click here to register. For more information, contact Alison Thomas:
BirdingGreat Backyard Bird Count: Birding for Beginners

Location: Birds of Vermont Museum
Date: February 18th 2017
Time: 11am-1pm
Age: Beginner Birding Families
Donation welcomed

Do you ever hear or see a bird in your backyard and wonder what it is?  Is your family interested in learning about birds and developing awesome birding skills?  Join The Birds of Vermont Museum and Audubon Vermont to learn the tools you need to identify and enjoy the beautiful birds of Vermont.  Spend time with the spectacular bird carvings inside the museum and focus on how to identify a bird based on the color of its feathers.  Explore outside using binoculars to search for our feathered friends. Come join us for some fun and gains skills that will last a lifetime!

Drop in at the Birds of Vermont Museum between 11 am and 1 pm.  All families welcome!
Shelburne1Shelburne Farms School Programs

In School Programs at the Farm, we are looking forward to our winter programming that encourages students and educators to get outside and connect with the natural world. In our school programs we will be looking for signs of animals that are active during the cold, winter months and learning about what happens to those who are not!

On February 11, we are offering a program for elementary educators that will explore winter activities that they can use with their students in the schoolyard and classroom. Check out our website for more information and to register.
Shelburne2Shelburne Farms Professional Development

Click Here for Fellowship Program Flyer

Shelburne Farm's professional development calendar will feature a new offering this spring with the generous support from the Jane's Trust Foundation!   Middle and high school teachers from Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are invited to participate in a Climate Resiliency Fellowship with Shelburne Farms and Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park!

These teachers will form a dynamic network committed to learning and teaching about climate change through interdisciplinary and place-based approaches.  The group will gather at different locations around northern New England including a summer intensive session at Shelburne Farms.  This unique opportunity will involve student input as well as teachers and students work together with community organizations to plan and take local action.

Please encourage your network of teacher friends to consider participating!  If your organization is interested in being a resource to these local teachers as they expand their learning and create action projects please be in touch with Kerri McAllister:  The Climate Resiliency Fellowship aims to advance our collective impact and we welcome your collaboration!
SciSharingScience Resource Sharing for Expanded Learning Providers

During this session on March 3, 2017, from 1:00-4:00 PM, participants will have an opportunity to share NGSS resources that you know of, have created, adapted and are willing to share. Our goal is for science expanded learning providers to collaborate and share resources around the implementation of NGSS. This session is limited to 25 participants.

Vermont Agency of Education is located in Barre City Place building on 219 North Main Street, Suite 402, Barre, VT 05641. The workshop series will be held in conference room 304 located on 3rd floor. Click here for more information and to register.

We are hoping that each of you will bring either one resource or instructional material to share with the group or to ask for feedback from the group.  The plan is for each attendee to do a brief sharing of the resource or instructional material (no more than 3-5 minutes). Please let Kathy Renfrew know the topic of your sharing by February 24, 2017 if possible to ensure a depth and breadth of ideas. Her email is:

Please use the questions below to guide your selections.
  • Criteria for NGSS Professional Learning Resources
  • How does this resource support three-dimensional learning?
  • How are science and/or engineering practices addressed in the resource?
  • How does this resource lend itself to discussion that will deepen understanding of NGSS?
  • Criteria for Instructional Materials
  • Which of the three dimensions are addressed in the material?
  • How might these materials be adapted to be more three-dimensional?
  • Are there clear links between the anchoring phenomenon and the standards?
  • How are cross-cutting concepts addressed in the instructional materials?
We are also asking you to read the article Supporting the Implementation of NGSS through Research: Informal Science Education. We will start our conversation with introductions and a brief discussion of the article. Think about what was affirming, what was new, what questions does reading the article raises for you.

Michael J Caduto
CadutoThe Garden of Wisdom: Middle Eastern Stories for Environmental Stewardship

Longstanding SWEEP member and co-founder Michael Caduto has been working for the past decade as director of a groundbreaking project in the Middle East designed to connect children to the natural world while building harmonious relationships throughout the region. During this collaborative effort-which evolved out of more than twenty years of network building by the Ipswich-based Quebec-Labrador Foundation-Michael made numerous trips to connect with traditional storytellers, environmental educators, conservationists and biologists in Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine. In recognition of the importance of this project, the National Storytelling Network awarded The Garden of Wisdom the Brimstone Award for Applied Storytelling.

The Stories for Environmental Stewardship Program, which now involves more than 50 individuals and 20 organizations, is ready to publish its first book - The Garden of Wisdom: Middle Eastern Stories for Environmental Stewardship. Artists from the Middle East are working to illustrate the children's stories. Once the book is published, proceeds will be used to offer grants that support the work of environmental education and conservation organizations from throughout the region.

In order to make publication of this unique book possible, a crowd-funding campaign has recently been launched through the Shine Fund. Please consider lending your support by visiting the Garden of Wisdom campaign web page.

While the Middle East is often viewed through the kaleidoscope of culture, politics and religion, The Garden of Wisdom brings traditional knowledge and wisdom alive through compelling, entertaining stories that reveal how nature is the root of a shared connection to the natural world that binds all peoples as one. The book is the fruit of a partnership between professionals who have generously contributed their time and energy, including colleagues from the following organizations:

American University of Beirut (Lebanon)
Animal Encounter (Lebanon)
ArabEnv Environmental Solutions & Sustainability (Jordan)
Ben Gurion University of the Negev Conflict Management & Resolution Program (Israel)
Feather Foundation, Inc. (United States)
Heritage Grain Conservancy (United States)
Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association (Egypt)
Israel Nature and Parks Authority
Jordan River Foundation (Jordan River Children Program)
National Storytelling Network (United States)
Nature Campus, Tel Aviv University (Israel)
New Hampshire State Council on the Arts (United States)
Palestine Wildlife Society (Palestine)
Tamer Institute for Community Education (Jerusalem)
Wadi Environmental Science Centre (Egypt)
Quebec-Labrador Foundation (United States)
Shouf Biosphere Reserve-Al Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve (Lebanon)
St. George School (Jerusalem)
World Forum Foundation (Jordan)

While traveling for this project and preparing the manuscript, Michael drew upon his experiences as the founder of P.E.A.C.E-Programs for Environmental Awareness & Cultural Exchange (, and from the wisdom of indigenous peoples that he shared as the author of Earth Tales from Around the World and co-author of the Keepers of the Earth books. Here is the link to an environmental Op-Ed about the Middle East that Michael wrote for Haaretz.

By contributing to the publication of The Garden of Wisdom, you will also lay the groundwork for creating an environmental education curriculum of stories, information and activities that teach children in the Middle East to cherish and nurture the land that they inherit, and love. You will support a community of professionals whose passion for preserving nature is a steppingstone for peaceful coexistence. Please help us to build peace in the Middle East-one person, one organization and one story at a time.

Henry Greene and Maggie Rice collecting dragonfly nymphs at the Pogue_ Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park.
MercuryWorking Together to Learn about Mercury in our Environment

By Joan Haley, Director of Partnership Education Programs at Shelburne Farm with Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park

Approximately 75 high school students from four different schools came together to share their research at the 7th Annual Twin State Mercury Project at the Dartmouth Hopkins Center on January 4. The evening kicked off with a keynote address by Vermont Center for EcoStudies' Steve Faccio, who emphasized the importance of the students' contributions to this ongoing research. Afterwards, the approximately two hundred adults who participated were asked to listen to students' short poster presentations about their mercury investigations and follow-up with specific questions about how the research was conducted, why it was important, and how confident the students' felt with their conclusions. Many were amazed at the scientific vocabulary and depth of knowledge the students' demonstrated in their thoughtful responses.

"We were interested in finding out if there was a higher concentration of mercury in dragonfly nymphs in urban environments as opposed to rural" explained Woodstock Union High School (WUHS) 9th grader, Sophia Kantola, about her team's specific research focus. To explore this idea, they drew a model of the potential mercury sources in an urban area, mapped its flow, and then compared it to a rural area. From this, they predicted the urban area would have a higher concentration. "We were surprised to discover there wasn't a significant difference when we analyzed national data sets, so we needed to re-think our model," Kantola explained.
Surprises such as these keep students and scientists continually trying to learn how mercury moves through our communities. Although mercury is a natural element, it can be highly toxic to wildlife and humans. Scientists are still unable to predict which water bodies might have elevated concentrations, causing potentially dangerous levels in fish and other organisms. High school students at Woodstock, Stevens, Hartford, and more recently Mascoma Valley and Pelham, have joined together across the Upper Valley and beyond to collect data and learn more about mercury emissions and its travel through our local food webs.

The collaboration was initiated in 2010 by Jen Stainton, WUHS Science Department Chair, and Stevens High School Science Teacher, Erica Ferland, and continues with support from Dr. Sarah Nelson from University of Maine's Mitchell Center and School of Forest Resources, Dr. Celia Chen, Dr. Kate Buckman and the Superfund Research Grant Program at Dartmouth College, the National Park Foundation and Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. Ms. Stainton is passionate about helping her students develop a love for science and the skills needed to address real world issues. "My students are engaged in research about an authentic global sustainability issue thanks to the investment of time and resources from our school, our local National Park, and local post-secondary institutions" noted Ms. Stainton.
Winooski1Program Updates with the Winooski Valley Park District

Over the past few years the Winooski Valley Park District (WVPD) has been working to redevelop and expand their environmental education and program offerings to its member communities in Chittenden County and the Lower Winooski River Valley. The WVPD continues to provide in-class environmental education to help supplement and enhance schools science curriculum, and has now expanded to providing afterschool enrichment programs and two day-camps; a winter vacation camp and an eight week summer camp program.

The Winooski Valley Park District is a 501(c)3 non-profit and Vermont Municipality whose mission is to plan, acquire, and manage lands and waters within the boundaries of its member municipalities in the Winooski River Valley for the purposes of conservation, preservation of natural areas, establishment of parks, and resource-based education and recreation. Created in 1972, today the WVPD manages 18 parks and natural areas with over 1,750+ acres of conserved land within the boundaries of it member municipalities. The WVPD seven member communities are Burlington, Colchester, Essex, Jericho, South Burlington, Williston and Winooski.

Three years ago the Winooski Valley Park District (WVPD) developed a summer camp program to connect more children in the Greater Burlington area to the natural world around them. The Sustainable Outdoor Leadership Education - S.O.L.E. Camp is a nature based, outdoor adventure day camp that strives to empower youth to be comfortable exploring nature and develop a sense of place by encouraging curiosity, observation and respect. Activities during the camp weeks include wildlife tracking & identification, habitat, watershed & wetlands exploration, hiking, gardening, fishing, science experiments, outdoor survival skills, and much, much more! At S.O.L.E. camp, campers develop the skills needed to become naturalist and stewards of our natural world and to act as ambassadors for the future of our natural resources.

S.O.L.E. Camp started as a two week pilot program in the summer of 2014 and quickly expanded to being offered eight weeks out of the summer by 2016. Over 100 campers have gone the program, with many returning multiples weeks during the summer, and year after year. The camp is offered for children ages 6 - 9 years old and is located at the Ethan Allen Homestead in Burlington. The camp targets the weeks directly after school ends and right before the school year begins again, filling a critical gap in program offerings during those weeks. Highlights from this past summer were being able to explore a dried stream bed and discover an ecosystem that is usually not accessible.

Thanks to the success of S.O.L.E. Camp the WVPD decided to offer a winter vacation camp during the February/March school vacations. The Wonders of Winter camp is designed to get campers outside, exploring all that winter has to offer and to develop an appreciation for how wonderful Vermont winters can be. Last winter was the first year this camp was offered, and despite the difficult weather we faced - anything from snow and sleet, to 70 degrees, rain and flooding, to freezing again - the camp was a great success. It provided a great lesson on how our climate in Vermont is changing and how the plants and animals adapt with those changes. Highlights from the week where watching a pair of beavers busy at work in our wetlands, and watching (from a safe spot) the rising waters of the Winooski River as it flooded in mid-February.

Last spring the WVPD partnered with Vermont Afterschool, Inc. and Burlington Kids to provide weekly afterschool enrichment activities focusing on environmental education and STEM. The WVPD worked with three Burlington Kids schools - CP Smith Elementary, JJ Flynn Elementary and the Sustainability Academy. Each week's lessons built upon the last, focusing on changes overtime, where participants explored the school yard and local natural areas to observe the transition from winter into spring. Students also learned about other sustainable principles such as water quality and human impact to the natural environment. In addition, the WVPD provided programing to Jericho Elementary School through the YMCA Afterschool Enrichment program, and to the Colchester A.C.E. program.

Thanks to these programs and initiatives, 2017 is shaping up to be a busy year for the WVPD! Planning for the winter vacation and summer camps are well underway, along with developing spring programs for the afterschool enrichments. This spring the WVPD is working with Flynn Elementary School and Jericho Elementary School for afterschool program offerings as well as providing in-class lessons and service learning projects to students at JFK Elementary in Winooski and Essex Middle School. The WVPD is also partnering with the Ethan Allen Homestead Museum to offer field trips to the Ethan Allen Homestead and other WVPD parks.

Registration for the Wonders of Winter camp is now open and registration for S.O.L.E. Camp will open in February. To learn more about the Winooski Valley Park District, our various program offerings, or to register for a camp visit

Upcoming Events with the Winooski Valley Park District & Partner Organizations

January 26 & 27 - Tabling at BANFF Mountain Film Festival at UVM. Doors open at 6:15pm, shows start at 7pm. Tickets and more information here.

February 4 - KidsVT Camp & School Fair

February 12 - Wintervale: Free XC Ski & snowshoe demos, food trucks, nature walk, kids activities and more! 11am - 3pm at the Intervale Center. Click here for more information.

February 27 - March 3 - Wonders of Winter Camp: Outdoor, adventure day-camp exploring the wonders of winter! For campers ages 6-9 years. 8:00am - 4:00pm, based at the Ethan Allen Homestead. Click here for more information and registration.

March 12 - Wintervale: Free XC Ski & snowshoe demos, food trucks, nature walk, kids activities and more! 11am - 3pm at the Intervale Center. Click here for more information.

Winooski2Job Openings at the Winooski Valley Park District

The Winooski Valley Park District will have several job positions opening this spring! 

Camp Counselors
The Winooski Valley Park District (WVPD) is seeking to hire several positions for their Sustainable Outdoor Leadership Education - S.O.L.E. Camp for the summer of 2017. S.O.L.E. Camp strives to empower youth to be comfortable exploring nature and to develop a sense of place by encouraging curiosity, observation and respect. Activities include animal tracking, hiking, field trips, adventure games, gardening, crafts, outdoor survival, wetland & habitat explorations, outdoor cooking, and much more! Counselors are responsible for leading a group of at least 10 (max 15) campers in all aspects of the camp day (activities, experiments, field trips, games, snack/lunch, safety, behavior and group management). Must have experience working with youth ages 6-9 years old. 40+/- hours/week for eight weeks of camp plus one week of staff training. Compensation dependent on experience. Contact Programs and Camp Director at or visit for more information.

AmeriCorps Environmental Educator and Resource Specialist 

The WVPD is seeking an AmeriCorps Member to fill a service opportunity based in Burlington, VT.  The member will help in serving 18 natural areas and the communities of the WVPD's seven member towns. The member will be part of a team working on multiple environmental education initiatives, including a summer day camp, afterschool programming, classroom education programs, field trips and service learning and conservation projects. The WVPD is seeking an energetic, motivated individual who ideally has worked with youth and has a background in environmental science, education, biology, natural resources or similar fields. This position is part of the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board AmeriCorps (VHCB AmeriCorps) Program. Position will start in September 2017, visit for more information.

Seasonal Maintenance and Parks Crew

The WVPD is seeking motivated individuals to fill several positions on its seasonal maintenance crew. Crew members are responsible for the maintenance of the Park District's buildings, grounds, and trail systems; and all related work, as required.  Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, trail maintenance and construction, trash and debris clean up, supervision of volunteer groups, and natural resource management. Positions are seasonal, full-time April through October. Contact Parks Superintendent, Tim Larned, at Visit for information on the Winooski Valley Park District.
Happy Birthday
Chris Runcie and Elizabeth Cooper with birthday cupcakes
FourWinds1Four Winds Celebrates 10 Years

This June, Four Winds and scores of our friends and family celebrated the organization's 10th birthday with a big party at Silver Lake State Park.

Since 2006:
  • We've engaged thousands of school children and adult volunteers each month in learning about nearby nature as part of the Four Winds Nature Program- with schools in Vermont and neighboring states.
  • We produced a new digital publication, Nearby Nature, to help adults and children enjoy and explore the natural world together.
  • Hundreds of early childhood educators have participated in Knee High Nature professional development and are now including nature play regularly in their programs.
  • Scores of classroom teachers and local content specialists have connected to bring children grades K-12 out of the classroom and into the community as part of our teacher professional development project.
  • We've awarded dozens of schoolyard habitat mini-grants to help increase natural science learning opportunities.
We are so grateful to everyone who has been a part of this work!.
Cory Stephenson Dana Hudson and Craig Ferreira
FourWinds2Four Winds People

Four Winds is delighted to welcome three new board members: Cory Stephenson, Craig Ferreira, and Dana Hudson. Cory is an environmental educator, active community member in Fayston and now a public librarian in the town of Moretown. Craig works in Energy Innovation at Green Mountain Power, researching new technologies and methods that will help transform the way energy is consumed. Dana works for Shelburne Farms as an educator and program coordinator; SWEEP members may remember Dana's keynote at the 2006 New England Environmental Education Alliance conference here in VT.

Longtime Four Winds board member Jerry Jenkins of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Adirondack Communities and Conservation program has helped create a remarkable new online resource.

And Dr. Cynthia Moulton, professor of ecology/natural sciences at Castleton University, has a new book out, Interconnected: Tropical Biodiversity of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.
Four Winds Nature Program students exploring seed dispersal Photo Credit Rick Rayfield
FourWinds3Four Winds' Professional Learning Communities

This year with generous grant funding from Jane's Trust, Four Winds will be developing and facilitating several regional early childhood and elementary education professional learning communities (PLCs) focusing on children's nature play, student-directed natural science inquiry and learning, and community-based environmental education.  These PLCs will engage teachers, early childhood professionals, parents and community members in a series of discussions around nature-based learning and teaching. For more information, visit or contact
Vermont SWEEP | | Website