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Here's What's Trending in March


World Water Day 2018 Logo

World Water Day 2018 is coming on March 22, and this year the theme is Nature for Water. Join in this global initiative and take action by hosting an event, educating the community, or learning more about nature-based solutions to worldwide water challenges. Teachers can use the weeks leading up to this day to engage students in discussions about issues faced around the world and in their own backyard. Use this opportunity to introduce the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and in particular Goal 6, Clean Water and Sanitation, which targets protection and restoration of water-related ecosystems. Visit the World Water Day website for inspirational stories and to download resources, or learn more about Eco-Schools USA Water and WOW Pathways.


Monarch Mission Spanish curriculum cover

The National Wildlife Federation is proud to offer The Monarch Mission curriculum in Spanish. Recently assessed by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies as one of the top resources recommended for conservation educators, this curriculum empowers students to build and improve habitat for the monarch butterfly.

The National Wildlife Federation is working to support monarch conservation across the nation with a special focus on the eastern monarch population. The curriculum not only provides students with opportunities to gain greater insights into the species and its plight, but also be part of the conservation solution. Schools surrounding the monarch’s migration from the Oyamel Fir Forests in Mexico, up the I-35 corridor, through the central plains and along the Gulf and East Coast are designing, installing, and maintaining Monarch Recovery Gardens. Won’t you join us?


Mapping Your Schoolyard Habitat

Is your school one of nearly 7,000 National Wildlife Federation certified Schoolyard Habitats? If so, consider joining other Certified Wildlife Habitats around the country in mapping your schoolyard. We are encouraging participation in the world’s first interactive citizen scientist social network—The Habitat Network, a partnership between Cornell Lab of Ornithology and The Nature Conservancy. Students can use mapping and math skills to create a map of their outdoor learning space.

We encourage all of our Certified Schoolyard Habitats to add their map to this database that will ultimately promote wildlife conservation. Find more information and resource links on the National Wildlife Federation blog.


Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn sheep photo by William Borne

One look at this picture and you can guess how the bighorn sheep got its name! According to the National Wildlife Federation’s Wildlife Guide, the two species of wild sheep in North America with large horns are the bighorn sheep and the Dall sheep. Their hooves make them well-equipped for climbing steep mountain slopes, which provides them a place to shelter from predators. The Wildlife Guide is a helpful educational resource, especially as we celebrate National Wildlife Week March 12 – 16. Join us as we travel the road to the Final Fur, where students can learn more about wildlife, download trading cards, and find out if the Dall sheep has what it takes to make it to the Final Fur!

Be sure to check out the March issue of Ranger Rick® magazine to learn more about the life of bighorn sheep. Download the free monthly Educator’s Guide, which includes an activity for students to learn more about how bighorn sheep use their special adaptations.


Entry Deadline: April 22, 2018

An Inconvenient Sequel After watching the film and learning more about climate science, viewers are inspired by the urgency of the climate crisis and the opportunities that the solutions provide. We are asking teachers and students from grades 6 to 12 to accept the Challenge and submit their best climate solutions ideas for their school, after-school program, team, or club.

Your solution project could be awarded up to $20,000.Check out the guidelines and examples and apply when you are ready for the School Climate Solution Challenge.


Learning About Forests

Spring is coming and, around the country, many forests will come alive with new growth. But how much do we really know about the forests around our schools and communities? The new Eco-Schools USA LEAF Pathway provides many hands-on learning opportunities for students as they work to improve the health and diversity of forests in their community, or to raise awareness about local forest ecosystems. Schools that utilize the new grade-banded LEAF audits are encouraged to provide feedback via email to


Brooklyn Students Build Beaver Dams

There is nothing we like better than hearing stories of students engaged in issues within their local community. In case you missed it, the latest story on the National Wildlife Federation blog features an inspirational first grade teacher who took a local environmental issue in Staten Island and turned it into a hands-on lesson. It began when an industrious family of beavers built a dam which caused water levels in the Richmond Creek to rise and periodically flood the nearby streets. Teacher Diane Corrigan turned the situation into a teachable moment, and incorporated this real life conflict into her lesson. While her young students were learning about beavers, they also were asked to build a lodge and beaver dam. Be sure to visit the blog to see their creations and learn more about how we all can help make space for wildlife where we live.


How to Apply for an Award

Your school has implemented the Seven Step Framework, now what? Based on the criteria met, schools can apply for one of three levels of awards: the Bronze, Silver, or Green Flag Award.

Tip of the Month icon

  • Log in to your school dashboard and click "Apply for New Awards"
  • Complete and submit the awards application
  • Bronze and Silver awards are automatically awarded if all criteria have been met
  • Green Flag awards require approval by the Eco-Schools team upon completion of all required documentation
  • Celebrate your success with a school-wide or community-wide event

Learn more about how to apply for an Eco-Schools USA Award.


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