Resource Bulletin
May 15, 2020
"The dandelion flower head can change into a white, globular seed head overnight. Each seed has a tiny parachute that allows it to spread far and wide in the wind. - Adrienne Maree Brown, Emergent Strategy
In April, we asked what kinds of resources you're looking for as you face COVID-related challenges. You responded that you were most interested in best practices for online education (ag-education specific), and tools to become a better educator. You were moderately interested in safety resources around COVID-19, activity ideas (facilitated), activity ideas (self-guided), pursuing social justice through farm-based ed, stories of resilience from peer organizations, and tools to become a better farmer. (Want to weigh in? It's not too late! Respond to the one-question survey here.)

The following resource collection is a project of a newly formed FBEN Resource Advisory Committee: Ashley Davenport, Retreat Farm in Brattleboro, VT; Hallie Sykes, Oxbow Farm and Conservation Center , Carnation, WA; and Meredith Rivlin, Cedar Circle Farm and Education Center , East Thetford, VT. (We invite you to share resources, too, and aim to send a bulletin biweekly! Let us know if you're interested in joining this group!

-Ashley, Hallie, Meredith, Vera

The American Camp Association’s Health and Wellness Resource Guide offers links to communicable disease protocol, including information about screening during camp and a template for developing your own protocol. Also includes a link on building resilience in our youth. This Health and Wellness page is just one of many that the ACA has available for a resource during the COVID-19 pandemic.


This resource covers naturalist skill sets of observation, journaling, tracking, and sit spots and recommends age-appropriate adaptations for each, (which is HUGE because we’ve always been challenged with facilitating sit spots for younger ages). One thing that really brings this home is the benchmarks they set for evaluating students’ understanding. The NGSS connection is very strong, the material needs are low and much of the outdoor exploration can happen in a school yard or park, not necessarily requiring a field trip.


As educators, we scaffold experiences in nature, drawing attention to the magic of each beetle burrowing, crow call, or cherry tomato ripening on the vine. While I cherish each little nature lover that I’ve encouraged, I recently found myself teetering on the edge of a good ol’ educator-burnout. On the first day of physical distancing, I took to the woods seeking comfort and distraction. As I walked the trail, I could feel my body relaxing. I started to notice little things--buds emerging, mossy arrangements of rocks, a flock of chickadees calling, and it hit me... I was so focused on kindling a love for nature in the hearts of little ones that I had let my own dwindle. I'm sharing this nature journal resource this week to hopefully inspire you to take notice of the little nature miracles surrounding you. Capture it in a way that feels nourishing to you-- art, words, charts. Maybe even a voice recording!  

Connect with us in our Google Group, Facebook, or drop us a line by email!

May 15 | 2 pm ET

Read this Civil Eats article,  A Vietnamese Farmers' Cooperative in New Orleans Offers a Lesson in Resilience , and explore the meaning it can bring your work. We'll use small groups and an  adaptation of this protocol  to guide conversation.

May 21 | 3 pm ET

We'll break into groups based on whether you're offering camp or not, and will ask you to share the safety protocols you're putting in place or the financial and other implications of cancelling. (Photo: Wolfe's Neck Farm)

(Dates TBD!)

Promising Practices for Virtual Farm-Based Ed

Join Retreat Farm, Oxbow Farm and Conservation Center, and Cedar Circle Farm to hear what virtual programming they've offered and what they've learned along the way.