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EPA releases new booklet to help houses of worship identify and reduce environmental health hazards
OCSCD News & Events - September
10 Ways To...
CWFNJ: Meet the 2019 Women & Wildlife Honorees
Beyond Farm to School: Creating Sustainable School Food Systems
Read the Fall 2019 Issue of Green Schools Catalyst Quarterly
Liberty State Park's The Green Oasis Fall 2019 Edition
October Littoral News
TNC - October: Nature News
News from National Wildlife Federation
News from Pocono Env. Educ. Center
NWF: Schoolyard Habitats and Saving Songbirds
Join Us at the Sustainable Jersey Annual Luncheon!
TNC: Announcing the winners of our 2019 Photo Contest
eNews: Get to Know the Hawks of Your Backyard With Our New Poster
CWFNJ: Explorations September E-News 2019
NJ Tree Foundation: Our Fall 2019 Newsletter is here!
RH: Birds, Bikes, Kayaks and Clydesdales
September Littoral News
Check out the latest Water Pages eNewsletter!
What's going on at New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium?
C&NN News
Check out this week's #AfterschoolNJ news brought to you by #NJSACC - 9/6/19
Nature Conservancy News
News from NWF
August Green Strides Newsletter
NWF: Birds Love Berries
CWFNJ: Itchy bites got you down? Bats help control mosquitoes!
Meet the EE 30 Under 30 Class of 2019
eNews: What Can a Woodpecker Tell Us About Forest Fires?
Vote for GSNN to Present at SXSW EDU 2020!
NWF: An Opossum Quiz and Extra Buzzworthy Content
C&NN News & Links
EPA releases new booklet to help houses of worship identify and reduce environmental health hazards             (Posted: 10-17-19)

  EPA releases new booklet to help houses of worship identify and reduce environmental health hazards

Booklet focuses on keeping children safe and healthy where they worship

WASHINGTON (October 2, 2019) — In accordance with Children’s Health Month, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the release of a new EPA booklet, Supporting Healthy Houses of Worship: Effective, Affordable Measures to Protect the Health of Congregations and Staff, on a call today with faith-based leaders across the country. This booklet is designed to provide places of worship with information on actions they can take to reduce environmental health risks, with a special emphasis on children’s health, as children are particularly vulnerable to many environmental risks.

“Churches and houses of worship play a vital role in American society, and we are providing them with voluntary recommendations for effective and affordable measures to protect the health of their congregations and staff,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This booklet is an important part of EPA’s efforts during Children’s Health Month to highlight all our programs and resources available to protect children where they live, learn and play.”

The booklet is designed to identify some of the most common types of environmental health concerns (e.g., lead, mercury, mold/moisture, radon exposures, etc.) found in older facilities and contains voluntary recommendations that maintenance staff may use to limit risks to congregations. It also provides one-stop access to learn some facts about these issues and existing low-cost or no-cost measures to prevent, reduce and resolve each of the highlighted environmental issues.

To view the booklet:

To learn more about EPA’s activities and programs that support environmental education, visit:

US EPA, Office of Public Engagement, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460 United States

OCSCD News & Events - September             (Posted: 10-11-19)

September 2019
In 2018, through funding from the Barnegat Bay Partnership, OCSCD offered 10 lucky homeowners residing in the Barnegat Bay watershed intensive training to learn about and utilize the tools and resources offered on the Jersey-Friendly Yards website to plan, design, and implement a Jersey-Friendly garden in their own yards. Be inspired by their garden creations!
Water Conservation
When it rains, this homeowner's sandy front lawn used to erode and wash away. She used the tools and resources on the Jersey-Friendly Yards website to create a rain garden that captures the runoff from the downspout, redirecting the water back into the ground. These actions help conserve precious water resources and help replenish New Jersey's underground aquifer. Lisa used the Jersey-Friendly Plant Database to select plants that can tolerate standing water for short periods of time, but also withstand periods of drought.
Once the new rain garden was installed, the results were immediate. During the next rain event, the garden captured the excess runoff and the newly planted Jersey-Friendly flowers and shrubs soaked in the water like a sponge!
The following year, the homeowner's Jersey-Friendly rain garden is lush and happy! The plant list includes: Chelone glabra, Echinacea purpurea, Polygontum biflorum, Rudbeckia fulgida, Callicarpa americana, Photinia melanocarpa and Asclepias tuberosa
A Pollinator's Paradise
As a Master Gardener specializing in "bugs", this homeowner knew that butterflies and other pollinating insects have complex lifecycles. Butterflies begin life as a caterpillar. She also knew that caterpillars were very picky eaters! Each species of caterpillar will only eat a few different plant species - and if those plants are not available, the caterpillar will starve. For example: no milkweed, no Monarchs! The challenge for this homeowner was finding space in her yard to create her garden. She used the 8 Steps to a Jersey-Friendly Yard tool on the Jersey-Friendly Yards website to learn how to convert her lawn into a supermarket meadow for butterflies and other pollinators. She used the Jersey-Friendly Plant Database to find out the names of the pollinator specific plants that would be a host to various butterfly caterpillars. Her result - less lawn to mow, more food for butterfly caterpillars!
The Jersey-Friendly Plant Database generated a list of pollinator specific plants that would be a host to various butterflies and caterpillars. These include: Asclepias tuberosa, Solidago sp., Physocarpus opulifolius, Ceanothus americanus, Asclepias syriaca.
With less lawn to mow, the homeowner saves time, money and labor. The result is a beautiful yard that's friendly to people and wildlife. Use the Jersey-Friendly Yards website to create your own Pollinator Paradise
Join Us for our 3rd Annual
Jersey-Friendly Yards Conference
"Putting Your Jersey-Friendly Yard Into Practice"

Join Ocean County Soil Conservation District, Barnegat Bay Partnership and Rutgers Cooperative Extension for a full day of workshops, exhibitors, native plant sales, lunch, and two inspirational Keynote Speakers: Bruce Crawford, Director of Rutgers Gardens and Pat Sutton, renowned naturalist and author. Our 3rd Annual Jersey-Friendly Yards Conference will be held on October 19, 2019, from 9:00am-4:00pm, at Ocean County College's Gateway Building. The event will start at 9:00am for sign-in and morning refreshments. The Conference begins promptly at 9:30am. Lunch is included in the $35 ticket price. Purchase your ticket now, as seating is limited.

10 Ways To...             (Posted: 10-10-19)

Click Here!

CWFNJ: Meet the 2019 Women & Wildlife Honorees             (Posted: 10-10-19)

Meet the 2019 Women & Wildlife Honorees

Join us on Wednesday, November 13 at 6:00 p.m. at the Coach Barn at Duke Farms in Hillsborough, New Jersey, for the 14th Annual Women & Wildlife Awards and Silent Auction. We will be honoring five outstanding female leaders for their contributions to wildlife conservation.
Dr. Nellie Tsipoura, Senior Research Scientist, Director of Citizen Science
New Jersey Audubon Society
Dr. Tsipoura has over 25 years of experience in bird ecology, behavior, and population biology. She excels in creating partnerships and innovative plans to address conservation needs for New Jersey's urban birds. Highlights of her research include the role of people, contaminants and environmental forces, such as storms and erosion, on shorebirds and colonial nesting birds.
Wilma Frey, Senior Policy Manager, NJ Conservation Foundation
Wilma Frey has four decades of environmental and planning advocacy experience. She has worked with the NJ Conservation Foundation for almost three decades and has been instrumental to the successful passage of the state's Highland's Water Protection and Planning Act. She currently chairs the NJ Highlands Land Preservation Committee and works with the New Jersey Highlands Coalition on planning and environmental policy, as well as government relations, communications and community organizing.
Gretchen Fowles, GIS Specialist and Biologist, NJDEP Endangered and Nongame Species Program
In her 15 years with the NJDEP Endangered and Nongame Species Program Gretchen Fowles has used her education in wildlife biology and GIS mapping to help many species. Among her many accomplishments are spearheading the Connecting Habitat Across New Jersey (CHANJ) initiative that makes landscapes and roadways friendlier to wildlife movement, introducing genetic diversity to the state's only known population of Allegheny Woodrats and overseeing the comeback of New Jersey's bobcats.

Giselle Smisko, Director Avian Wildlife Center
Giselle Chazotte Smisko has been actively involved in wildlife rehabilitation since 1979, specializing in avian rehabilitation for the past three decades. As the founding Director of the Avian Wildlife Center in Sussex County, New Jersey, she leads over 100 programs every year, sharing her passion for and knowledge of wildlife rehabilitation with thousands of people. She has rehabilitated thousands of injured and young birds, participated in research projects, studied West Nile Virus and pesticide poisoning in birds, established conservation programs and been the Chief Cage Cleaner for the Center.

Dorothy Manera, Senior Special Agent, US Fish and Wildlife Service
Dorothy 'Dede' Manera is a world renowned conservation officer with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Over the course of her 25-plus years as a Senior Special Agent, she used her investigative talents in service to New Jersey native species as well as exotic wildlife who were trafficked in our state. She has been part of an elite, undercover team of officers, testified before Congress, and selflessly dedicated her time to mentoring young conservation officers.

Have questions about the event or want to learn about sponsorship opportunities? Please contact:

Liz Silvernail, Director of Development by email or at 609-292-3707

Beyond Farm to School: Creating Sustainable School Food Systems             (Posted: 10-10-19)

Click HERE.

Read the Fall 2019 Issue of Green Schools Catalyst Quarterly             (Posted: 10-10-19)

Click HERE.

Liberty State Park's The Green Oasis Fall 2019 Edition             (Posted: 10-10-19)

Click HERE.

October Littoral News             (Posted: 10-10-19)

Click HERE.

TNC - October: Nature News             (Posted: 10-10-19)

Click HERE.

C&NNNews             (Posted: 10-10-19)

Reserve your spot for our next webinar: Cities Enhancing Public Spaces with Nature Play Webinar
This Week's International News Roundup
September 2019 Children & Nature Network Research Digest
This Week's International News Roundup
This Week's International News Roundup

News from National Wildlife Federation             (Posted: 10-10-19)

Cozy up to the campfire this fall
Fall Beauties for Wildlife
Leave the Leaves
Take the Eco-Schools USA #ClimateAction Pledge

News from Pocono Env. Educ. Center             (Posted: 10-10-19)

Autumn Newsletter - Animal Myths, River Stories, and More!
Winter at PEEC!
Fall in Love with Fall!

NWF: Schoolyard Habitats and Saving Songbirds             (Posted: 9-18-19)

Click HERE.

Join Us at the Sustainable Jersey Annual Luncheon!             (Posted: 9-18-19)

Click HERE.

TNC: Announcing the winners of our 2019 Photo Contest             (Posted: 9-18-19)

Click HERE.

eNews: Get to Know the Hawks of Your Backyard With Our New Poster             (Posted: 9-12-19)

Click HERE.

CWFNJ: Explorations September E-News 2019             (Posted: 9-12-19)

September 2019
Bayshore Adventure Program Inspires Love of Wildlife,
Sparks Interest in Conservation Careers
Getting kids excited about a career in science is no walk in the park, but thanks to the Bayshore Adventure Program, it is a week at the marina.

Conserve Wildlife Foundation, the State Parks Department and the Leonardo State Marina welcomed 40 Monmouth County 8-11 year olds to the Bayshore Adventure Program last month. The program gives kids the chance to peek into the lives of a variety of science-based professionals through exciting, hands-on activities that foster exploration and discovery of the natural world. 

Special thanks to OceanFirst Foundation for providing scholarships for many of the kids!

Photos From the Field: Ospreys Nest on Abandoned Crab Pot
An end of season survey turned up a surprise for Habitat Manager, Ben Wurst - a previously unknown nest built atop an abandoned crab pot!

Taking a closer look, Ben found a five week old nestling was on the ground. Knowing that the young bird wouldn't survive if it wasn't placed back in the nest (adults don’t feed young if they fall to the ground), he returned the youngster to the nest alongside its sibling, giving the bird the best chance at survival.

Both young birds were banded and we hope to hear of future sightings of both siblings.

EarthShare NJ's Earth Care Day
at Cheesequake State Park

Sunday, October 13, 11 AM to 3 PM

Join CWF at this free family friendly day featuring environmental experiences that raise awareness of the air, water, land and wildlife around us. We'll be busting myths about bats in our presentation Bats: Creatures of the Night at Earth Care Day 2019!

In case you missed it!
?CWF news, social media and blog posts from around the world wild web.
What Trump administration's changes to Endangered Species Act could mean for New Jersey
 “As the most densely populated state, we face challenges as great as any state in the country,” said David Wheeler, executive director of the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

Osprey Soars in New Mural at Ship Bottom Hotel
Many thanks to Evan Lovett, Co-Founder and Creative Director of V.U.R.T (Visual Urban Renewal & Transformation)! Evan created this amazing osprey mural to help spread the word about CWF's work on The Osprey Project.

"They (CWF) are your neighbors. They are constantly fundraising, and they need public support in order to do what they do, to build platforms and maintain nesting pairs, and make sure this remains a home for ospreys."

Plovers and People: An Essential Union
Over the past five years, CWF has worked with the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge to help monitor and manage their breeding piping plovers and other beach nesting birds.

Refuge Manager Virginia Rettig recently penned this blog about the plight of these endangered shorebirds, and we think she perfectly captured why we need to protect them.

NJ Tree Foundation: Our Fall 2019 Newsletter is here!             (Posted: 9-9-19)

Fall 2019 Newsletter
The Luis Munoz Marin School made t-shirts to celebrate the planting; volunteers are seen here wearing them and standing proudly by their tree.
The NJ Tree Foundation is gearing up for another busy season this fall. All tree plantings are listed below, and are open to the public unless listed as a closed event. Events run on Satudays from 9am-12pm, unless otherwise indicated. Water, tools, and training will be provided at all events. Families welcome!
Renaissance Trees Program
Volunteers from Impact100 Essex celebrated Mother's Day by planting trees.
The Renaissance Trees Program is ready to plant this fall! The full schedule is listed below. All events are family-friendly. Scouts, school groups, and other organizations welcome. To volunteer for an event, contact Crystal Wessel at or call 609-439-1755.

Fall 2019 Renaissance Trees Program Schedule:

10/1 - Oscan E. McClinton Park, Atlantic City - 34 trees (closed event)
10/3 - Build Jake's Place, 12 Hartford Rd, Delran - 20 trees (9:30-12:30)
10/8 - Liberty State Park, Jersey City - 37 trees (closed event)
10/18 - West Side Park, Newark - 34 trees (closed event)
10/26 - Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 208 Broadway, Newark - 12 trees
11/9 - First Baptist Church, 400 Monmouth St, Gloucester City - 10 trees
11/23 - Forest Hill, 838 Degraw St, Newark - 11 trees

For more information about these plantings, please visit our website.
Urban Airshed Reforestation Program
Volunteers big and small pitch in to plant a tree along the 600 block of York Street this spring.
The Fall 2019 season is here! All events are from 10am-1pm unless otherwise noted. Volunteers of all ages are welcome. For more information or to RSVP for an event, please contact Meredith at or call 856-287-4488.

Fall 2019 Urban Airshed Reforestation Program Schedule:

9/28 -Cramer Hill Nature Preserve 3323 Farragut Ave Camden-10am-1pm-10 trees
10/5 -Gateway Park part 1 2896 Admiral Wilson Blvd Pennsauken Twp- 10am-1pm-50 trees
10/16 OR 10/17 -Shane Chapman Memorial Park 75 Park Ave Gloucester City-9am-12pm-11 trees
10/19 -Gateway Park part 2 2896 Admiral Wilson Bvd Pennsauken Twp-10am-1pm-50 trees
10/26 -Mt. Sinai Church, 621 Kaighn Ave Camden-9am-12pm-12 trees
11/9 -First Baptist Church, 400 Monmouth St Gloucester City-9am-12pm-10 trees

For more information about our South Jersey plantings, please visit our website.
Green Streets Program Update
The Green Streets crew stands beside their recently planted tree.
Hire our Green Streets crew to plant trees, construct rain gardens, or prune, mulch, and water your existing trees! We are currently accepting bids for the fall season. Please submit bid packages to Lisa Simms at

Learn more about our Green Streets Program on our website.
Gifts in Lieu of Flowers
Flowers on a Kousa Dogwood tree.
Tribute and memorial gifts offer a meaningful way of honoring a loved one, family member, or colleague. Celebrate a special occasion, honor a memory, or pay tribute to someone special by making a tax-deductible gift to the NJ Tree Foundation that will make an immediate impact on New Jersey’s environment. Donors will receive a letter of acknowledgement, along with the option of having a card sent to the honoree or relevant family members.
Submit your Shovel-Ready Projects!
Dogwoods planted in Rahway to create a memorial park.
The NJ Tree Foundation is looking for shovel-ready project ideas. These are projects where tree locations and numbers have already been determined but the only thing missing is funding. The NJ Tree Foundation will work with applicants to find and apply for grants for the project and, if awarded, will partner with them to organize and conduct the planting with volunteers. Projects can be located anywhere in New Jersey and should have a minimum of 20 trees.

Please check out out Shovel-Ready Project Page for more information and to fill out an application. We look forward to hearing your ideas!
Thank you to our fall funders!
If you would like to help support our work, please make a donation here.
NJ Tree Foundation |

RH: Birds, Bikes, Kayaks and Clydesdales             (Posted: 9-9-19)

September 2019
We're Having a Party!
In case you haven't heard, 2019 marks RHA's 60th year protecting the watershed. Guests at our Sept. 21 anniversary celebration will enjoy cocktails, food by BEX Eatery and Metropolitan Seafood, music by Maribyrd and a live auction. Get your tickets here.  

For more information, contact Blake Putnam at 908-234-1852, ext. 320 or
Help Us Reach Our Goal
Tap into Our Community Well Testing Program
Do you know what's in your water? RHA partners each spring and fall with municipalities throughout the watershed to offer residents an opportunity to test their well water. Here's the schedule of where and when you can pick up a test kit this fall.

Residents on public water are also encouraged to test for lead. Learn more about our well testing program.
Join Us on the River
The last of our river paddles for 2019 will take place this month. The 4th South Branch River Sojourn, hosted by RHA and Appalachian Mountain Club is set for Sept. 7. Registration is required.
Our final open paddle of the season will be held on Sept. 15 on the South Branch Raritan River in Clinton. Register in advance or drop by for a first-come, first-served opportunity to paddle these gentle waters in one of RHA's kayaks. Donations are appreciated.
Did You Hear? Country Fair Is Back in Town!
Load up the car with your favorite people and head on over to Fairview Farm for some fall fun at our 40th annual Old Fashioned Country Fair, October 13, rain or shine

Thank You for Your Kind and Generous Support
RHA works hard to protect water in our rivers, our streams and our homes. But we don't do it alone. Heartfelt thanks go out to our strong member base. Without you, we could not be the effective watershed watchdog we've been these past 60 years! 
The continued support of our members is critical to RHA's vision that everyone within our reach has access to clean, safe and for the future. So please, renew or join today!
On the Watchdog Front

RHA's Director of Policy Bill Kibler has been nominated by NJ Governor Phil Murphy to the Highlands Council, a 15-member appointed body tasked with implementation of the New Jersey Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act of 2004. Read more.

Please join us in congratulating Bill on this well-deserved appointment. His commitment to advocating for sound environmental conservation policy decisions and legislation in NJ will undoubtedly enhance the important work of the Council.
Did You Know?

Naturalist Alan Rennie, who leads our Monday morning birding walks, has compiled an impressive list of 160 bird species sighted on Fairview Farm between May 25, 2016, and May 25, 2019, along with E-bird records dating back to 1991. Read more.

View the "Birds of Fairview Farm Checklist" here or stop by the Farm and pick up a pocket guide.
Events and Happenings

Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to Raritan Headwaters.
Just start with and choose Raritan Headwaters Association as your charity. Think how much you'll be helping our mission simply by shopping at!
Raritan Headwaters, a nonprofit conservation organization, protects clean water in the North Branch and South Branch regions of the Raritan River, serving the residents of 38 municipalities within Morris, Somerset and Hunterdon Counties and beyond to include more than 1.5 million people who live and work in New Jersey's more urban areas.

September Littoral News             (Posted: 9-9-19)

Click HERE.

Check out the latest Water Pages eNewsletter!             (Posted: 9-9-19)

August 2019
Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) and Stormwater Management
On Tuesday, August 20th, Dr. Obropta participated in a forum on HABs that was hosted by the Lake Mohawk Preservation Foundation in Sparta, NJ and jointly sponsored by the New Jersey Highlands Coalition, the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, and the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC).  Dr. Steven Souza started the evening speaking about Harmful Algal Blooms: Why do they occur, and how do we control them?  Since phosphorus from stormwater runoff was identified as a significant cause of HABs, Dr. Obropta provided an overview on various stormwater management practices that could be used to reduce phosphorus loading from stormwater runoff to lakes.  James Cosgrove rounded out the presentations with a discussion about funding opportunities for addressing the HAB problem such as stormwater utilities.  After the presentations, there was a 90-minute question and answer session with lots of great questions from the audience.  It was a productive evening, and a great deal of information was shared by both the speakers and audience.

Here is a link to the New Jersey Highlands Coalition website where you can see the three PowerPoint presentations that were given: 

If you were not one of the 300 people who attended this forum, it was recorded and is available at, or you can wait to see it live.  Plans are currently underway to hold the same forum at Greenwood Lake and at Mountain Lakes in the near future!

RCE Water Resources Program partners with the New Jersey Highlands Council to complete regional stormwater management planning for 27 municipalities
The New Jersey Highlands Council just awarded the RCE Water Resources Program a grant to complete green infrastructure plans for 27 municipalities in the Highlands portion of Watershed Management Area 8 — North and South Branch Raritan.  Over the next 12 months, impervious cover assessments (ICAs), impervious cover reduction action plans (RAPs), and green infrastructure (GI) feasibility studies will be completed for all 27 municipalities.  These plans characterize the impervious cover of each municipality on a subwatershed basis and identify opportunities for installing green infrastructure to reduce the impacts of stormwater runoff.  Since the information in each of these municipal green infrastructure plans is prepared on a subwatershed basis, information for subwatersheds can be combined from the municipal plans to summarize recommendations for subwatersheds (e.g., HUC 14 basis).  This will provide the foundation for regional planning to address many stormwater issues.  Many of these municipalities are in the Sustainable Jersey program and can earn points to their accreditation for both green infrastructure planning and implementation.  The RCE Water Resources Program will work closely with the New Jersey Highlands Council to engage municipalities throughout this rapid planning process and to help them implement recommendations from the plans.
Municipal Action Teams' Green Infrastructure Initiative Updates
Camden SMART (Stormwater Management and Resource Training): The next monthly meeting is postponed until Wednesday, September 11th at 10:30AM.

Gloucester City Green Team met on August 14th. The group is going to have a school contest to develop a logo for the group which will be awarded at the September 28th Cultural Arts Festival. Construction of the rain garden at the Gloucester City Water Department is scheduled for the end of August. The water department and NJ Tree Foundation will excavate and shape the garden, and students and local volunteers will be involved to help with planting the garden. Locations for tree plantings throughout the city were discussed for Shane Chapman Park, Brown Street, and other areas. The group also continued discussing the Sustainable Jersey certification application. The next monthly meeting is scheduled for September 14th at 1PM at the Gloucester City Municipal Building.

Harrison TIDE (Transforming, Infrastructure and Defending our Environment): The next monthly meeting is postponed until September 12th at 2PM at Harrison Town Hall.

Jersey City START (Stormwater Treatment and Resiliency Team) members met on Thursday August 8th at the JCMUA office and received a presentation from Arcadis on the draft report of the Evaluation of Alternatives plan that was recently submitted to the NJDEP. The group is planning public meetings for the fall to receive comments from the public on the details of the CSO Long Term Control Plan. The Division of City Planning is also rolling out their Flood Overlay Zones and will be holding a public meeting on Wednesday, August 28th at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel on 99 Broadway at 6:30 PM. The next START meeting will be September 12th at the JCMUA at 10 AM.

Newark DIG (Doing Infrastructure Green) held a conference call in lieu of the regularly scheduled August meeting on August 27th. Comments and questions were discussed and recorded for submission to NJDEP (New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection) regarding the Development and Evaluation of Alternatives Report for the CSO (Combined Sewer Overflow) Long Term Control Plan. The Newark Green Infrastructure Reformers and City of Newark Office of Sustainability shared that 40 catch basins were adopted, 10 catch basins were painted, and over 20 local businesses participated in the Adopt a Catch Basin Program. The Urban League of Essex County will begin installing green infrastructure in the fall of 2019 as a part of the Fairmount Model Block Project. New Jersey Tree Foundation will be hosting two public tree plantings in Newark in the coming months. For additional information and upcoming public meetings about the LTCP and CSO issues, visit the webpage of Newark DIG. Newark DIG meetings are held at 11:00 AM on the fourth Tuesday of every month in Newark City Hall.

Paterson SMART (Stormwater Management and Resource Training) members and community members met on August 22nd in the Great Falls Youth Center at 5:30 PM and reviewed the alternatives outlined in the Development and Evaluation of Alternatives for the CSO Long Term Control Plan. SMART members also received comments and concerns from the members of the community in attendance. Community members expressed interest in the green infrastructure projects at schools throughout the city and suggested that the educational aspects of these programs can be expanded to include more parents. A rain garden was constructed at Paterson Public School 7 on August 26th and will be planted by students in the fall, where SMART members will engage the students and parents to further CSO and stormwater education efforts. The next meeting time and location are TBD but will be an evening meeting held in Ward 3. 

Perth Amboy SWIM (Stormwater Infrastructure Management) members met on Wednesday August 21st in the Perth Amboy Fire Department building and continued to discuss methods for engaging the community to promote green infrastructure projects throughout the city. The group also discussed finalizing comments for the recently submitted Development and Evaluation of Alternatives for the CSO Long Term Control Plan. Efforts to install downspout planter boxes at City Hall have been halted due to the structure's historical significance, and the group is determining alternate locations for cisterns/downspout planter boxes in the city. The next SWIM meeting will be on September 19th at 6PM, location TBD. 

Trenton Green Infrastructure Partners (TGIP) members met in conjunction with the Trenton Green Team on Tuesday, August 20th and discussed ongoing green infrastructure projects in the city. A rain garden has been installed at the Joyce Kilmer Middle School, and TGIP members will be working with the students in the fall to plant the garden. Members of the group are working with the City to form a complete streets ordinance, which would prioritize green street development. The group is also working with the Tri-State Transportation Campaign on their upcoming Ciclovia event on September 21st from 10 AM-4PM. The next TGIP meeting will be held at 3PM on either September 16th or 26th at the Isles Tucker Street offices, date TBD.

What's going on at New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium?             (Posted: 9-9-19)

COASTodian | Summer 2019
At New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium, the busy summer season officially comes to an end sometime in mid-August, when the sounds of lively banter and hasty footsteps slowly fade away from the bustling hallways.

But that doesn’t mean we’re slowing down anytime soon! “Fall back” into the swing of things with NJSGC in this latest edition of the COASTodian newsletter. 
Congratulations to Michael Acquafredda (Rutgers University), Victoria Luu (Princeton University), and Brittany Schieler (Rutgers University) for being accepted into the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program for 2020.

Of the 69 inductees representing 27 of the 34 Sea Grant programs nationwide, we are proud to report that these three individuals were accepted as representatives of New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium.

Read more here.
Did you miss this year's "Favorite Beaches" ceremony held at Music Pier in Ocean City, NJ? View NJSGC's full list of winners here!

NJSGC also held a Jersey Shore photo contest, with winning entries to be featured in the 2020 downloadable desktop calendar. Check it out!

C&NN News             (Posted: 9-9-19+)

August 2019 Children & Nature Network Research Digest
This Week's International News Roundup
The Latest from New Nature Movement Guest Writers
This Week's International News Roundup
Reserve your spot for our next webinar: Cities Engaging Youth as Nature Advocates
This Week's International News Roundup

Check out this week's #AfterschoolNJ news brought to you by #NJSACC - 9/6/19             (Posted: 9-9-19)

Join us on Tues Oct 29th for Safety for All: A Blueprint for Schools and Outside Agencies Working Together
Click here to download the full announcement (PDF)
Click here to learn more and register
School emergency preparedness and training should be all-inclusive of any staff members who work on a school site with youth during school and out-of-school hours, including after-school, before school, weekends and summer. Staff working with students, pre-K to Grade 12, whether employed by the school/district or another public or non-public entity, should be provided training that gives them the necessary tools and resources to keep all children safe in times of trauma, crises and/or natural disasters. This training session will provide guidance in partnering and collaborating with the host school to align with existing school emergency preparedness plans.

Click here to download the full announcement (PDF)
Click here to learn more and register
New Jersey's Annual Conference on Afterschool is set for November 2019!

The 2019 conference, Level Up Afterschool!, celebrates long-term success in the ever-changing landscape of Afterschool, S.T.E.A.M. and Expanded Learning.

The conference, taking place on Friday and Saturday, November 22nd and 23rd, features over 50 workshops aimed at improving the quality of afterschool programs.

Registration for the conference will be online only.  The brochure will be launched after Labor Day 2019.

Workshops fill up quickly so register early!

Conference Fees:
2 days - $283
1 Day - $173

Conference Location and Accommodations:
The Marriott Princeton Hotel and Conference Center at Forrestal 
100 College Road East, Princeton, NJ  08540

Room Rates:  $129 per night
Reservations must be made by individual attendees directly with Marriott Reservations at 800-228-9290 or 609-452-7800

Room reservations must be made on or before Friday, November 8, 2019

When you call, make sure to mention the NJSACC Conference and the dates of the conference in order to receive the conference rate.


While we at NJSACC love children and they are a driving force behind the work we do, children may not attend the conference. The conference is a professional development opportunity for adults, and as such, we respectfully request that you take this time to focus on you. If you do bring children, we must insist that you make other arrangements during conference hours.

This conference is funded in part by the:
  • NJ Department of Human Services, Division of Family Development as part of a Federal CCDF Block Grant Earmark
  • Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended (Title IV, Part B of No Child Left Behind), 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant funds awarded to the NJ Department of Education


This event would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors.

IEEE Photonics Society

The IEEE Photonics Society is the professional home for a global network of scientists and engineers who represent the laser, optoelectronics and photonics community, within the parent IEEE. The Society provides its members with professional growth opportunities, publishes journals, sponsors conferences and supports local chapter and student activities around the world. This includes K-12 STEM, teacher instructions and pre-university outreach. 


Founded in 1884, the IEEE is the largest technical, professional association in the world, dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. IEEE and its 430,000 members inspire a global community through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and educational activities. 

This includes TryEngineering, powered by the IEEE, that aims to encourage educators to foster the next generation of technology innovators. The IEEE provides educators and students with resources, lesson plans, and activities that engage and inspire.
It Pays to Serve Afterschool Meals!
Click here to learn more
The USDA just released the 2019-2020 CACFP reimbursement rates For At-Risk Afterschool Snack/Supper, the new meal rates rose 3%, rising from $3.31/meal to $3.41/meal, while snack rates increased by 3.3%, from $.91 to .$94.  All the more reason to apply for CACFP reimbursement funding and put meals on the table for kids.

For more information about the CACFP Afterschool Meals Program, please visit the NJ Food for Thought Coalition website.

Click here to learn more
Is Your Afterschool Program Ready in Case of Emergency?
Click here to learn more
Writing your emergency plan can seem daunting.  Child Care Aware of America has developed free resources to help you write your emergency plan.  These resource guides cover all kinds of emergencies ranging from winter weather to flooding. Please visit the Child Care Aware website to learn more.

Click here to learn more
Whole Kids Foundation Bee Grant allows for #AfterschoolNJ to receive support for educational bee hives!
Click here to learn more and apply!
Bee Grant
The Bee Grant program allows for schools and non-profit organizations to receive support for educational bee hives, so students can observe bees up close and learn about the vital role these pollinators play in our food system.

Monetary Grant or Equipment Grant

K-12 Schools or Non-Profit Organizations in the U.S./Canada


About the Program
The Bee Grant program allows for a K-12 school or non-profit organization to receive support for an educational bee hive.

Four Grant Options
  1. Monetary Grant of $1,500 to support the success of a honey bee hive educational program
  2. Observation hive: equipment grant of a custom-made indoor observation hive from The Bee Cause Project.
  3. Traditional Langstroth Hive: equipment grant an outdoor hive with Starter Kit
  4. Top Bar Hive: equipment grant of an outdoor top bar hive with Starter Kit
All equipment grants include a small monetary grant of $300 to cover the first year of expenses. Grant recipients also receive remote consultation and assistance with Beekeeper partnership from The Bee Cause Project.

For more information on each grant option, please read the Program Overview and Support Guide on The Bee Cause Project's Resources page.

Attend our webinars for more information about the application process and the best practices on getting your bees approved.
  • Our 2018 Webinars can be found here and here.
  • Wednesday, September 18, 2019 @ 3PM CST. Click here to register.
  • Tuesday, October 1, 2019 @ 11AM CST. Click here to register.
Click here to learn more and apply!
Negro Leagues Coming to Yogi Berra Museum - book your Fall trip today!
Click here to download the Education One Pager (PDF)
Click here to download the Negro Leagues One Pager (PDF)
As of September 18, 2019 we'll be introducing a brand new education program on RACE, THE GREAT MIGRATION and the NEGRO LEAGUES -- in conjunction with our brand new NEGRO LEAGUE installation -- directly on loan from the Negro League Museum in Kansas City! (Through School year 19-20 only).

We are particularly thrilled to think that students of color can see themselves represented on the walls of our Museum in such a way that puts them at the center of the story.

Field trip dates will fill up fast, so please let me know as soon as possible if you'd like some date options to bring your school. See attached for more info.

As always, our tried-and-true programs in STEM, POETRY/SPOKEN WORD and CHARACTER BUILDING continue to entertain and educate kids in new ways and are also available for trips in school year 19-20!

For more information and/or to book a trip contact:
Jenny Pollack, Education Director
Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center
cell: 718.974.3984
Museum: 973.655.2378;
Free KIND Snacks are Back: Lights On Afterschool!
Click here to learn more.
We're thrilled to announce that KIND is celebrating Lights On Afterschool
For a limited time, KIND is donating 150 free KIND Simple Crunch and KIND Kids snacks to programs for Lights On Afterschool celebrations. These went fast last year, and supplies are limited, so register now for Lights On Afterschool . You must complete the full registration form; offer available until supplies run out.
Daunted by the idea of holding an event? Check out our comprehensive Event Kit and searchable events database to find ideas that fit your interest, timeline, and expertise.
KIND's donation is part of the company's commitment to "make the world a little kinder." That mission also drove the creation of Empatico, a free research- and standards-based platform designed to help educators spark curiosity, kindness, and empathy. Empatico connects young people ages 6-11 with peers around the world. It's been named a Fast Company World Changing Idea and is being used by educators in 134+ countries and all 50 states. Get the details and sign up here to earn a $50 Amazon gift card for trying out Empatico.
Read KIND founder Daniel Lubetzky's blog  to learn why the company wants to recognize your work and Lights On Afterschool.
KIT needs your help!
Click here to get started.

KIT is researching inclusion in STEM/STEAM programs and we want to hear from you! If you are running any kind of STEM/STEAM programs or activities your experience will help us make sure kids of all abilities can access these programs. We'd really appreciate your participation.

Click the button below to start or continue the survey. It will take less than ten minutes to complete and your feedback is invaluable! Thank you for your time.

Click here to get started.
Administration Slashes Funding for Afterschool Programs
Click here and let your voice be heard!

Tell Congress: Don't eliminate afterschool!

President Trump's budget plan zeroes out federal afterschool funding for 2 million young people. Please take two minutes to tell your representatives in Congress to stand up for America's children, families, and afterschool options. The threat is real, but it's up to Congress to determine whether local afterschool and summer learning programs remain open or close their doors.

If the 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative is eliminated, many programs will not survive. With your help, Congress has twice rejected the proposed elimination. Take action now.

Share the link >

Click here and let your voice be heard!
Good news for child care, but more advocacy needed today!
Click here to learn more and help.
We did it! We passed the first hurdle!

Our voices were heard loud and clear! Yesterday, the New Jersey Legislature introduced its version of the state's proposed FY 2020 budget, which included an additional $9 million for the child care subsidy rate to help pay for the first increase in the minimum wage on July 1st. State leaders have already heard from nearly 1200 New Jerseyans who spoke up about the need for more child care funding. But our advocacy work is not done yet!

Now to the next hurdle.

Let's make sure the final budget includes this funding! During the next two weeks, Governor Murphy and the Legislature will be working to develop a final budget that both sides agree on.

Even if you have already called or emailed, we need you to take two more advocacy steps NOW:

Call/Write to thank legislative leadership:We need EVERYONE to call or email legislative leadership.Below is the contact information and a sample of what you can say when you call or write:

Senate President Stephen Sweeney
Phone: 856-251-9801 or 856-339-0808

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin
Phone: 732-855-7441


My name is _________________________ and I live in (Name of Town). I am reaching out to thank Senator Sweeney/Speaker Coughlin for adding $9 million to increase the child care subsidy rate and help child care programs pay for the first increase in the minimum wage. This funding is critical for these programs, so that they may remain open to care for more than 50,000 children whose families are eligible for the child care subsidy. Please make sure that this important funding remains in the final FY 2020 budget. Thank you.

Urge Governor Murphy to support the additional funding for child care. We also need you to reach out to Governor Murphy urging him to support the additional funding. You can click here to send Governor Murphy a message now or call his office at 609-292-6000. Below is a sample of what you can say when you call.


My name is _________________________ and I live in (Name of Town). I am reaching out to urge you to support the additional $9 million that was included in the proposed legislative budget for child care subsidies to help child care programs pay for the increase in the minimum wage set to go into effect on July 1st. This funding is critical for these programs, so that they may remain open to care for more than 50,000 children whose families are eligible for the child care subsidy. Please make sure that this important funding remains in the final FY 2020 budget. Thank you.

As we have said before, VOLUME MATTERS and every call/email is important! Please do not wait and do it today! If you have any questions, please contact Cynthia Rice at or at 973-643-3876. THANK YOU!
NJSACC's On The Road to Quality Webinar makes FREE eLearning a snap!
Click here to get started!

The New Jersey Quality Standards for Afterschool and the companion Self-Assessment Tool/Rating Form were specifically designed for New Jersey's afterschool and out-of-school time practitioners in an effort to continuously improve and maintain a quality program. The Self-Assessment Tool/Rating Form assesses program performance in each of the seven (7) categories of the Quality Standards. This training module, titled "On the Road to Quality," describes the layout and uses of the Self-Assessment Tool, the benefits of using a team approach, action planning for program improvement as well as additional resources and tools to aid you in your program assessment.

This fun and informative webinar includes text, videos, images, narration and a quiz to help you get on the road to quality!
  • This training can be taken at any time, 24/7.
  • A review quiz is given at the end of this training.
  • A certificate is issued at the completion of each training course.
  • Trainings are acceptable by the New Jersey Office of Licensing and the NJ Workforce Registry (formerly known as PINJ.)
  • Cost for this training is FREE.
Please follow these steps to sign up for the NJ Workforce Registry:
  1. Go to and click Log In in the upper right hand corner of the screen.
  2. On the next screen, click Register in the gray bar that asks if you are a new user.
  3. On the next screen fill in all the required information. It will ask you what you are requesting approval for. Please select the option that best describes your position. For afterschool providers either Director, ECE Assistant Teacher or ECE Teacher will be the best match. Then click Register in the lower right hand corner.
  4. You should receive an email to activate your account.
If you have a technical question about the NJ Workforce Registry, please call PCG at 1-877-522-1050 or email them at: .
For any other questions, please contact Jessica Heiberg, Director of Program Services, at: and 908-789-0259
Girls Who Code Seek New Free Afterschool Clubs in New Jersey
Click here to learn more (pdf)

Girls Who Code, a leading non-profit with the mission to close the gender gap in technology, offers free after-school Clubs for grades 3-12. There is no cost, no computer science experience is required, and we offer funding of $300 per Club that can be used for snacks and other items. To start a Club or for more information, visit: or contact our NJ coordinator, Eve Balick at: Our application for the 2019-20 school year is open now.

With 6,500 Clubs nationally and over 350 in NJ, Girls Who Code Clubs can be 3-5 grade Clubs or 6-12 grade Clubs. Our 3-5 grade Clubs are based on our books, which we provide for free, with optional online activities. To run our 6-12 grade Clubs, you need a host site (like a school, library, university, etc.), computers, internet and a facilitator (someone over 18 years old, no computer science experience necessary.) Students learn computer science skills with our online curriculum, gain exposure to women in technology careers, and work together on a project to impact their communities. We also offer an alumni job network for students after 11th grade called #HireMe.

Check out the following YouTube link:
NJSACC's Intro to NJ Quality Standards Webinar makes FREE eLearning a snap!
Click here to get started!

New Jersey's Quality Standards for Afterschool (NJQSA) is an excellent resource available to afterschool and out-of-school time programs and staff for use in quality program improvement and self-evaluation. The NJQSA and the accompanying tools use state-licensing childcare regulations to establish and implement high-quality program implementation.

This fun and informative webinar includes text, videos, images and narration to walk you through an introduction to New Jersey's Quality Standard's history, benefits and layout.
  • This training can be taken at any time, 24/7.
  • A review quiz is given at the end of this training.
  • A certificate is issued at the completion of each training course.
  • For those of you who need CEUs, CEUs are issued with each training.
  • Trainings are acceptable by the New Jersey Office of Licensing and the NJ Workforce Registry (formerly known as PINJ.)
  • Cost for this training is FREE.

Please follow these steps to sign up for the NJ Workforce Registry:
  1. Go to and click Log In in the upper right hand corner of the screen.
  2. On the next screen, click Register in the gray bar that asks if you are a new user.
  3. On the next screen fill in all the required information. It will ask you what you are requesting approval for. Please select the option that best describes your position. For afterschool providers either Director, ECE Assistant Teacher or ECE Teacher will be the best match. Then click Register in the lower right hand corner.
  4. You should receive an email to activate your account.
If you have a technical question about the NJ Workforce Registry, please call PCG at 1-877-522-1050 or email them at:
For any other questions, please contact Jessica Heiberg, Director of Program Services, at: and 908-789-0259
Legal Alert: NJ Clarifies Child Abuse Reporting Requirements and Increases Penalties for Failure to Report
Click here to learn more

New Jersey Nonprofits: New Jersey Clarifies Child Abuse Reporting Requirements and Increases Penalties for Failure to Report
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy recently signed into law amendments to the landmark 1971 law that imposes a mandatory obligation on any person who has reasonable cause to believe that an act of child abuse has been committed to immediately report the abuse to the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP, formerly DYFS). The amendments clarify that the child abuse reporting requirement includes instances of child sexual abuse.

The reporting requirement applies to any individual in New Jersey, including employees and volunteers of nonprofits. The DCPP maintains a central hotline, 1-877 NJ ABUSE, for reporting child abuse.

In addition to reporting child abuse to the DCPP, Pro Bono Partnership recommends that individuals report the abuse to the local police.

Any person who knowingly fails to make a mandatory report of child abuse to DCPP is guilty of a disorderly person offense, which carries a potential penalty of up to six months of imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. However, as a result of the amendments, any person who knowingly fails to make a mandatory report of child sexual abuse is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree, which carries a potential penalty of up to 18 months of imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

For more information on how and when to report child abuse, see the website of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families (NJDCF) at: Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey (PCANJ) also has helpful information on reporting requirements on its website at: In 2013, the NJDCF endorsed the following two PCANJ publications:
Pro Bono Partnership can assist eligible nonprofits with drafting abuse reporting guidelines for their employees and volunteers. For such assistance, please contact Alexandra E. Kilduff, Esq., at: 973-240-6955 ext. 305.

This document is provided as a general informational service to volunteers, clients, and friends of Pro Bono Partnership.  It should not be construed as, and does not constitute, legal advice on any specific matter, nor does distribution of this document create an attorney-client relationship.
SPAN Seeks Childcare Centers who have a Deaf or Hard of Hearing Child in their Program
Click here to learn more

NJ Deaf Mentor Program

SPAN's Early Hearing Detection & Intervention (EHDI) Mentoring & Family
Engagement Project's New Jersey Deaf Mentor Program is looking for childcare centers who have a Deaf or Hard of Hearing (D/HH) child in their program.

In collaboration with the childcare center and the family, SPAN will place an ASL
Deaf Language Associate with the center. The ASL Deaf Language Associate will support children with hearing loss and their families in the childcare setting.

What is an ASL Deaf Language Associate?
  • A Deaf adult with experience working with young children/babies/toddlers.
  • Has strong communication skills and is able to interact and develop rapport with children, adults in the daycare setting and the parents of the child.
  • Has advanced ASL Proficiency skills to provide a fluent language model for the child.
  • Provides supplementary services to support the child's educational plan.
  • Has knowledge of and participates in Deaf Community events.
  • Able to follow curriculum guidelines, maintain records, and submit regular reports.

ASL Deaf Language Associates will be required to attend initial and ongoing training sessions at the Marie Katzenbach School for the Deaf.

Please contact Pamela Aasen via email at:
NJ Workforce Registry: Let your voice be heard in this survey!
Click here to begin.

The opportunity to complete this survey regarding your experience utilizing the registry for professional development and scholarship opportunities is coming to you since you are more than likely a registered member within the NJ Workforce Registry. You are invited to complete the survey using the link below.

The following survey will require a maximum of 8 minutes to complete and all information will remain confidential. Please answer all questions as accurately as possible. Participation is strictly voluntary.

If you require additional information or have questions, please contact Jay Joshi, Executive Director of the NJ Workforce Registry at:

Thank you, in advance, for your participation. Your voice matters!

Click here to begin.
The Afterschool Tech Toolkit aims to empower afterschool professionals and educators!

The Afterschool Tech Toolkit aims to empower afterschool professionals and educators with strategies and training so they can provide students with powerful access to technology outside of classroom hours.

This toolkit is for those who lead or oversee out-of-school time programming in various settings including schools, community-based organizations, private organizations, churches, libraries and homeless shelters.

Click here to learn more!
Are you looking for new ways to teach kids about math and science?
Click here to learn more!

Are you looking for new ways to teach kids about math and science? Do you want activities that meet you where you live, whether your "classroom" is an active volcano, the shark tank at the local aquarium, or your own kitchen table? You've come to the right place. howtosmile is a collection of the best educational materials on the web, in addition to learning tools and services - all designed especially for those who teach school-aged kids in non-classroom settings.

SMILE was launched in 2010, by a group of science museums dedicated to bringing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) out of the academic cloister and into the wider world. Our organizations are resource hubs for educational programs that involve people of all ages and backgrounds. The founding partners of howtosmile were the Lawrence Hall of Science, the Exploratorium, the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Children's Museum of Houston, and the New York Hall of Science.
Important Notice from NJ Dept of Children and Families
Click here to read the announcement!

New Jersey law requires individuals in certain employment categories and volunteer capacities to undergo Child Abuse Record Information (CARI) background check with the state Department of Children and Families (DCF). Beginning February 1, 2019, DCF will launch an electronic system to allow programs to request, pay for, and receive results of CARI checks. The Department will begin to phase out paper-based CARI applications after February 1, 2019.

This new system will be accessible through the My New Jersey portal, a secure website maintained by the State of New Jersey. All programs that are statutorily required to conduct CARI background checks of employees and prospective employees must create My New Jersey accounts at:

The website for the CARI application will be, but will not be accessible until February 1, 2019. When registering your facility, you will need to enter your Center Identification Number and your unique PIN to create your program's account to submit electronic CARI requests.

The new system will allow participants to maintain an individual account, check the status of submitted applications, and store payment information. Through this system, employees will be able to complete the electronic CARI check application onsite, or through an emailed link that expires in two weeks. All completed CARI checks will be returned through the electronic system, as well.

The fee for CARI applications for specific programs will increase to $15, inclusive of a processing fee, with the implementation of this electronic system, but it is expected that it will save time and resources. To help with this transition, the Department will be providing training, through webinars, in the coming weeks. Thank you for your continued partnership and for working with the Department to keep families safe, healthy and connected.


Clinton Page, Esq.
Director of Legal Affairs
Department of Children and Families

New Jersey Is An Equal Opportunity Employer
Auburn University Study: What Motivates Out-of-School Educators to Implement STEM?
Click here to get started and fill out the survey!

While much of the current research focuses on new curricula and strategies to engage students in STEM, there is very little research on what motivates both in-school and out-of-school educators to implement STEM and what increases their confidence in their ability to do so.

Due to the lack of consensus on the definition of inter-related, cross disciplinary STEM education or how to implement truly integrated STEM learning, Afterschool professionals are left feeling confused and lack motivation and confidence to implement STEM in their Afterschool programs. Informing and supporting educators on how to implement integrated STEM correctly and confidently is an essential first step to engaging students in STEM.

Currently, there are no instruments with evidence of validity to gauge motivation and self-efficacy of Afterschool educators specifically focusing on STEM engagement. Until educators become comfortable with guiding their students through the engineering design process, they will be less motivated to plan and implement quality STEM activities.

Therefore, investigating motivation and self-efficacy of Afterschool staff can inform future professional development design and implementation. With such a high emphasis on providing integrated STEM in the out-of-school time, stakeholders, policy makers, and educators should be aware of the foundation of providing maximum learning opportunities in STEM which is teacher motivation and self-efficacy. Therefore, this research has the ability to inform practitioners, stakeholders, researchers, and policymakers about how to motivate Afterschool program staff to effectively provide integrated STEM learning with confidence. Such evidence will help solidify Afterschool STEM learning, as a non-negotiable component of the equation for student STEM education.
Bear Education Seminars & Resources Offered
Click here to learn more!

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish and Wildlife offers "Know the Bear Facts" educational seminars for residents to learn practical information about coexisting with black bears. Bears have been sighted in all 21 of New Jersey's counties so it is important for residents throughout the state, including those within urban areas and southern Counties, to know the facts about them.

"Know the Bear Facts" education seminars are free of charge and available to municipalities, schools, homeowner associations, civic and environmental organizations and a variety of other audiences.

Program attendees learn all about the history and biology of the Garden State's largest land mammal, black bear research, and get common-sense tips on how to react if a black bear is encountered. The seminar also provides simple precautions that residents should take to discourage bears from entering a property, and how to react if a black bear is encountered.

The Division also offers educational publications about New Jersey's black bears and for educators, the "Understanding Black Bears" K-8 Classroom Curriculum, all free of charge.

To inquire about scheduling a bear education seminar, or to receive bear publications, please contact Michelle Smith at (609) 259-6961 or

For more information about black bears, visit:
Let's help young people be the promise of change!
Click here to learn more

Following the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, we were encouraged to see all of the organizations and families who spent their time giving back to their communities. Service is a valuable tool to help young people learn more about themselves, become civic minded, and act with compassion.

That's why we've launched the Power of Youth Challenge in partnership with the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and Peace First -- to encourage and inspire young people to use their voices, skills, and talents to bring positive change to their communities.

Through the Power of Youth Challenge, young people will create and lead service projects that not only improve their communities, but also teach them valuable leadership skills for the future. With coaching from online mentors, they will learn how to identify a need in their community, create a service project plan to solve the problem, and apply for a grant to put the project into action.

Invite a young person in your life to take the Power of Youth Challenge.

Young people who complete the submission process will have the opportunity to receive a mini-grant of up to $250 to make their project a reality, in addition to being eligible for a $5,000 acceleration grant next year.

Serving your community is a great way to make a difference and be a positive agent of change. Help spread the word and encourage young people you know to take our Power of Youth Challenge.
How to sign up and complete the New Jersey Child Care Subsidy Health and Safety Trainings
Click here to learn more!
Click here to download the instructions in full (PDF)

Some of the instructions on how to sign up and complete the New Jersey Child Care Subsidy Health and Safety Trainings

All required training information and links can be found on

Please note: Only the health and safety training courses linked to below or the courses offered through your CCR&Rs will be counted towards your required training hours for DFD's Subsidy Assistance Program Health and Safety Requirements.

You can go directly to the online course through this link -

This will take you to the sign in screen. If you already have an account, enter your email address and select the option for "Yes, I have a password." Enter your password and click "Continue".

If you do not already have an account, you will need to create one. Enter your email address and select the option for "No, I am a new customer." Then click "Continue". There will be several pages of profile questions. You must fill these out completely.

When you have successfully created your profile, you will end up back at the log in page where it will say "Your registration was successful. You may now Sign In with your email address and password."

Enter your email address and select the option for "Yes, I have a password." Enter your password and click "Continue".

Click here to learn more!
Click here to download the instructions in full (PDF)

Nature Conservancy News             (Posted: 9-9-19)

Science Update: Honey Bees or Native Bees?
Stunning Photos from Around the World
September Nature News

News from NWF             (Posted: 9-9-19)

Prep for Fall and Winter
New design, New experiences!

August Green Strides Newsletter             (Posted: 8-26-19)

Green Strides Design


          U.S. Department of Education

   Green Strides

In the August Green Strides...

In the News

Oak Harbor tree measuring

Join us on the 2019 Green Strides Tour

Year round, ED-GRS and its Green Strides outreach initiative share promising practices and resources in the areas of safe, healthy, and sustainable school environments; nutrition and fitness; and environmental education.  Each fall, we have the pleasure of visiting school communities.  This year, the Green Strides Tour will return to the state of Washington for the first time since 2013, with the theme Whole Child, Whole School Sustainability.  See the October 28–30 tour schedule and join us! 

Green Ribbon Schools Logo

Watch the 2019 Ceremony Live

The 2019 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) were announced on May 22.  See the list of selectees and a report about these schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions that are achieving sustainability gains encompassing facilities and grounds, health and wellness, and environmental literacy.  Watch them receive their awards live on Youtube, Twitter, or Facebook on September 25, at 2 p.m. EDT.

For 2020 applications, interested colleges and universities may contact state higher education authorities, while preschools, elementary and secondary schools, and districts may contact state education agencies.  Schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions are eligible only if nominated by state authorities.  State education authorities may contact U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools for more information.   >>>>

Green Strides Resources

Have You Seen Green Strides Lately? 

Every week, through the generous efforts of the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council, new resources are added to Green Strides, including district sustainability policies, reports, and plans that you can use as models for your own school or district.  Visit the Green Strides school sustainability resource hub today!

Get to Know the 2019 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools

Get to know the 2019 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools in our annual Highlights Report.  Below, we spotlight just a few of the 2019 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, District Sustainability Awardees, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees.

Forest Lake Area High School, Forest Lake, Minnesota

Forest Lake High School native prairie planting

At Forest Lake Area High School in Minnesota, environmental education, integrated into both required and elective courses, focuses on human interaction with Earth’s four spheres (atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere).

One thousand five hundred solar panels on the rooftop of Forest Lake High School save the school district approximately $70,000 per year.  A stormwater reuse project includes retention ponds for water storage before filtration and irrigation onto athletic fields.  Curriculum integrates the technology and water conservation concepts into biology, agriculture, and earth and space science courses.  The cafeteria staff composts approximately 75 gallons per week of leftover and unusable food through the Food to Hogs program.  Student volunteer hours, measured through an online recording system and organized by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, surpassed 3,000 hours in the fall of 2018.  Physical education offers two outdoor education courses: The fall and spring course includes bicycling, canoeing, water safety, and orienteering; and the winter season includes skiing, snow caving, winter survival, and broomball.  Other courses include fish and wildlife management, natural resources science, alternative energies, animal science, environmental science, and meteorology. 

Warwick Valley Middle School, Warwick, New York

Warwick Valley Middle School

On the Warwick Valley Central School District’s grounds is a 8800-panel solar field that generates enough energy for the whole district.

Each eighth-grader at Warwick Valley Middle School is required to participate in 20 full weeks of sustainability education, which provides a foundation for developing environmentally and socially conscious citizens. As these students progress through middle school, they can opt to take such classes as Energy and the Environment and Green Architecture. The school’s newly constructed outdoor classroom is a place that provides the perfect setting for science experiments and observations, but also a setting to promote creative thought, expression, contemplation, and appreciation of the planet. Fifth-grade students spend time at the Greenkill Outdoor Education Center each autumn, where they can take nature hikes, explore water and forest ecology, and participate in team-building activities.  Warwick Valley Middle School educators receive training and guidance from the Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation and Sustainable Warwick.

Brookstown Middle School, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Brookstown Aquaponics

At Brookstown Middle School, the aquaponics class oversees all water quality testing, data recording, and calculations.

During the 2017-2018 school year, students at Brookstown Middle School harvested 21 different types of lettuce from the aquaponics program, resulting in over 120 pounds of lettuce grown and served to students in the BMS school cafeteria, guests at school functions, school board members, and East Baton Rouge Parish staff and faculty members.  Students research and select the crops, water quality, effects of pollution, plant nutrition, fish nutrition and health, growing mediums, and components of a successful aquaponics system.  The Junior Cadet Corps participates in community cleaning projects and environmental careers in the military are an area of focus. The speech course integrates environmental debates, and the marketing class highlights how companies are addressing sustainability issues when advertising.   


Green Strides Design

The Green Strides Webinar Series Continues This Fall

The Green Strides Webinar Series has promoted over 1,000 sessions that provide free tools to reduce schools' environmental impact and costs, improve health and wellness, and teach effective environmental education.  Consult the webinar calendar, and submit suggestions for listing additional free, publicly available webinars related to school, district, and postsecondary sustainability to (Note: All times listed are EDT.)

August 28, 3–4 p.m.  Student Power to Fund Renewable Energy: A New Take on the Solar Power Purchase Agreement (AASHE)

August 29, 2–3 p.m.  International Coastal Cleanup (National Wildlife Federation)

August 29, 6–7 p.m.  Moon to Mars:  Mission and Resources Overview (NASA)

September 4, 12–1 p.m.  Portfolio Manager – Ask the Expert (EPA)

September 4, 2–3 p.m.  Celebrating Diversity is not Enough:  Teaching Social Justice (AASHE)

September 5, 1–2 p.m.  How to Apply for the ENERGY STAR (EPA)

September 5, 1–2 p.m.  Building Our Future:  Engaging and Empowering Youth in Vision Zero (Safe Routes Partnership)

September 10, 1–2 p.m.  A Look at the 2019 Safe Routes to School Program Census (Safe Routes Partnership)

September 11, 1–2:15 p.m.  Portfolio Manager 101 (EPA)

September 11, 2–3 p.m.  Community Outreach Strategies for Health (America Walks)

September 11, 3–4 p.m.  Implementing Energy Efficiency through Sub-meters (AASHE)

September 12, 1–2 p.m.  Discovering Energy Savings with Treasure Hunts (EPA)

September 12, 4–5 p.m.  Get Schools Cooking 2019 Informational Webinar (The Lunch Box)

September 18, 12–1 p.m.  Portfolio Manager – Ask the Expert (EPA)

September 18, 2–3 p.m.  Portfolio Manager 201 (EPA)

September 18, 3–4 p.m.  Sustainability Master Planning from All Perspectives:  Social, Environmental, and Economic (AASHE)

September 19, 1–2 p.m.  Ten Things to Know about the Afterschool Meal Program (Food Research & Action Center)


Green Apple Day of Service Logo

Plan a Green Apple Day of Service at Your School This Fall

A Green Apple Day of Service gives parents, teachers, students, companies, and local organizations the opportunity to transform all schools into healthy, safe, and productive learning environments through local service projects.  Check out project ideas, pick up helpful event resources, and register your project online. 

A4LE Logo

Association for Learning Environments LearningSCAPES 2019 Oct. 4–6

LearningSCAPES is the conference for those who plan, design, equip, furnish, and maintain places where students learn. This year’s conference will be held Oct. 4–6 in Anaheim, California. Attend for groundbreaking educational sessions, inspiring keynote speakers, and a showcase of state-of-the-art tools that move learning into the future. 

NAAEE Conference Slider

North American Association for Environmental Education Annual Conference Oct. 16–19

The 48th North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) annual conference will be held in Lexington, Kentucky Oct. 16–19.  The theme for this year’s conference is Educating for a Just and Sustainable Future.  NAAEE convenes one of the leading annual conferences for environmental education professionals, designed to promote innovation, networking, learning, and dissemination of best practices.  The annual research symposium, held in advance of the conference, attracts new and established researchers to examine in-progress environmental education research and promote dialogue between researchers and practitioners. 

ED Spaces 2019

EDspaces 2019 Oct. 23–25

EDspaces is the gathering place for architects, dealers, pre-k–12 schools, colleges and universities, independent manufacturers representatives, exhibitors, and corporations to learn about trends and experience the latest products and services to enhance student learning. This year’s conference will be held Oct. 23–25 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  

AASHE 2019 Conference Slider

AASHE 2019 Conference is Oct. 27–30

The 2019 Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education conference is Oct. 27–30 in Spokane, Washinington.  It is the largest stage in North America to exchange effective models, policies, research, collaborations, and transformative actions that advance sustainability in higher education and surrounding communities. With a theme of Co-Creating a Sustainable Economy, this year's conference seeks to showcase and strengthen higher education’s contributions to the movement for a sustainable economy.  >>>>

HSC Green Cleaning

Attend the Green Clean Schools ISSA/INTERCLEAN Educational Facilities Track Nov. 18– 19

This two-day program in Las Vegas, Nevada provides facility directors at schools and universities and their teams with the knowledge and tools necessary to support healthier, safer cleaning programs that promote learning. Attendees will participate in immersive, interactive workshops and panel discussions followed by networking opportunities and exclusive access to ISSA’s New Attendee Breakfast and trade show floor orientation session.

Caesar Rodney School Districtcatching aquatic insects

At 2019 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School District Sustainability Awardee Caesar Rodney School District, in Wyoming, Delaware, students catch aquatic insects.

Connect With Green Strides

Green Strides: Resources for School Facilities, Health, and Environment

NWF: Birds Love Berries             (Posted: 8-20-19)

The National Wildlife Federation-Garden for Wildlife



Plant Berries for Birds

Now is the time to start thinking about fall planting in your yard or garden! Many birds such as cardinals, chickadees, bluebirds, robins, cedar waxwings and mockingbirds are year-round residents or migrate south to your area in winter. By planting native berry producing shrubs or trees you will attract these birds and ensure they have food throughout the winter.

In Eastern states, consider:

  • Winterberry—The attractive bright red fruit of winterberry is eaten by small mammals and many bird species.
  • Beautyberry—The long-lasting fruits provide food for birds and other animals well into the winter months when other food-sources are unavailable.

In Western regions, plant these for your winter visitors:

  • Snowberry—This provides attractive shrub provides cover and food for various birds and small mammals.
  • Saltbush—Native to the Southwest and California, this drought tolerant shrub is a great choice.

By providing food, water, cover and places for wildlife to raise their young you are eligible to have your yard recognized as a Certified Wildlife Habitat. When you certify, you’ll join over 232,000 gardeners across America who provide safe places for pollinators and other wildlife to thrive.

Certify today!

Thank you for all you do for wildlife.

David Mizejewski


David Mizejewski
NWF Naturalist

P.S. Your $20 application fee will help further protect and restore key habitat for bees, butterflies, birds, amphibians and other wildlife nationwide. Plus, your certified garden will count toward meeting the goals of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, which will help support pollinators responsible for one third of our food supply.

Benefits of Certification

Tan crossbody bag

- The National Wildlife Federation crossbody bag, our FREE gift to you!*
- Personalized Certified Wildlife Habitat
- One year membership to NWF*
- One year subscription to National Wildlife magazine
- Monthly Garden for Wildlife e-newsletter
- 10% off the NWF catalog

Yard Sign

Certified Wildlife Habitat® Plaque
Once you are certified, help neighbors (and wildlife!) easily recognize your yard as animal-friendly with this stylish sign.

Made from rust-free recycled cast aluminum, this durable 8"x14" sign is available for wall ($89) or lawn mounting ($99). When you certify, select the lawn or wall plaque bundle at checkout.

*Excludes Schoolyard Habitat certifications.

© 2019 The National Wildlife Federation, all rights reserved
The National Wildlife Federation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
PO Box 1583, Merrifield, VA 22116-1583

CWFNJ: Itchy bites got you down? Bats help control mosquitoes!             (Posted: 8-20-19)

Summer evenings in New Jersey offer something for everyone – barbecues, ballgames, bonfires, and block parties. They also offer an abundance of mosquitoes – and that means lots of itchy bites. 

Help Conserve Wildlife Foundation strengthen a natural deterrent – bats!
A single little brown bat can consume up to 1,200 mosquito-sized insects in an hour and up to 3,000 insects in a night. Nursing mothers can eat up to 4,500 insects nightly – more than their own body weight! 

Bats are also vital to a healthy ecology and economy. In addition to mosquitoes, they dine on the most damaging agricultural pests, decreasing the need for chemical pesticides, saving money for landowners and farmers, and reducing contamination of fragile ecosystems. Scientists estimate that bats are worth up to $53 billion a year in reduced crop damage and pesticide use in the United States! 
White-nose Syndrome (WNS), a disease that attacks during winter hibernation, has killed around 7 million bats in the northeastern United States since 2006. Habitat loss and persecution by people have taken a serious toll on our bats, but WNS’s impact has been unprecedented. With populations plummeting, bats need our help.
CWF's team of devoted biologists and volunteers is working tirelessly this summer to ensure that the remaining bats are given the best chance at survival. We’re:
• Researching the distribution, habitat preferences, and roosting behaviors of the federally endangered Northern long-eared bats using mist-netting and radio telemetry surveys.

• Counting bats emerging from roosting locations, including attics, barns, bat houses or trees and creating range maps.

• Prioritizing efforts to help bats through a statewide acoustic bat monitoring survey along hundreds of road miles across the state.

• Hosting bat house building workshops and training community groups to provide alternative roosts for bats before they are evicted from buildings. Each house can accommodate up to 80 bats!
Best regards,
David Wheeler
Executive Director

Meet the EE 30 Under 30 Class of 2019             (Posted: 8-20-19)

Click HERE.

eNews: What Can a Woodpecker Tell Us About Forest Fires?             (Posted: 8-20-19)

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Vote for GSNN to Present at SXSW EDU 2020!             (Posted: 8-20-19)

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NWF: An Opossum Quiz and Extra Buzzworthy Content             (Posted: 8-20-19)

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C&NN News & Links             (Posted: 8-20-19+)

This Week's International News Roundup
Notes from the New Nature Movement for 08/20/2019
Reserve your spot for our next webinar: Public Libraries as Nature Connectors
This Week's International News Roundup