Curricular Resources

Place-based education is an emerging field, supported by people around the country in numerous ways. Click on the links below to learn more about the organizations and associations that are supporting teachers, funding projects, and linking schools with their communities. This list is by no means complete. If you have suggestions on other links we should include, go to the forum and let us know.

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Foundations and Organizations that Financially Support Place-Based Education and Community Initiatives, Service Learning

National Youth Leadership Council

NYLC offers multiple programs and grant opportunities to increase the capacities of schools and communities to engage young people in active learning and service.

National Youth Leadership Council

NYLC offers multiple programs and grant opportunities to increase the capacities of schools and communities to engage young people in active learning and service.

Organizations and Programs that Provide Training, Information, and Support, Service Learning

Community Works Institute

Community Works promotes exemplary teaching practices that help students become caring, responsible, and active members of their communities. Online resources, educator workshops, a summer Institute, and a quarterly magazine provide curriculum exemplars. Teaching tools and resources, articles, and resource listings that support service-learning, place-based, and sustainability curriculum are also available.

Community Works Institute

Community Works promotes exemplary teaching practices that help students become caring, responsible, and active members of their communities. Online resources, educator workshops, a summer Institute, and a quarterly magazine provide curriculum exemplars. Teaching tools and resources, articles, and resource listings that support service-learning, place-based, and sustainability curriculum are also available.

Environmental, Place-based, and other Educational Organizations and Associations, Organizations and Programs that Provide Training, Information, and Support

The Adirondack Curriculum Project

The Adirondack Curriculum Project mission is to help foster better public understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of the Adirondack region's natural and cultural resources by providing educational resources and training opportunities for educators.

The Adirondack Curriculum Project

The Adirondack Curriculum Project mission is to help foster better public understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of the Adirondack region's natural and cultural resources by providing educational resources and training opportunities for educators.

Research, Evaluation, and Articles

Place-based Education Evaluation Collaborative (PEEC)

The Place-based Education and Evaluation Collaborative (PEEC) is a partnership of several nonprofit organizations and projects from New England and beyond. By combining efforts, the collaborative is able to support program evaluation for each of the individual place-based education programs and better identify successful characteristics shared by them all. All evaluation reports and tools are available to the public at their website.

Program Evaluation and Educational Research Associates, Inc. (PEER)

PEER conducts evaluation and research for PEEC and other programs seeking to promote environmental, place-based, and empowerment goals. PEER workswith organizations based in rural and urban communities from around the country. Clients have included the National Park Service, Orton Family Foundation, Greening of Detroit, Earthworks, Boston Nature Center, and many more.

Clearing Magazine

Clearing Magazine is a quarterly magazine for environmental and place-based education.

Environmental, Place-based, and other Educational Organizations and Associations

Massachusetts Environmental Education Society (MEES)

The Massachusetts Environmental Education Society is dedicated to the promotion, preservation, and improvement of environmental education in the state and region.

Maine Environmental Education Association (MEEA)

In order to help create a more sustainable future for all Maine communities, the Maine Environmental Education Association uses the power of education to advance environmental literacy and civic engagement.

New Hampshire Environmental Educators (NHEE)

Our mission: To advocate for high quality environmental education in New Hampshire, and to provide a forum for networking and professional development for environmental education.

Rhode Island Environmental Education Association (RIEEA)

Promoting high quality environmental education throughout Rhode Island in order to increase the environmental literacy of all children and adults.

Vermont State-Wide Environmental Education Programs (SWEEP)

Vermont SWEEP (Vermont State-Wide Environmental Education Programs) is a coalition of dozens of organizations and individuals promoting environmental education in Vermont. SWEEP's purpose is to foster environmental appreciation and understanding in order to enable Vermonters to make responsible decisions affecting the environment.

VASS (Vermont Alliance for the Social Studies)

The Vermont Alliance for the Social Studies, an affiliate of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, educational corporation representing social studies educators including history, geography, political science, economics, sociology, anthropology, and psychology. Our mission is to:

Promote an understanding of the key concepts, content, standards, and methodology in the fields of history, the social sciences, and social studies’ education through research, communications, and practice;

Foster teaching practices rooted in democratic principles;
Provide resources and professional development opportunities for K-16+ social studies’ educators through statewide meetings;
Represent social studies’ educators of the state of Vermont at various venues; and

Keep social studies as part of the conversation at the Vermont Department of Education, providing a link between social studies’ educators and the state.

Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance

MMSA develops and applies research and best practices in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education. MMSA’s special strength is rooted in building relationships among schools, organizations, individuals, and communities to advance STEM education in Maine and the nation.

The National Environmental Education & Training Foundation (NEETF)

To accomplish our vision, NEEF seeks to reach mainstream Americans who are receptive to environmental knowledge but only somewhat engaged. Our aim is to reach people where they are and inspire them to learn about their relationship to the environment and, in turn, increase their environmental engagement. With increased environmental involvement of individuals on a national scale, their actions, taken collectively, will have a tremendous environmental impact—and help bring about a cultural shift in attitudes and behaviors.

North America Association for Environmental Education

Bringing the brightest minds together to advance environmental literacy and civic engagement through the power of education to create a more sustainable future for all.

New England Environmental Education Alliance

The New England Environmental Education Alliance was formed in 1980, with roots that extend back to 1966. That year, a handful of educators in the region agreed to meet on an annual basis. Conferences were organized by Chuck Roth, Director of Education at Massachusetts Audubon. A group of environmental education leaders from the six New England states on a rotating basis.

Hoosier Environmental Council

The voice of the people for 30 years. The eyes and ears of everyone in Indiana who is concerned about the environment. And everyone who should be. The Hoosier Environmental Council is Indiana’s leading educator and advocate for environmental issues and policies. We are passionate about our role in shaping the state’s environmental future and all who will be affected by it.

Connecticut Outdoor & Environmental Education Association

Supporting Connecticut's Educators as They Promote Responsible Environmental Stewardship

Organizations and Programs that Provide Training, Information, and Support

Northern Forest Center

The Northern Forest Center mobilizes people to build healthy communities, economies and ecosystems by working together across the Northern Forest region. Current programs include the Sustainable Economies Initiative, which looks at ways to create a sustainable regional economy; Ways of the Woods, a traveling exhibition combining a festival atmosphere with interactive, museum quality displays about the culture and heritage of the Northern Forest; numerous place-based education initiatives; and partnership and program grants.

Quebec Labrador Foundation

QLF supports the rural communities and environment of eastern Canada and New England, and creates community-based models for stewardship of natural resources and cultural heritage that can be applied worldwide.

Rural School and Community Trust

Supports the development of thriving, sustainable, rural communities with high-quality schools where young people are partners in community improvement. The website contains examples of place-based education initiatives from around the country, articles on everything from education policy to student assessment, and a well-populated blog.

Shelburne Farms

Shelburne Farms is a membership-supported, nonprofit environmental education center, 1,400-acre working farm, and National Historic Landmark on the shores of Lake Champlain in Shelburne, Vermont. Its mission is to cultivate a conservation ethic. The farm serves as an educational resource by practicing rural land use that is environmentally, economically and culturally sustainable.

Valley Quest

Valley Quest is an award-winning, place-based education program that uses treasure hunts to celebrate community, natural history, cultural sites, stories and special places. Teachers across the U.S. are incorporating Quests into their classroom; parks and museums are using Questing as a compelling interpretive tool; and communities are adopting Questing to engage citizens, partner schools and civic groups, map precious community assets, and build social capital. Winner of the 2005 New England Environmental Education Alliance Program of the Year Award.

Vermont Rural Partnership

VRP supports school initiatives that foster and sustain active participation of
youth and adults to support and strengthen communities. Schools that participate in the program focus on service-learning and curriculum of place, student leadership, school community partnership, and documentation and assessment.

Antioch New England Institute (ANEI)

ANEI is a nonprofit consulting and community outreach arm of Antioch University New England, promoting a vibrant and sustainable environment, economy, and society by encouraging informed civic engagement. It provides training, programs, and resources in leadership development, place-based education, nonprofit management, environmental education and policy, smart growth, and public administration. It hosts three centers: The Craiglow Center for Applied Research and Policy; The Howes Center for Community Engagement; and The Center for Place-based Education.

Orion Magazine

Orion offers articles, poetry and art that exemplify thoughtful and creative ideas and practical examples of how we might live justly, wisely, and artfully on Earth. The website contains an updated list of jobs in the environmental field, and descriptions of over 950 environmental and community organizations in North America that belong to the Orion Grassroots Network.

The Stewardship Institute

The Stewardship Institute (formerly the Conservation Study Institute) is a collaborative for change, from the way it is organized, to how it works. The origin of the Institute is rooted in the idea that the National Park Service is an organization of great public purpose and that its people — charged with the stewardship of some of America's greatest treasures — need to be supported, challenged, and provided opportunities for renewal.

At the Stewardship Institute, we help National Park Service leaders move the organization in new directions. Our approach is collaborative, convening people of diverse training and experience, stewarding the National Park Service into the 21st century. A program of Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, the Institute extends the park's mission and themes of conservation and stewardship beyond the hills of Vermont.

CO-SEED

CO-SEED, a project of ANEI's Center for Place-based Education, is a three-year collaboration with selected schools and their communities to develop place-based learning. By using the local natural and cultural environment as the setting for learning - and involving students in addressing community needs through hands-on service - CO-SEED projects seek to connect students, schools, curriculum, and community.

A Forest for Every Classroom

FFEC is a professional development program for educators to develop curriculum that foster student understanding of and appreciation for the public lands in their communities. The teacher-developed curricula integrate hands-on natural and cultural explorations that address concepts in ecology, sense of place, stewardship, and civics.

Foxfire

Founded in 1966, Foxfire's learner-centered, demonstration site (The Foxfire Museum) is grounded in the Southern Appalachian culture. Its national program of teacher training and support (the Foxfire Approach to Teaching and Learning) promotes a sense of place and appreciation of local people, community, and culture as essential educational tools.

Hands on the Land (HOL)

HOL is a network of field classrooms stretching across America. HOL is sponsored by Partners in Resource Education, a collaboration of five federal agencies, a nonprofit foundation, schools, and other private sector partners. Through the HOL network, federal agencies provide an array of hands-on learning opportunities for teachers and students. Teachers and students also learn from each other through the HOL website.

National Wildlife Federation

The mission of the National Wildlife Federation is to educate, inspire and assist individuals and organizations of diverse cultures to conserve wildlife and other natural resources and to protect the Earth's environment in order to achieve a peaceful, equitable and sustainable future. National Wildlife Federation's main goal is to raise awareness and involve people of all ages in their fight to conserve and protect the environment.

National Writing Project

The National Writing Project is the premier effort to improve writing in America. Through its professional development model, NWP builds the leadership, programs, and research needed for teachers to help their students become successful writers and learners. Each of the nearly 200 NWP sites conducts an annual summer institute, where experienced teachers prepare for leadership roles by demonstrating their most effective practices, studying research, and improving their knowledge of writing by writing themselves.

Citizen Science and Monitoring

Journey North

Widely considered a best-practices model for education, Journey North is the nation’s premiere "citizen science" project for children, engaging students in a global study of wildlife migration and seasonal change. K–12 students share field observations with classmates across North America, tracking the coming of spring through the migration patterns of monarch butterflies, bald eagles, robins, hummingbirds, whooping cranes, etc; the budding of plants; changing sunlight; and other natural events. Find standards-based lesson plans, activities and information to help students make local observations and fit them into a global context. Teacher trainings and resources available. The general public is also welcome to participate.

Keeping Track

Keeping Track teaches adults and children to observe, interpret, record and monitor evidence of wildlife habitat in their communities, and supports the use of monitoring data by citizens in local and regional conservation planning.

Monarch Watch: Dedicated to Education, Conservation and Research

Monarch Watch is a cooperative network of students, teachers, volunteers and researchers dedicated to the study of the Monarch butterfly.

Common Ground

Common Ground is internationally recognized for it unique role in the arts and environmental fields: linking nature with culture, focusing on the positive investment people can make in their own localities, championing popular democratic involvement, and inspiring celebration as a starting point for action to improve the quality of our everyday places. They support community celebrations, outdoor sculpture, and the creation of local, artistic ‘parish maps’ that depict the unique character of each community.

Service Learning

Generator School Network

The Generator School Network is an online community of more than 5,000 youth and adult members who have discovered how they can change the world through service-learning. The GSN is the leading resource for fast and easy sharing, service-learning professional development, and networking.

Corporation for National and Community Service

The Corporation for National and Community Service supports the American culture of citizenship, service and responsibility, by being a catalyst for change and championing the ideal that every American has skills and talents to give. It is the nation’s largest grantmaker supporting service and volunteering. Through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs, it provides opportunities for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to express their patriotism while addressing critical community needs.

Recycling, Composting, and Sustainability

The NRRA School Recycling Club

The School Recycling CLUB assists schools in implementing, maintaining and improving recycling programs! The CLUB is housed and managed by the Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA).

Hiking and Outdoor Clubs and Associations

Adirondack Mountain Club

Appalachian Mountain Club

Northern Forest Canoe Trail

Foundations and Organizations that Financially Support Place-Based Education and Community Initiatives

Center for Ecoliteracy

A public foundation that awards grants to school communities and educational organizations engaged in food and water projects based in the geography of the school campus and surrounding landscapes. A rich resource with multiple examples of place-based education initiatives.

Foundation Center

The Foundation Center's mission is to strengthen the nonprofit sector by advancing knowledge about U.S. philanthropy. It is the nation's leading authority on philanthropy, connecting nonprofits and the grantmakers supporting them to tools and information. The Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. grantmakers and their grants.

Vermont Community Foundation

The Vermont Community Foundation is a statewide, nonsectarian public charity that builds and manages charitable funds. The mission is to ensure that philanthropy is increasingly effective in supporting healthy and vital Vermont communities, and that charitable partners meet their missions with excellence and efficiency.

Wellborn Ecology Fund

The Wellborn Ecology Fund supports experientially-oriented ecology education programs that focus on the communities of the Upper Connecticut Valley.

Youth-Based Conservation Corps

Youth Conservation Corps

To guide and mentor young adults using education, job skills training, and community service to help develop productive citizens.

Student Conservation Association (SCA)

Folklife Centers and other Initiatives Using Oral Histories and Cultural Research

American Folklife Center

Montana Heritage Project

The Montana Heritage Project is a high school writing program dedicated to teaching young people to think clearly and deeply about the world they face. Students explore their community – its cultural heritage (traditions, celebrations, literature, arts, economic practices, responses to crises, and everyday life); its relationship to the natural environment; and its place in national and world events. The website has excellent resources for teachers and students on how to implement heritage projects in their own communities.

Center for the Study of Midwestern Cultures

The Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures is committed to the languages and cultural traditions of this region's diverse peoples. It fosters research and the preservation of archival collections, produces educational and outreach programs for a broad public audience, and assists community groups, classrooms, and scholars with projects involving Upper Midwestern Cultures. Their website includes a number of resources for teachers. Check out one classroom’s year-long exploration of Dane County, Wisconsin and their Kids' Field Guide to Local Culture.

City Lore

City Lore was founded in 1986 to produce programs and publications that convey the richness of New York City's cultural heritage. Projects include Cultural Arts Resources for Teachers and Students, Place Matters, and other initiatives designed to inspire a knowledge of and appreciation for the city.

Louisiana Voices

Louisiana Voices is a pioneering online education guide that provides rich teaching resources on Louisiana folk and traditional arts and culture, while integrating the Louisiana Education Content Standards. The project provides frameworks for the study of culture and an academically sound basis for both multicultural and technology education. The interdisciplinary study of traditional arts and community-based research in classrooms validates students' heritages and traditions, while fostering critical inquiry skills, developing primary research skills, and relating curriculum and classroom to students' lives and communities. Students participate as experts on their own folk groups and cultural traditions.

Place Matters

City Lore and the Municipal Art Society sponsor this NYC initiative to identify, celebrate, interpret and protect places that tell the history and anchor the traditions of New York's many communities. Place Matters conducts and publishes a survey of places nominated by New Yorkers; presents public forums and workshops; produces maps and other publications; and conducts advocacy on behalf of threatened sites. The Place Matters mission is to foster the conservation of New York City's historically and culturally significant places.

Cultural Arts Resources for Teachers and Students (CARTS)

Carts is a project of City Lore, a cultural organization dedicated to the documentation, presentation, and preservation of New York City's -- and America's -- living cultural heritage. CARTS has over seventeen years of experience working in K-12 and undergraduate education. Education program includes staff development, artist training, in-school programs, instructional materials, the CARTS Culture Catalog, and an annual newsletter. Local Learning, their national teacher institute program, provides training, resources, and mentoring for teachers around the country who are interested in using community-based resources in their teaching.

Vermont Folklife Center

The Vermont Folklife Center is dedicated to preserving and presenting the folk arts and cultural traditions of Vermont and the surrounding region. The center conducts field research, maintains a multimedia archive and offers an apprenticeship program. They offer trainings to teachers interested in conducting research with students in their community. Their website has an excellent link to regional and national folklife centers.

Mapping and Technology Tools

GIS.com

GIS.com is intended to educate anyone interested in geographic technology.

Google Maps

You can make your own Google Maps and have it hosted on the Internet at no cost, or embed the map in your own web site.

Mapping Your Community

Mapping Your Community is a series of ArcGIS® 9.2 tutorials that help students gain mapping skills and build toward independent investigations.

Vermont Center for Geographic Information

VCGI is your source for Vermont's geospatial data, information, and activities. VCGI is a division of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development charged by the State of Vermont with assisting the Vermont GIS community as well as anyone interested in geospatial technology or mapping.

Wilderness Technology Alliance

Wilderness Technology Alliance’s mission is to develop and implement educational programs where students apply technology to project-based experiential education. They gain professional skills while producing marketable products that help sustain the program. Past students become tomorrow’s teachers. The Alliance typically partners with state education agencies, school districts, and other formal or informal teaching institutions to implement its programs. The website includes an excellent section on student projects that combine field research and technology in Washington State public lands.

Arts Councils

New York State Council on the Arts

Northwest Connecticut Arts Council

Greater Hartford Area Arts Council

Massachusetts Cultural Council

Maine Arts Commission

New Hampshire State Council on the Arts

Public Agencies

Environmental Protection Agency

Marsh Billings Rockefeller National Historical Park

The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park is committed to not only providing a living, working model of conservation and responsible land stewardship, but also to educating the public about opportunities for stewardship in many different communities and environments. The park runs a variety of educational programs.

National Resource Conservation Service

United States National Park Service

The National Park Service cares for a network of nearly 400 natural, cultural and recreational sites across the nation. Beyond national parks, the National Park Service helps communities across America preserve and enhance important local heritage and close-to-home recreational opportunities. It offers grants and assistance to register, record and save historic places; create community parks and local recreation facilities; conserve rivers and streams, and develop trails and greenways.

USDA Forest Service

United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Bureau of Land Management

Agricultural Education, Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture

The Food Project

The Food Project is a launching pad for new ideas about youth and adults partnering to create social change through sustainable agriculture. Their goal is sustainable, local food systems that bridge race, class, age, and more to ensure food security for all.

The National Farm to School Program

The National Farm to School Program is a collaborative program of the Center for Food & Justice, a division of the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College and the Community Food Security Coalition. Initiated in 2000, the Program has spearheaded the development of the farm-to-school movement across the country, assisting organizations in starting up and sustaining farm-to-school efforts, fundraising, and providing information, education, and training for farm to school stakeholders.

Vermont Food Education Every Day (VT FEED)

FEED is a community-based approach to school food system change in a rural state through a collaboration of three Vermont nonprofits: Food Works, Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, and Shelburne Farms. VT FEED works with schools and communities to raise awareness about healthy food, the role of Vermont farms and farmers, and good nutrition. FEED acts as a catalyst for rebuilding healthy food systems, and to cultivate links between classrooms, cafeterias, local farms, and communities.

Native American and Traditional Knowledge

Alaska Native Knowledge Network

Conservation Organizations and Land Trusts

American Farmland Trust

Vermont Land Trust

Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition

Maine Land Trust Network

Connecticut Land Conservation Council, Land Trust Map

Land Trust Alliance, New York Program

Conservation Commissions

National Association of Conservation Districts

Connecticut Association of Conservation and Inland Wetland Commissions

Association of Vermont Conservation Commissions

Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions

Maine Association of Conservation Commissions

Community Planning, Education, and Visioning

PLACE Program

Place-based Landscape Analysis and Community Education (PLACE) is a unique partnership between Shelburne Farms and the University of Vermont. This educational program provides local residents with a forum for exploring and understanding the natural and cultural history of their town landscape. Working directly with local schools, town commissions, historical societies, and conservation organizations, PLACE staff members develop an integrated series of presentations, field trips, workshops, and printed materials designed to facilitate residents' understanding of the natural and cultural history of the local landscape.

Center for Rural Studies

CRS is a nonprofit, fee-for-service research organization that addresses social, economic, and resource-based problems of rural people and communities. Based in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Vermont, the Center provides consulting, research, and program evaluation services in Vermont, the United States, and abroad.

Community Viz

CommunityViz provides GIS-based analysis and real-world 3D modeling that allow people to envision land use alternatives and understand their potential impacts, explore options and share possibilities, examine scenarios from all angles — environmental, economic, and social — and feel confident in their decisions.