Clean and Green Your First Grade Class

Martha McCormickNature1 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 McCormickNature1 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

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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

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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

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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

Enjoy Summer!

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It’s been just over 2 months since the first ever Iowa Outdoor Youth Summit; at least two young Iowans attended the Outdoor Nation Youth Summit and Festival in New York City, and summer is here with especially surprising weather. Here it is the 4th of July and summer officially half over. Impossible; my garden isn’t even all mulched! So far … Read

Speak Your Mind

Martha McCormickNature, Social Justice1 Comment

Nature hike

Polk County Conservation is collecting input from the public about renovations for Yellow Banks Park in the southeast part of Polk County, and for Thomas Mitchell Park in Mitchellville, the eastern part of the county. You can fill out a survey here– Yellow Banks Park Survey Thomas Mitchell Park Survey …and you can see the survey results here– Yellow Banks … Read

Join the Movement

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Go outside! It’s spring, and Iowa is joining a broad based movement to renew a close, personal relationship with the out of doors. April 10-11–As part of Iowa’s “Reconnecting Children with Nature” effort, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Next Step are organizing the Iowa Outdoor Youth Summit. The goal of the event is to bring groups of youth … Read

Ride a Bike

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Sanibel Island Shells

I remember the first time I rode down the hill toward the city park after my dad took my training wheels off. Such a feeling of exhilaration and freedom! I still like to ride my bike, and that feeling has never gone away. I got back into cycling in 2008, and rode 110 miles of the MS 150 in eastern … Read

Embrace Winter

Martha McCormickNature1 Comment

Birdhouse in winter

It’s been an especially cold winter in many places, but kids (and adults) can have fun and get healthy by going outside even in frigid, snowy weather. Each winter I resolve to renew my relationship with my skis, toboggan and ice skates. This winter looks like it might be a good time to keep that resolution! Ray Morley and his grandkids … Read