Inspiring Environmental Stewards

Congratulations, Green Earth Book Award Winners!

April 21, 2017

We are proud to announce the winners of our 2017 Green Earth Book Award.  Our national national award recognizes books that best convey the environmental stewardship message and inspire youth to grow a deeper appreciation, respect, and responsibility for their natural environment.  This year’s winners shed light on complicated issues surrounding human’s impact on the planet – including coal mining, endangered coral and sea turtle habitats, and the loss of our seed diversity.

“Green Earth Book Award winners offer hope to people who feel frustrated about how the new administration is ignoring the science and the gravity of the declining health of our planet,” said Amy Marasco, founder and president of The Nature Generation. “These books are tools that we can use to educate our next generation and inspire them to play a role in reversing the dangerous effects of climate change.”

Environmental nonprofit The Nature Generation has bestowed the award for the past 13 years to bring national recognition to important works and their authors with its highly qualified “seal of approval” for environmental literature.  The winners are chosen by a panel of literary, environmental and educational professionals.

Picture Book

Follow the Moon Home, written by Philippe Cousteau and Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated by Meilo So (Chronicle Books)

Acclaimed activist Philippe Cousteau and renowned author Deborah Hopkinson team up to offer a story of the powerful difference young people can make in the world. Meet Viv, who has a new home and a new school by the sea, and follow her as she finds her way in a new place and helps bring together a whole community to save the sea turtles of the South Carolina coast. Age 5-8

Honor Winners:

Be the Change: A Grandfather Gandhi Story, written by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus and illustrated by Evan Turk (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)

In this breathtaking companion to the award-winning Grandfather Gandhi, Arun Gandhi, with Bethany Hegedus, tells a poignant, personal story of the damage of wastefulness, gorgeously illustrated by Evan Turk.  Age 4-8

Green City, written and illustrated by Allan Drummond (Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers/Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)

When a tornado destroyed Greensburg, Kansas, residents decided to rebuild a town that could not only survive another storm, but one that was built in an environmentally sustainable way.  Age 5-8

 

Children’s Fiction

Saving Wonder, written by Mary Knight (Scholastic Press)

In this utterly transporting debut about the power of words, the importance of friendship, and the magic of wonder, Curly Hines must decide whether to fight Big Coal to save the mountain he calls home.  Knight delivers a strong environmental message and a language lesson in her debut novel. Readers will feel Curley’s sorrow and cheer him on during his campaign to save what he loves most. Knight frankly addresses the reality of harsh changes, but Curley’s spirit, moving people inside and outside the community to act, is inspirational.  Ages 8-12

 

Children’s Nonfiction

Science Comics: Coral Reefs: Cities of the Ocean, written by Maris Wicks (First Second/Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)

Science Comics: Coral Reefs offers a complete introduction to coral reefs, in a gorgeously illustrated graphic novels offer wildly entertaining views. Whether you’re a fourth grader doing a natural science unit at school or a thirty-year-old with a secret passion for ocean creatures, his books is for you.  This absorbing look at ocean science covers the biology of coral reefs as well as their ecological importance. Nonfiction comics genius Maris Wicks brings to bear her signature combination of hardcore cuteness and in-depth science. Age 9-13

Honor Winner:

Pocket Change: Pitching in for a Better World, written by Michelle Mulder (Orca Book Publishers)

Each year, humanity uses resources equivalent to nearly one and a half Earths, and we’re still not meeting everyone’s needs.  What if you could meet all your needs while getting to know your neighbors and protecting the environment at the same time? Find out how growing a tiny cabbage can fight poverty, how a few dollars can help ten families start their own businesses and how running errands for a neighbor can help you learn to become a bike mechanic—for free!  Age 8-12

 

Young Adult Fiction

 Dig Too Deep, written by Amy Allgeyer (Albert Whitman & Co)

With her mother facing prison time for a violent political protest, seventeen-year-old Liberty Briscoe has no choice but to leave her Washington, DC, apartment and take a bus to Ebbottsville, Kentucky, to live with her granny. There she can finish high school and put some distance between herself and her mother– her ‘former’ mother, as she calls her. But Ebbottsville isn’t the same as Liberty remembers, and it’s not just because the top of Tanner’s Peak has been blown away to mine for coal. Half the county is out of work, an awful lot of people in town seem to be sick, and the tap water is bright orange–the same water that officials claim is safe to drink. When Granny’s lingering cold turns out to be something much worse, Liberty is convinced the mine is to blame, and starts an investigation that quickly plunges her into a world of secrets, lies, threats, and danger. Liberty isn’t deterred by any of it, but as all her searches turn into dead ends, she comes to a difficult decision: turn to violence like her former mother or give up her quest for good.  Age 13 and up.

Honor Winner:

Rescued, written by Eliot Schrefer (Scholastic Press)

Raja has been raised in captivity within the confines of an American home. He was stolen when he was young to be someone’s pet. Now he’s grown up…and is about to be sent away again, to a place from which there will be no return. There’s one last chance to save Raja — a chance that will force John to confront his fractured family and the captivity he’s imposed on himself all of these years.  Age 12 and up

Young Adult Nonfiction

 The Story of Seeds, written by Nancy Castaldo (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Something as small as a seed can have a worldwide impact. Did you know there are top-secret seed vaults hidden throughout the world? And once a seed disappears, that’s it—it’s gone forever? With the growth of genetically modified foods, the use of many seeds is dwindling—of 80,000 edible plants, only about 150 are being cultivated. With a global cast of men and women, scientists and laypeople, and photographic documentation, Nancy Castaldo chronicles where our food comes from, and more importantly, where it is going as she digs deeper into the importance of seeds in our world. This empowering book also calls young adult readers to action with suggestions as to how they can preserve the variety of one of our most valuable food sources through simple everyday actions. Readers of Michael Pollen will enjoy the depth and fascinatingly intricate social economy of seeds.  Age 12 and up

Honor Winner

Inside an Osprey’s Nest, written by Teena Ruark Gorrow and Craig A. Koppie (Schiffer Publishing)

Take a photographic journey through nesting season with a newly mated osprey pair. In this true raptor adventure, the ospreys prepare a nest and mate, but their eggs do not hatch. Through an unlikely twist of events, the unviable eggs are swapped by biologists with hatchlings from an ill-fated nest. Witness the heartwarming account as the adults become foster parents and care for the young, including a nest interloper. Watch as the helpless chicks grow into fledglings and experience first flight. Age 12-21

 

Click here to see the short list.

 

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Click here to download a complete list of Green Earth Book Awards winners since 2004.

3rd Graders Learn Hands-on Stewardship

We kicked off Earth Day week by hosting a field trip at the Chapman DeMary Trail for the Guilford Elementary Green Beans environmental club.  Third grade students participated in a variety of activities at the trail, including planting over 20 plants in the pollinator habitat.

Students rotated through stations with an interesting variety of hands-on activities for students:

  1. how much energy it takes to clean water (The Loudoun County Public Schools Energy Education)
  2. a cupcake helps demonstrate layers of rock in the earth (Luck Stone)
  3. ways to slow the movement of water (The Catoctin Scenic River Advisory Committee)
  4. a hike to experience things in nature with different senses (The Piedmont Environmental Council)
  5. a nature bingo and scavenger hunt – with binoculars!  (volunteers from Middleburg Bank, Jason Sengpeihl’s Allstate Agency, The Nature Generation’s board)

Before they left, each student got their own copy of a book called Arthur Turns Green which won The Nature Generation’s annual Green Earth Book Award (2012 Picture Book), a packet of seeds to plant, and a Chapman DeMary Trail pencil. The books were donated by The Nature Generation and Jason P. Sengpiehl and his agency’s team in cooperation with the Allstate Foundation.

After returning to school, students shared what they learned during the field trip, including:

  • the names of various plants, like Trout Lily and May Apple
  • knowing that energy is important in the clean water process
  • little nasty critters can be floating in unclean water
  • finding out about layers and kinds of rock

They felt a sense of ownership and pride after planting in the pollinator meadow, knowing they can make a difference in simple ways. Even the parent chaperones were impressed with the stations and presenters, and learned things for their home gardens. Some have decided to make these kinds of gardens a family plan.

This field trip was made possible through a grant from Jason P. Sengpiehl and his agency’s team in cooperation with the Allstate Foundation. The plants from Watermark Woods were purchased through a grant The Nature Generation received from the Dominion Foundation.

Short List Winners Announced

We’ve announced the shortlist for our 2017 Green Earth Book Award, the national award that honors authors whose books best convey the environmental stewardship message to youth. We bestow it annually to promote books that inspire children to grow a deeper appreciation, respect, and responsibility for their natural environment.

“Indifference and even denial toward the science of climate change continues to escalate,” said Amy Marasco, president of The Nature Generation. “Each one of these amazing books counters this dangerous trend and encourages stewardship and the pursuit of science, which is even more critical moving forward if we are to raise a generation of children who are prepared to care for the planet.”

The shortlist includes titles published in 2016 in five categories. Young Adult Fiction, Young Adult Nonfiction, Children’s Fiction, and Children’s Nonfiction and Picture Book. The winners and honor books will be announced on Earth Day, April 22.

The books were vetted by a panel of esteemed judges representing environmental and educational organizations in private industry, associations, and governmental natural resource agencies, as well as college professors and elementary school teachers.  Click here to learn more about the award.

2017 Short List

  • Ada’s Violin, written by Susan Hood and illustrated by Sally Wern Comport (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
  • Be the Change: A Grandfather Gandhi Story, written by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus and illustrated by Evan Turk (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
  • Because of an Acorn, written by Lola M. Schaefer and Adam Schaefer and illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon (Chronicle Books)
  • Conservation of Endangered Species: Saving the Endangered Green Sea Turtle, written by Sarah Machajewski (Britannica Educational Publishing)
  • Dig Too Deep, written by Amy Allgeyer (Albert Whitman & Co)
  • Every Breath We Take: A Book About Air, written by Maya Ajmera and Dominique Browning (Charlesbridge Publishing)
  • Follow the Moon Home, written by Philippe Cousteau and Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated by Meilo So (Chronicle Books)
  • Green City, written and illustrated by Allan Drummond (Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers/Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)
  • Hopping Ahead of Climate Change—Snowshoe Hares, Science, and Survival, written by Sneed B. Collard III (Bucking Horse Books (Distributed by Mountain Press)
  • Inside an Osprey’s Nest, written by Teena Ruark Gorrow and Craig A. Koppie (Schiffer Publishing)
  • Journey: The Amazing Story of Or-7, the Oregon Wolf That Made History, written by Beckie Elgin (Inkwater Press)
  • Mr. McGinty’s Monarchs, written by Linda Vander Heyden and illustrated by Eileen Ryan Ewen (Sleeping Bear Press)
  • Pocket Change: Pitching in for a Better World, written by Michelle Mulder (Orca Book Publishers)
  • Rescued, written by Eliot Schrefer (Scholastic Press)
  • Saving Wonder, written by Mary Knight (Scholastic Press)
  • Science Comics: Coral Reefs: Cities of the Ocean, written by Maris Wicks (First Second/Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)
  • The Story of Seeds, written by Nancy Castaldo (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • Where’s the Elephant?, written and illustrated by Stephane-Yves Barroux (Candlewick Press)

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Earth Day 2017 — Line Up for April

Join Us!

 

Eco Action Checklist

Going green is easier than you think. There are lots of little things you can do every day to help reduce greenhouse gases and be less harmful to the earth. In the spirit of Earth Day, we’ve compiled a list of actions your can take to reduce your impact.

Download Eco Action Checklist

 

Friday, April 21, 2017

2017 Green Earth Book Award Winners Announced

The winners of our annual award are chosen each year by a panel of judges representing environmental and educational organizations in private industry, associations, and governmental natural resource agencies, as well as college professors and elementary school teachers. We’re honored to recognize the authors and illustrators who inspire our youth to be responsible stewards.  The Shortlist will be announced early April.

Click here to learn more about the awards.

 Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, 2017

Children’s and Young Adult Literature Festival

Salisbury University, Salisbury, Maryland, 10:30 a.m.

We are proud to participate in this year’s Festival in celebration of our dear friend, Dr. Ernie Bond.   Please join us during any of these activities:

  • Donation of 300+ books to the City of Salisbury programs that focus on promoting, celebrating and inspiring children and adults to read
  • Winners of the 2017 Green Earth Book Award recognized – 10:30am
  • Environmental panel with past Green Earth Book Award-winners, Shelley Rotner, Karen Romano Young and Ali Benjamin -10:45 am

To register for the event ($35) or for details, go to http://www.salisbury.edu/teachered/SUCommunity/CommunityOutreach/childlitfest/.

Plant for the Planet Trail Event

Chapman Demary Trail, Purcellville, Virginia, 2:00- 4:00 pm

The rain didn’t dampen everyone’s spirits! We had some dedicated souls come out for the Earth Day Planting at the trail!  The Nature Generation hosted a Earth Day planting at the Trail and got 60 plants into the ground at the pollinator meadow. A student from Culbert Elementary who had been on a field trip to the trail last Earth Day came with her mom, and they happily planted for the pollinators. They were joined by Purcellville Mayor Kwasi Fraser, Purcellville Town Council Members Chris Bledsoe and Karen Jimmerson, volunteers Gina Faber, Nancy Reaves, Mark Ware, and Nathan Ware, Amy Marasco–our president and founder, and our Teach Green Program Director Amie Ware. Coincidentally, three students from Loudoun Valley High School were also at the Chapman DeMary Trail to conduct water monitoring for their Capstone project, and one of these students joined us to help.

Lauren Cianciaruso, the mother of the Culbert Elementary School student, Olivia, who joined NatGen said that there was no other place her daughter would rather be on Earth Day. “She loves to plant. She’s a nature girl.”  Olivia won the door prize from Watermark Woods, which was a gift certificate to the native plant nursery along with a garden decoration so she’ll be able to get lots of plants for her garden at home.

Thank you the Dominion Foundation, Watermark Woods and Corcoran Brewing Company for supporting our Earth Day Plant for the Planet, and to all our dedicated volunteers!

 Click here to learn more about the Chapman DeMary Trail. 

 

April 27, 2017

Webinar: Closing the Gap in Environmental Literacy

1:15 – 2:45 p.m., hosted by the Security and Sustainability Forum and sponsored by Cadmus and CSRA

Join our webinar, “Closing the Environmental Literacy Gap” to learn how policy makers and educators are creating a more environmentally-literate population.  Experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) will join us in a comprehensive discussion on our nation’s environmental literacy gap:

  • what is the current gap
  • why it is relevant to our future (including environmental implications and security, economic, and social significance)
  • what are disparities within the gap itself
  • what are effective ways to close the gap

Of interest to: students and educators, policy makers and public officials, environmental and conservation organizations, and professionals working in the environment or energy sectors. We welcome office groups and classroom registrations, and expect this to be a popular topic so register early!

Click here to register.

April 29, 2017

People’s Climate Movement March

National Mall, Washington, D.C., 8:00 a.m.

“We Are The Nature Generation” volunteers wearing “No Planet B” t-shirts and carrying The Nature Generation banner show their support for protecting the environment at the People’s Climate Movement march. Bring your friends!

To get your t-shirt and join the group, contact jschmidt@natgen.org. For march details, go to https://peoplesclimate.org/

“Closing the Environmental Literacy Gap” Webinar

Join us on April 27 for our free webinar, “Closing the Environmental Literacy Gap,” as policy makers and educators discuss how to create a population that cares for the earth.

Experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) will join The Nature Generation in a comprehensive discussion on our nation’s environmental literacy gap:

  • what is the current gap
  • why it is relevant to our future (including environmental implications and security, economic, and social significance)
  • what are disparities within the gap itself
  • what are effective ways to close the gap

Of interest to: students and educators, policy makers and public officials, environmental and conservation organizations, and professionals working in the environment or energy sectors.

We welcome office groups and classroom registrations, and expect this to be a popular topic so register early!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

April 27, 2017 1:15 PM – 2:45 PM EST

Special thanks to the Security and Sustainability Forum, for hosting this webinar.

The Security & Sustainability Forum

Thanks also to Cadmus and CSRA, webinar sponsors and long time supporters of The Nature Generation’s mission.  Thank you to top leadership for your continued support and to all the employee volunteers who have supported us for so many years! We couldn’t do it without you!

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Take our survey for chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card

Friends and Supporters, we want to hear from you!

According to a recent National Environmental Education Foundation study, concern and knowledge about the environment is on the decline among Americans. There is a gap in environmental literacy!

By giving us two minutes of your time to take our survey, we can use your collective voice and craft our programs to ensure we reach this next generation!

Click here to take the survey (one lucky participant will win a $25 gift card).

Our Best Photos of 2016

Check out some of our favorite shots of kids as they grow to become our next generation of stewards. Through our environmental literature and outdoor classroom programs, these youth are learning what they can do to protect the planet. We know that in the future, their environmental education experiences will have a positive impact on the decisions they will make as adults.  We appreciate the generous financial donations and gifts of time from our supporters and volunteers.

 

We are all born with a natural curiosity about nature.
We are all born with a natural curiosity about nature. Pictured here, kids peek under a fallen tree.

All ages are welcome to help out.
All ages are welcome to help out.

We teach the next generation how to protect it - youth testing the health of the Catoctin Creek.
The Nature Generation teaches youth, our next generation of environmental stewards, how to protect nature.  Youth test the health of the Catoctin Creek during our annual Water Quality day.

We made book donations like these to schools throughout the nation as part of the Green Earth Book Award celebration.
We donated award-winning books to schools throughout the nation as part of the annual celebration of our Green Earth Book Award.

These kids are talking about award winner "Hey, Not Your Typical Book About The Environment" in our new video.
These kids talk about award winner “Hey, Not Your Typical Book About The Environment” in our new video.

Learning first hand how to maintain the delicate balance of nature - young volunteer picks up trash on our Chapman DeMary Trail in Purcellville, Va.
Learning first hand how to maintain the delicate balance of nature. A young volunteer picks up trash on our Chapman DeMary Trail in Purcellville, Va.

Trail, Water Quality Day, Hannah with water and boot, June 2016
High school student literally gets her feet wet during water quality testing day at the trail.

Students are always inspired when they meet our award winning authors face to face - Green Earth Book Award Winner Ali Benjamin is greeted here with life-like jellyfish hanging from the library for her presentation about her book "The Thing About Jellyfish."
Students are inspired when they meet our award winners face-to-face: Ali Benjamin is greeted with life-like jellyfish hanging in the library for her talk about her book “The Thing About Jellyfish.”

Author of winning book “One Plastic Bag,” Miranda Paul, shows kids how others did their part to change the world.

The birdfeeders that this student and her class made ended up as morsels for birds on the trail this winter.
The birdfeeders that this student and her class made ended up as morsels for birds on the trail this winter.

Messy but rewarding.
Messy but rewarding – planting in the pollinator plot on Earth Day field trip.

Here are more highlights of 2016…

Click here to support our programs with your generous donation.

 

 

BLOG: Why I Support The Nature Generation

December 1, 2016:  by Nick McCarter

For me, The Nature Generation mission encompasses three things that are very important in my life, Environment/Nature, Education, and Children. I actively participate in and support many nonprofit organizations that support one or two of those things, but none that support all three.

 Environment/Nature

I grew up with the Chesapeake Bay only a few steps out my back door. My best childhood memories all include some form of being immersed in nature, on the beach, or in the water. Leaving the beach for Northern Virginia seemed like a nightmare. However, having now lived on “our little farm” in Loudoun for 6 years, we love this new flavor of nature that we get to experience daily. I want my children and future generations to be able to have those same experiences.

Education

Most of the people we interact with in our business are extremely fortunate, far more than they even realize. We’ve been given a gift of an education, which is such a powerful and necessary tool for driving positive change both in the environment and elsewhere. We have to continuously work on improving the quality and availability of an education in order to sustain everything we are working so hard for.

Children

Our children had no choice of the environment they were born into, they simply deal with the decisions and results of all the adults before them. We do our best to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for them today. However, the best thing we can do is empower them to make educated decisions long after we’re gone. And hopefully that will allow future generations to enjoy the same environment we do today.

The Nature Generation brings people, businesses, and the community together to simultaneously improve the Environment, Education, and Children. That’s an effort that I’d love to be part of.

Plus, The golf tournament is a pretty good time.

Nick McCarter is the founder and CEO of Chartis, a leading provider of innovative and cost-effective IT solutions for the United States government. McCarter launched Chartis in 2008 with a single project for the Department of Energy and has since grown the firm to more than 100 professionals, supporting 18 public-sector organizations and reducing government spending by millions of dollars. Chartis, translated “map” from Greek, works with clients to strategically map IT investment plans to business needs. Washington Technology, CIO Review and Inc. Magazine have all recognized Chartis for its growth, potential and success as one of the country’s top private companies.

McCarter began his career with Blueprint Technologies as a strategic planner, where he also learned to run a small business. Prior to founding Chartis, he helped develop the enterprise architecture practice at Project Performance Corporation and grew it into a multimillion-dollar practice. 

McCarter lives in Leesburg, Virginia with his wife and twin boys. He has been recognized as one of Loudoun County’s 40 under 40 due to his appreciation for the core American values of hard work and community service coupled with his investment in other small businesses and the local community.  He is a strong supporter of non-profit organizations including The Wounded Warrior Project, Border Patrol Foundation, The Nature Generation, Operation Smile, Trekking for Kids, The Arc of Fairfax, and The Lombardi Foundation. McCarter also serves on the Executive Advisory Board for Computer Science at James Madison University, from which he holds a bachelor of science.

Support The Nature Generation!

CLICK HERE TO READ ADDITIONAL BLOGS

Families Flock to Hail to the Trail Event to Learn More about Nature

More than 100 people enjoyed a beautiful fall day in the woods exploring nature and listening to live music by Willie White at the second annual Hail to the Trail event at the Chapman DeMary Trail in Purcellville.

We co hosted the November 6th event with Town of Purcellville and many local organizations and businesses came out to the trail to show the community how to connect with nature and how to protect our natural resources.

Several activities focused on water.  People got their feet wet and caught and identified creatures in the South Fork Catoctin Creek with the Audubon Naturalist Society and were amazed at the discovery of all the small creatures that live unseen under water.  Piedmont Environmental Council showed how our actions can either help (planting trees) or harm (overusing fertilizer) our watershed.

The Nature Generation table was crowded with people who tested their knowledge about water with a trivia game and many others used our “TreeTrek,”  “I Spy Trees,” and “Find the Sign” scavenger hunt guides to help them slow down to truly see and appreciate the beauty of our natural environment.

Kids of all ages created works of art using nature; they used sticks to paint masterpieces at the Purcellville Arts Council table and made pet rocks with trail sponsor Jason Sengpeihl of Allstate.

The Purcellville Library mascot owls brought a sampling of the many environmental books available at the library.  Culbert Elementary School Green Crocs environmental club displayed what they learned in the environmental books we donated to them and how through their partnership they have been helping to keep the trail litter free.

People of all ages enjoyed learning ways to identify animals with molds of tracks and scat from the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy. Wildlife Ambassadors were a big draw with the snakes, lizards, turtles, ferrets and ducks demonstration that allowed people to get close up observations of these animals that live in the wild.

Keep Loudoun Beautiful ran a game to teach people the difference between trash and recyclables, and handed out reusable bags to encourage everyone to use them instead of plastic bags.  Trail sponsor The Maid Brigade collected several box loads of plastic bags to pass on to Trex, who will turn them into outdoor benches. Trail sponsor Middleburg Bank once again showed their support by handing out a variety of free giveaways to attendees.

The Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship displayed samples of plants and seeds that they are found on the Chapman DeMary Trail, and the Loudoun County Tree Stewards showed the many ways trees benefit the environment by cleaning water through filtration, and by cleaning air by absorbing pollutants and providing oxygen, to name just a few.

Three guided hikes were led by Gina Faber, winner of McGranaghan Stewardship Award; Carol Ivory of the Loudoun County Tree Stewards; and Paul Miller with the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship.

Several individuals and businesses who support the trail were recognized.  We bestowed the McGranaghan Stewardship Award to Gina Faber Gina for her dedication of time and talent to enhancing the trail and educating others about this natural habitat. Two boy scouts whose trail projects earned the rank of Eagle were praised: Joshua Eager (Troop 39) built a beautiful arched foot bridge at the entrance to the nature park; and Adam Broschkovetch (Troop 969) built a long boardwalk over part of the trail path that was often too muddy to pass.

Trail sponsors were also recognized for their generous financial contributions:  The Dominion Foundation, Middleburg Bank, The Purcellville Gazette, Jason Sengpiehl with Allstate, Maid Brigade, Bank of Clarke County, Cabinet Showplace, Fieldstone Farm Bed and Breakfast, Purcellville Copy, Purcellville Rotary Club, Wholesale Screening Solutions, Browning Equipment, It’s a Piece of Cake Catering, Hudimac and Company, The Jimmerson Family, The Robic Family and Zicht and Associates

Another major announcement at the Hail to the Trail was The Dominion Foundation presentation of a grant check for $10,000 for a project designed to “Enhance Environmental Stewardship and Access to Nature” at the Chapman DeMary Nature Trail.  Tim Sargeant with Dominion, presented the certificate to Amie Ware, Teach Green Program Director with The Nature Generation.

Mayor Kwasi Fraser of Purcellville was joined by children who planted three red bud trees near the new bridge. He then read a Proclamation for 2016 Arbor Day. Jim McGlone with the Department of Forestry talked about the value of trees and congratulated the Town for keeping its Tree City USA designation for the 9th year.

The Chapman DeMary Trail is part of a sustainable education partnership among The Nature Generation, Loudoun Valley High School, the Piedmont Environmental Council, and the Town of Purcellville. The Nature Generation is a nonprofit that manages and implements projects at the trail to provide environmental education and hands-on opportunities for students, scouts, and residents.  The organization relies on the support of individuals and businesses in our community to bring these programs and opportunities at the trail.

 

Gina Faber is 2016 McGranaghan Stewardship Award Recipient

We established the McGranaghan Stewardship award to recognize volunteers who help care for and enhance the habitat, educate the next generation about the habitat, and encourage youth to be good stewards. This year, the award was presented to Gina Faber.

Mrs. Faber was given the award for her dedication and enthusiasm in volunteering at the Chapman DeMary Trail. Over the past year, she has helped students, youth groups, scouts, and other volunteers who have come to the trail for field trips and trail enhancements. During events at the trail, she has led nature hikes and shown kids what to look for at the trail, how to identify plants, and how to plant plants so they will thrive. She has also dedicated hours to help with projects that include enhancing the pollinator plot and working with students on a project to reduce the negative impact of invasive plants in the habitat. Her passion for plants and caring for habitats come through in all the ways she helps at the trail and teaches the next generation.

Mrs. Faber learned how much she enjoyed sharing her love of nature with children during her time as a preschool assistant teacher at the Loudoun Valley Community Center in Purcellville with “Mr. Garth” Adams, who was a role model for her. When she became a Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener in 2011, she built on that enthusiasm by revitalizing and co-chairing the Children’s Education Team for several years. She is also an active member in Loudoun Environmental Stewardship Alliance (LESA) and the Green Team of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Loudoun (UUCL).

She is a talented musician who has played all over the county as a classical and tradition music performer on percussion, mandolin and guitar. She owns her own edible landscaping company and has recently started a gluten-free baking business, Gina’s Pies.
Mrs. Faber grew up in Virginia Beach, VA, graduating from University of Virginia with degrees in Math and Math Education.  She has lived in Loudoun County since 1988. She currently lives is Round Hill with husband Joe and daughter Julia who attends JMU. Her hobbies include music, nature, gardening, meditation, cooking, knitting, environmental activism and reading.

The McGranaghan Stewardship Award is named after Loudoun Valley High School Environmental Explorations teacher Liam McGranaghan. He demonstrates what it means to be a good steward of the environment with his students and with the community through his work at the Chapman DeMary Trail and other areas. He and his students were instrumental in establishing the nature trail and serve as stewards of the area.

 

2016 Winning Authors are Honored, Meet with Students

The Green Earth Book Awards events last week were FANTASTIC! Our authors connected with over 2,000 students during visits to schools in Arlington, Chantilly, and Hamilton, Virginia, as well as Washington, DC and we donated several hundred books to the schools and students! Our authors were inspiring, too – hearing them speak to students and seeing their direct impact, and listening to their moving words as they accepted their awards was just amazing!

Our 2016 Winners:

Picture Book –The Stranded Whale, written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Melanie Cataldo (Candlewick Press)

Young Adult Fiction- The Beast of Cretacea, written by Todd Strasser (Candlewick Press)

Children’s Fiction –The Thing About Jellyfish, written by Ali Benjamin (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

Children’s Nonfiction – Mission: Sea Turtle Rescue, written by Karen Romano Young and Daniel Raven-Ellison (National Geographic Society)

2016 Honor Award Winners:

Picture Book – Crane Boy, written by Diana Cohn and  illustrated by Youme (Cinco Puntos Press)

Picture Book –The Seeds of Friendship, written and illustrated by Michael Foreman (Candlewick Press)

Young Adult Fiction- A 52-Hertz Whale, written by Bill Sommer and  Natalie Haney Tilghman (Carolrhoda Lab™ – Lerner Publishing Group)

Children’s Fiction – Sydney & Simon Go Green!, written by Paul A. Reynolds and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds (Charlesbridge)

Children’s Fiction – The Order of the Trees, by Katy Farber (Green Writers Press)

Children’s Nonfiction – One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia, written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon (Millbrook Press)

Children’s Nonfiction – Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall, written by Anita Silvey (National Geographic Society)

 

We announced our winners during an Earth Day field trip to the Chapman DeMary Trail in Purcellville, a group of 75 2nd graders helped announce the winners and gave their reactions to how the books inspired them to be good environmental stewards. The National Environmental Education Foundation was on hand to present a water testing activity to show the students the importance of keeping our streams, rivers and oceans clean.

 

2014 Read Green Festival 094

Each year we donate these award wining books to schools, hospitals and youth groups. Please consider making a contribution to The Nature Generation so we can give more of these inspirational books to our next generation of environmental stewards.

Your Support Makes a difference! CLICK HERE TO DONATE  

 

 

 

 

Hands On Learning on the Trail

We are proud to report our recent activities on the Chapman DeMary Trail that provide youth and communities the opportunity to learn first hand about how our our actions can impact the environment:

Stormwater Stewards

(Funded in part through a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.)

Students from Loudoun Valley High School learned how to be Stormwater Stewards through hand-on activities in the classroom and on the Trail.  They monitored the water quality of the South Fork Catoctin Creek that runs along the trail; researched water issues; recommended a plan of action on how to improve the buffer zones along the bank; and then created informational materials to educate hikers on the trail.  With guidance from local experts and their Environmental Explorations Teacher, students came up with six recommendations to enhance the riparian buffer in the pollinator plot located on the trail.  One of the lead students, Jennifer Betz, presented the recommendations to the Town of Purcellville and the land owner.  After discussion, they agreed on a  plan to plant trees and shrubs to enhance the riparian buffer in the pollinator plot, which is very close to the creek.  Three criteria were used, the plants must be native; appropriate for riparian buffer zones; and able to provide food and shelter for pollinators and/or be a host plant. The Nature Generation purchased the 60 trees and shrubs with funding through the grant, and students planted them in the pollinator plot. Through this grant, informational flyers and posters about the trees and shrubs planted, about native plants in general, and about riparian buffers was created and is displayed at the trail.

Many thanks to the organizations and experts who helped: Loudoun Watershed Watch, Loudoun County Tree Stewards, Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, Loudoun Valley High School, the Piedmont Environmental Council, The Cadmus Group, and The Town of Purcellville.

Click here to see the Stormwater Stewards Recommendations and Plan

 

 

Weed Warriors

(Funded in part by the Captain Planet Foundation.)

Boy Scout Troop 961 and the Virginia Native Plant Society removed invasive plants that were choking out native plants in the pollinator habitat at the Trail and replaced them with native plants to provide food and shelter for wildlife. This also enhanced the riparian buffer at a portion of the South Fork Catoctin Creek, part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.  We also planted 62 shrubs and flowers. In addition to making great progress in removing and deterring invasive plants, we were able to establish monthly Weed Warrior maintenance days at the Trail; an effort that will continue through the years.

The Boy Scouts join us each month for Weed Warriors and also participated in our annual water quality days as volunteers providing information about invasives. You can join us the second Tuesday of every month from 4:30 to 7 p.m. and help us with this effort! Just stop by, or sign up online to get an email reminder: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0a49adae28abf49-beamonthly

 

 

 

 

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