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New Hampshire Charitable Foundation announces $300,000 in grants to support place-based ecology education in the Upper Valley

Fund provides support to place-based ecology education programs throughout New Hampshire and Vermont’s Upper Valley

CONCORD, NH (PRESS RELEASE) — The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation is announcing $301,990 in grant awards from its Wellborn Ecology Fund. The grant dollars will provide support to place-based ecology education programs throughout New Hampshire and Vermont’s Upper Valley. Since its inception in 2001, the fund has awarded grants totaling more than $5.5 million to 125 organizations and programs throughout the Upper Valley.

These place-based ecology education programs increase knowledge of natural systems, provide opportunities for “hands-on” nature study, increase environmental skills, create links and networks among people and institutions and expand overall environmental education capacity in the region.

In addition to supporting local programs, the Wellborn Ecology Fund made an $80,000 grant to Vital Communities to build a centralized resource for place-based ecology education practitioners called the Wellborn Place-based Ecology Education Hub.

“The Wellborn Hub will serve as a nexus for place-based ecology education in the region and the ‘go-to’ resource for networking, professional development, referrals and information sharing,” said Kevin Peterson, Charitable Foundation senior program officer and manager of the Wellborn program.  “Over time, the Hub will advance the goal of making high-quality place-based ecology education available to every Upper Valley school.”

The Wellborn Ecology Fund was established at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation through a bequest by the late Marguerite Wellborn, who was a Hanover resident and avid naturalist with a passion for studying and protecting the natural world.

Grant awards were made to the following organizations and schools for programs in the Upper Valley:

Center for Northern Woodlands Education of Corinth, VT was awarded $25,000 to provide continued support for The Outside Story, a weekly essay series on natural-history topics.

Albert Bridge School of Brownsville, VT received $3,000 to support the Mountain Exploration project to introduce teachers to the surrounding landscape for curriculum connections.

Chosen Vale/Enfield Shaker Museum was awarded $4,900 to support a summer field-ecology program for middle and high school students.

D Acres Permaculture Farm and Educational Homestead of Dorchester received $5,000 to continue ecology education at Canaan Elementary School through gardening and composting.

Forest Kinder of Randolph Center, VT was awarded $2,500 to continue a professional learning community for educators seeking to improve and expand outdoor play for young students.

Four Winds Nature Institute of Chittenden, VT was awarded two grants:

  • $22,500 to continue Upper Valley Linkages in Environmental Literacy, a professional development program for area teachers and educators; and
  • $5,000 to continue several professional learning communities that help early childhood educators use nature and the outdoors as a learning environment.

Linking Lands Alliance of White River Junction, VT received $4,443 to create and provide place-focused landscape maps for use in schools to enhance curriculum and to help meet Next Generation Science Standards.

Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Site in Woodstock, VT was awarded two grants:

  • $50,248 to support the Wellborn Institute, a year-long professional development program for Upper Valley teachers in New Hampshire schools to help them learn how to incorporate natural and community resources into school curriculum; and
  • $5,000 to continue the Forest for Every Classroom professional development program in the Upper Valley.

Mount Lebanon Elementary School in Lebanon received $2,899 to expand the existing Forest Kindergarten to include a First Grant Forest Program.

Richards Elementary School in Newport was awarded $5,000 to support planning and curriculum connections for a family science night in April 2018.

SAU #75/Grantham School District received $5,000 to support integration of a new outdoor classroom into school curriculum.

Soil Carbon Coalition of Enterprise, Oregon and Thetford, VT received $4,000 to support teaching and curriculum focused on soil ecology.

Sullivan County was awarded a grant of $25,000 to support the Natural Resources Education and Outreach Specialist, who provides support and coordination to area schools on place-based ecology education.

The Fells received $5,000 to support ecology education programming at its Newbury, NH site.

The Newton School in South Strafford, VT was awarded a $2,500 grant to support the kindergarten Forest Day curriculum.

Vermont Institute of Natural Science of Quechee, VT received $20,000 for continued delivery of VINS School Programs in the Upper Valley through its Center for Environmental Education.

Vital Communities of White River Junction, VT, was awarded $20,000 to continue farm-to-school programming in the Upper Valley region.

White River Partnership of South Royalton, VT received $5,000 to continue monitoring the White River program in schools in the White River watershed.

The Wellborn Place-based Ecology Education Hub, through its fiscal sponsor, Vital Communities, received grants totaling $80,000 for place-based ecology education coordination in the Upper Valley, including staffing, network analysis, web and communications resources, and the annual Wellborn Leadership Conference.

For more information about the Wellborn Ecology Fund, visit www.nhcf.org/wellborn.

About the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation is New Hampshire’s statewide community foundation, founded in 1962 by and for the people of New Hampshire. The Foundation manages a growing collection of more than 1,800 funds created by generous individuals, families and businesses, and awards nearly $40 million in grants and scholarships every year. The Foundation works with generous and visionary citizens to maximize the power of their giving, supports great work happening in our communities and leads and collaborates on high-impact initiatives. For more information, please visit www.nhcf.org or call 603-225-6641.