Plan Ahead

Martha McCormickOutdoor Education1 Comment

Have you ever seen a hydrophone? Neither had I until I visited the Scripps Research Institute to learn about ocean studies. That’s the thing I’m holding in the picture at the top of this post. The researcher who gave us our tour studies whale audiology. If you’re looking for something to do, he needs help analyzing data from hours and … Read

Connect to Mother Earth

Martha McCormickOutdoor Education, Social JusticeLeave a Comment

I walked into the kitchen and had to squint. The morning sun was shining brightly through the door. It’s been a challenging winter; judging by the number of people walking and running outside yesterday, we’re ready for it to end. The cardinals, goldfinch and house finches are emptying my bird feeders again. I’m itching to get back into my garden—fantasizing … Read

Save the Earth

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It’s not hard to be in the moment when you’re at the beach. This morning we saw a dolphin, a wild one, close enough to be amazed at its size. They are REALLY big! Much bigger than they look on TV. It moved away from us but we continued to see its fin as it swam through the Gulf waters. … Read

Grow Your Own

Martha McCormickOutdoor Education1 Comment

I got a taste of farm life in Kyla’s backyard the other day, even though it’s in the heart of Des Moines. The ducks waddling around remind me of my parents’ tenure on our family farm in Missouri in the late 1970s. Their ducks made great pets until the snapping turtles in the pond rendered them extinct. Ducks are natural … Read

Feed the Birds

Martha McCormickOutdoor Education1 Comment

Backyard Stream

I thought dinosaurs were extinct, but guess what! I just found out birds are avian dinosaurs. COOL! I’m not that surprised; their fierceness reminds me of dinosaurs sometimes! A few weeks ago, we thought our little black cat might be about to catch a cardinal that was ground feeding by the house. Turned out she wasn’t the only one watching … Read

Go Out and Play!

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Autumn Sumac on Martha's Vineyard

Watch my last “We’re Entrepreneurs, We Can Help” show recorded live on July 7, 2011. Ray Morley, Patti Petersen-Keys and I talk about our favorite things to do outdoors–how it feeds our inner kid, and why we want you to come out and play with us. Patti is the Education Coordinator for Polk County Conservation. Her naturalists have developed programs … Read

Plant a Garden

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I’m gardening with the Earth Heroes from Carver Community School‘s Boys and Girls Club this season. When I first saw how little these mostly second graders are, I thought there’s no way they can farm the 20 raised beds at the Des Moines Botanical Center. But Jose sums it up–“Miss Martha, when I’m special, I work really hard.” And the … Read

Clean and Green Your Second Grade Class

Martha McCormickOutdoor Education1 Comment

With this Clean and Green Second Grade Program Guide, the first phase of the Keep Iowa Beautiful service learning, litter-free schools, environmental education, character building program is officially ready for piloting! With help from the Waste Commission of Scott County, Character Counts! in Iowa, Davenport Public Schools, we are ready to send teachers and kids out to the playground and community to find ways … Read

Clean and Green Your First Grade Class

Martha McCormickOutdoor Education1 Comment

Power Cats

I am excited to present the Clean and Green First Grade Program Guide. Thanks to Keep Iowa Beautiful, the Waste Commission of Scott County and Character Counts! in Iowa, we are ready to pilot it in Davenport schools. The guide is flexible; it has engaging activities for the classroom, afterschool and summer programs. Each of the activities can stand on … Read