Our District has experienced educators on staff who can work with you on developing instruction in many agricultural and environmental topics, including outdoor education and schoolyard projects. WCSW also has print resources for teachers, please inquire. Listed below are some excellent teacher resources we have selected. If you have teaching resources you’d like to share on this web page, please let us know.
Local Environmental Education Programs
The Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition (BBWC) Natural Literacy Initiative
Waldo County SWCD is partnering with BBWC to provide volunteer teachers, lessons and other resources to teachers in all grades who want to do environmental literacy activities in their classrooms and outside. Resources available include help with lesson and unit plans, materials, standards alignment and volunteer teachers in the classrooms and on field trips.
Available volunteer teacher units and lessons include: (Contact us for a complete lesson framework)
- Invertebrate Diversity (Insects, pollinators, soil organisms)
- Intertidal Inquiry
- Nature Journaling
- Natural Literacy (Nature Study)
- What’s in the Water
- Ecology: Relationships in Nature
- Nature’s Cycles (Phenology)
- Alien Invaders (Invasive plants and animals)
- Schoolyard Trails and Habitats
Friends of Sears Island Environmental Education
FOSI has an ongoing program and assistance available for learning on Sears Island, including a citizen science program that students can participate in. Currently, an after school outdoor education program called Science Squad is being offered to all area children ages 8-12. If interested contact Ashley at outreach
GreenWays Eco Center (17 Main St. in Belfast)
The center has many books available in their reading room that teachers can use to research topics, and they can assist you in finding information. The center also has books with lesson plans and ideas, and teachers on staff.
Online Resources for Teachers
Agriculture, Soil, Water, Gardening
Ag in the Classroom Lessons Portal Large set of lesson resources on many agricultural topics
Collective School Gardening Network A portal with a search tool for school gardening lessons and other resources.
Landscape for Life A complete program for teaching about soil and water, with teacher’s guides and Powerpoint presentations.
Soil Health Educational Resources Portal with many links for soil learning resources, K to adult.
Wiki Watershed Tools for exploring your watershed including mapping and calculating runoff, measuring water quality, etc.
Habitat Network This is a fantastic site for beginning to explore, create and document your schoolyard habitat. The Explore section, linked here, takes you to custom lists of birds, plants and more. In the Learn tab, many simple articles explain important ideas with interesting graphics. And the site has a student-friendly mapping tool that can be used to map local areas such as yards and school grounds with habitat features.
National Wildlife Federation Schoolyard Habitat Excellent, broad set of resources for developing a schoolyard wildlife habitat.
Wildlife, Ecology, Forests
Gulf of Maine Vital Signs Program Excellent resource for teaching about scientific inquiry, ecosystems, environmental change, biodiversity and invasive species centered on the Maine coast, with ready-to-use data collection and analysis lessons and tools for all ages.
Project Learning Tree Has many excellent teaching guides available for many environmental education topics across all grade levels. Many of these guides are available for you to use at the WCSW Conservation District. Now with many online resources: Simply register here to access online lessons.
Maine Forest Inventory Growth Project A complete field study opportunity for secondary students to measure trees and forest conditions in their own study plots. WCSW can assist you in implementing this program which teaches data collection and analysis as well as Maine forest ecology.
Project Wild Project WILD is a wildlife-focused conservation education program for K-12 educators and their students. Project WILD is one of the most widely-used conservation and environmental education programs among educators of students in kindergarten through high school.
Xerces Society (Insect/pollinator focus) Education Resources Insect and pollinator teaching resources.
The Entomological Society Lesson Portal Many resources for teaching about insects.
Project EduBat Free “trunk” of materials for teaching children about bats.
Biodiversity Teaching Resources Suggested resources and links to tools such as identification keys.
The Macaulay Library A wonderful resource to see, hear and learn about bird and wildlife species, very visual and sound-oriented, and easy to use for students.
Plant Heroes Highly engaging activities for kids on invasive insects such as emerald ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle (ALB).
Gulf of Maine Vital Signs Program Excellent resource for providing real life field activites about invasive species centered on the Maine coast, with ready-to-use data collection and analysis lessons and tools for all ages.
Outdoor Education Links
Tips for teaching outdoors: http://www.birdsleuth.org/leading-groups-outdoors-tips/