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!

Martha McCormickOutdoor EducationLeave a Comment

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

Martha McCormickOutdoor EducationLeave a Comment

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

Clean and Green Your Kindergarten Class

Martha McCormickOutdoor Education1 Comment

I am excited to present the Clean and Green Kindergarten 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 Public Schools. The guide is flexible; it has engaging activities for the classroom, afterschool and summer programs. Each of the activities can stand on its … Read

Have Fun

Martha McCormickOutdoor EducationLeave a Comment

Summer Staff Training at Children and Family Urban Ministries

I’ve been working with the Next Step Advisory Board to develop my company’s mission and values. It turns out that Next Step values creativity, partnership, and fun! Who knew?!!!?? One of my Board members sent me a link to a video done by TheFunTheory.com. They developed several strategies and then took videos to test their theory that fun can get people to … Read

Dig in the Dirt

Martha McCormickOutdoor Education2 Comments

My Pondless Waterfall

Last week I rebuilt my “pondless waterfall” for the third time. I’ve lost the illusion that it’s the third and LAST time. Gardening is all about the process. A potential home buyer asked my friend if her garden was finished; that was a deal breaker. Here was a neophyte–a garden is never finished. My art teacher says the only true … Read

Keep Iowa Beautiful

Martha McCormickOutdoor EducationLeave a Comment

Kids at Krakow Castle

I’m working with Keep Iowa Beautiful and the Waste Commission of Scott County to provide educators with a program guide and resources for teaching… Service learning Litter free schools Character Environmental education …all organized around the Iowa Core and Common Core Standards. I’m using this post to run things by the Steering Committee, get reactions and involve them in pulling … Read