A new way forward, summer programs, college intern, monarch or viceroy?
 
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["Sullivan County"]
 
July          Field Days       Issue 46
 
 
Making a New Way Forward
 
A new brief from the Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS) in Berkeley, a science center and leader in developing K-12 science curricula, shows that many organizations that provide environmental education are at risk of never reopening because of the pandemic. “This is happening at a time when public health leaders are promoting the value of outdoor learning as safe, engaging, effective and essential,” Rena Dorph, director of the LHS, said. “The outdoors is a resource for learning, engagement and health, and it should be available to all.”
 
 
Outdoor learning is essential for students to connect to the world around them including to the people in their communities. In the Upper Valley, using the local community as a primary resource for learning, also called Place-based Eduation, includes outdoor learning. 
 
Benefits of Place-based Education (read the brief here).
1. Helps Students Learn
2. Encourages Students to become Active Citizens
3. Energizes Teachers
4. Transforms School Culture
5. Connects Schools and Communities
6. Encourages Students to become Environmental Stewards
 
Now is the time for schools and informal educators to partner and make a new way forward for education this fall. 
 
Local Resources for Place-based Education
 
More Resources for Outdoor Learning
 
Get Outside and Learn - Check out our posts each weekday on the SCCD Facebook page that encourage everyone to Get Outside and Learn for 10-15 minutes each day.
 
Saint Gaudens NHP - Has a Junior Ranger activity guide is designed for ages 5-13; a lot of this guide is designed to be completed at the park, but not all. Use this introductory video to answer some of the questions. 
 
Project Learning TreeNature is a great teacher! Try these activity ideas from Project Learning Tree to connect the children in your life to the outdoors and nature. Suitable for children ages 3 – 15.
 
July Green Month Program - Click the link to sign-up for free access to the Green July Website where you will find a daily activity Monday-Friday that will engage young children with their surroundings. Guest artist, Marek Bennett, will give weekly classes in "Loon Cartooning," where you will create your own "Loony" characters to star in original comic books and posters!
 
Programs
 
SCCD Summer Nature Programs
 
Although we don't have any official events planned, we are available to guide programs for families and small groups at our Eco Ag Center this summer.
 
Topics could include pollinators, gardening, salamanders, nature art, journaling, plant identification, cemetery scavenger hunt, guided hikes and monarch studies in July and August. You may even suggest your own topic!
 
All programs are free of charge and by appointment only. Contact Dawn to schedule a program.
 
Schedule a Program
 
 
Dragonfly Detectives
 
Citizen scientists and nature lovers, unite! To help the Black River Action Team and VINS learn more about dragonflies, we're asking for help locating and collecting their "exuviae" or Dragon Skins!
 
Sunday, July 12, 2020
 9am -Noon
 Dewey's Landing, Quechee, VT
 
Boaters and on foot! Contact Kelly Stettner by email: blackrivercleanup@gmail.com to register.
 
Join the Hunt!
 
Where will the Sullivan County Educators be this Month?
 
Our educators will be out in the field maintaining and creating new trails, improving the forest classroom and schoolyards, gardening, and continuing communications with those we serve! We will also be teaching nature related programs by appointment. Talk to Dawn about scheduling a program for your family and friends or organization today.
 
Meet our College Intern
 
Say Hello to Ethan Sweet
 
Ethan Sweet is our summer intern this year. He is a rising senior at Colby Sawyer College and is studying Enviromental Studies. He lives in Cornish and graduated from Stevens High School. Ethan enjoys sports - soccer, track, and basketball to name a few.

He will be out in the field this summer maintaining Unity Mountain Trail, constructing and marking new trails, landscaping, removing invasive species, and all manner of other jobs. We are excited to be working with Ethan this summer!
 
Naturalist Notes
 
 
Monarch or Viceroy?
 
I saw my first monarch a couple of weeks ago. They have made it to New England and are searching for young milkweed to lay their eggs on. They are also searching for colorful flowers nearby that provide them with energy-rich nectar. This seems earlier than last year, but I might say that every year!

Just after noticing the monarch, I saw a monarch mimic...a viceroy butterfly. Viceroys are smaller, fly more erractically, and have a black line running through their bottom wings. They mimic the monarch for protection. Monarchs ingest chemicals form the milkweed that get integrated into their bodies, which makes them poisonous or at the very least, taste bad, to potential predators.

Viceroys would like those same predators to leave them alone too! But they can't fool my trained eye. The photo to the left was taken 2 years ago when I observed a monarch and viceroy side by side. See if you can pick out the differences.

If you see a monarch flying by, be sure to report your sighting and any other observations you notice to Journey North! They keep records on the migration every year and use it to help conserve this amazing phenomenom.
 
 
Dawn Dextraze
Education and Outreach Specialist
Sullivan County Natural Resources and Conservation District
95 County Farm Rd.
Unity, NH 03743
603.504.1004
ddextraze@sullivancountynh.gov
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