Project GREEN 2021 Summit Recap

Thank you to all our sponsors, committee members, participants and presenters! The 2021 Project GREEN Summit was a great success. The theme for the year was- Canopy- things are looking up! It was great to see threads of climate action, project based learning, and outdoor gardens and arboriculture as represented this year. Our amazing subject experts made the material accessible and informative. This year’s focus is on climate, xeriscaping, native plants, tree canopy and the outdoors.

3rd annual Project G.R.E.E.N. Teacher Summit

August 3-4th, 2021

Boise, ID

The goal of Project G.R.E.E.N. (Green Resources and Environmental Educator Network) is to encourage sustainability in Southwestern Idaho and beyond by supporting K-12 educators. More specifically, Project GREEN is designed to: provide an opportunity for educator networking and making connections to encourage communication outside of the Summit, inform and engage the teachers with available resources throughout the state, and provide a venue for the dissemination of current information and resources from the stakeholders/experts in the community (providing a united group of goals and objectives).

If you want to be part of the planning committee for 2022, present at the summit or if you want to share a short success story from your classroom or office, please fill out this form to join the growing group of professionals and teachers dedicating their time to facilitating sustainable experiences for our region.

Day 1 Presenters 2021

Thank you to our Sponsors and Contributors!

Thanks to all the volunteers, teachers and professionals who give their time to make this event so meaningful and successful.

Augie Gabrielli, City of Boise, Water Education Coordinator
The WaterShed’s New Focus on Climate and Communication Tactics for Educators

Augie has worked with teachers and students across Idaho fostering place-based educational experiences and promoting climate and water science literacy. The Boise WaterShed is headed in a new direction, and Augie is excited to share the new resources with us.

Misha Smith and Susan Wolfe, Hawthorne Elementary
Into the Wild

“Into the Wild” refers to the examination of our local “wild” communities, and the act of seriously challenging and involving our students in the discovery of issues classrooms can tackle as a team. Leveraging techniques of Project-Based Learning, this session offers attendees the resources and insight from two award-winning veteran teachers, both of whom will share journeys of curriculum design and implementation that impact beyond the classroom. Participants will learn curriculum design techniques that will intrinsically motivate, increase creativity and critical thinking, and provide a pathway for better collaboration and communication skills, and integrate Common Core Standards.

Adam Mancini, VP at Treasure Valley Canopy Network & Nampa City Forester
Advancing Climate Action across the Treasure Valley

Adam Mancini will share the story of the Treasure Valley Canopy Network, one of Idaho’s newest non-profits focused on raising awareness about the benefits of urban tree canopy. Our discussion will highlight TVCN’s work to: build a circular urban wood economy; reduce residential energy use across Southern Idaho; raise awareness about the impacts of urban heat and strategically plant trees to improve living conditions for residents through the City of Trees Challenge and much more! We will conclude with an interactive tour of the City of Boise as we combat the impacts of rising temperatures in our urban core.

Dr. Jen Pierce, Boise State University Dept. of Geosciences
Idaho Climate Literacy Education Engagement and Research (i-CLEER), Founder

Dr. Pierce will provide an overview of climate education resources and key concepts for place-based climate education in Idaho, followed by a fun game of greenhouse gas tag (useful for all grade levels).

Danielle Marquette,  Boise State University, Dept of Geosciences – Graduate Teaching Assistant
K-12 Wildfire Education

In the western USA, wildfires are increasingly impacting communities and human health catastrophically. It is imperative to have a well-educated society to understand, prepare for, and address this threat. K-12 wildfire education provides an opportunity to increase environmental literacy, introduce and reinforce important scientific concepts, and connect ongoing climate change to real world impacts.

Day 2 Presenters 2021

Michelle Youngquist, Project Learning Tree / Idaho Forest Products Commission
Adam Mancini, VP at Treasure Valley Canopy Network & Nampa City Forester
Debbie Cook, Forestry Specialist with the City of Boise Parks and Recreation Department

Trees are the Answer! Engage Students in the Questions

In this breakout session participants will explore school yard trees and use an online tool to calculate the value of the ecosystem services those trees provide. Learn ways to involve students in local actions they can take for the good of their community and the world and local resources and support for these learning opportunities.

Tristan Harris, City of Boise, Community Engagement Coordinator
Tell Your Climate StoryLearn how to empower others to understand the ways climate change affects their daily lives, and that they have the ability to do something about it. Discover multimedia storytelling strategies that combine science, perspective and emotions to spark deeper connection and inspire action through personal narratives.

Tristan is a community engagement coordinator with the City of Boise, connecting Boiseans to the things they love and care about most, including clean water, clean air and open space. Her work behind the scenes with teams like the Climate Action Division to turn technical work into tangible projects that residents can get involved with. Tristan’s hope is to inspire a sense of environmental stewardship and interconnectedness in others. We all have something we are passionate about, be it children, furry friends, recreation, hobbies, or our livelihoods, and climate connects to all of it. When we care for our planet and everything on it, we get to do the fun things that we love every day and grow a healthy community for generations to come.

Student Panel: John Harris, Shiva Rajbhandari and Hawthorn Elementary Students

Students are the reason for education. These students showcase what is possible when educators and students share a common passion. These are amazing students who are inspiring to speak with and who have began to carve out their path in this world. These students are action-based, empowered and inspired, they are leaders among their peers and in the greater community.  We aim to give our panel time to share that experience so they can share the things that their teachers did that allowed and inspired them to become who they are.

Holly Hovis, Sego Lily Native Gardens
Garden-based learning. How to apply a pollinator garden to your curriculum.

Outdoor, nature based learning has shown to boost content retention and student engagement. We will discuss why outdoor learning increases memory. We will also talk about ways to use a school pollinator garden to teach concepts ranging from math, art, to literature. 

Misha Smith and Susan Wolfe – Hawthorne Elementary
Cultivating Naturalist Intelligence Through Schoolyard Science

How can teachers utilize online tools to expand classroom learning and ignite student curiosity about the natural world? Online learning tools like Seek and iNaturalist bring professional and citizen scientists together to document biodiversity, making scientific research relevant as students are contributing to real research projects. In this session, presenters will give an overview of the Seek and iNaturalist concepts and tools, as well as basic instruction on best practices. Participants will interact with the observation-based online tools, which bring professional and citizen scientists together to document biodiversity.