Program Materials

This page houses the current Groundswell program materials, forms, and project funding applications. You will find the following documents here: Project Funding Request Form, Detailed Project Proposal, project funding criteria, upcoming professional development opportunities, program information to share with parents and other educators, and more!

East Rockford Middle School bioswale
Godwin Middle School
Mulick Park Elementary

Funding Application Process

Our three-step funding application process is described below with links to download the documents associated with each step. Please contact us with any questions.

Groundswell Rubric

Groundswell's goal is to facilitate quality place-based education (PBE) stewardship in our local communities. Our project process is designed to be accessible and approachable for all educators and administrators, regardless of subject, grade, or familiarity with PBE. Below, you'll find a detailed rubric that outlines expectations for Groundswell projects and program participation for our educators. 

Groundswell Rubric

Project Funding Request Form

To get started on a Groundswell project, teachers/school teams must a Project Funding Request Form.

This form asks for basic contact information for team members, as well as administrator contact information. It provides vital information for Groundswell staff to assist you in your project process. 

Project Funding amounts range from $250 - $1,000 and depend on the project scope and content.

If your form is approved, you will be eligible to submit a Detailed Project Proposal.

The Groundswell Projects Committee reviews all proposals and will issue a decision within one month of submission.

Project Funding Request Form

Detailed Project Proposal

Teachers/school teams with an approved Project Funding Request Form are eligible to submit a Detailed Project Proposal.

Submit this form to elaborate on your project and go over its content standards, curriculum connection, and budget.

The Groundswell Projects Committee reviews all proposals and will issue a decision within one month of submission.

Detailed Project Proposal

Professional Development

We offer several professional development workshops throughout the school year, as well as a multi-day workshop series at the end of summer. Our PD provides training on a wide range of watershed stewardship topics. Participating Groundswell project team educators are required to attend our PD (see Groundswell Rubric above), but all are welcome and we encourage teachers from all subject areas to attend – this is not just a science program!

Topics vary every year, but typical subjects include: teaching outdoors, place-based education best practices, watershed concepts, methods for implementing stewardship projects with students, designing watershed stewardship projects, invasive species identification, water quality data collection and analysis, sustainable development, community outreach and advocacy, land use and human development patterns in our watershed, forestry, food systems, and more!


Groundswell Summer Institute Day 1 (1 of 3) - 7/31/2023

July 31, 2023 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM

This is a registration for all three days of Summer Institute: Day 1 (7/31), Day 2 (8/1), Day 3 (8/2) Are you a teacher new to place-based education (PBE)? Maybe you have implemented PBE in your...

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Other Program Materials

Substitute Reimbursement

We provide substitute reimbursement for Groundswell teachers who attend our PD sessions. Download the form and submit it following the directions on the form. Please submit this form within 30 days of the PD session.

Download Form

Photo Release Form and Parent Letter

We want to share all the amazing work your students are doing! Help us by having parents/guardians sign photo release forms for all students involved in Groundswell activities. Please submit the ORIGINAL form to us and keep a copy for your records. On this TWO-SIDED page you will also find the Groundswell Parent Letter. We understand it can be difficult to explain Groundswell and place-based education in a few short sentences. This letter is meant to go home with the photo release form to provide more information and get parents excited about all the exciting opportunities you’ll be providing their student. 

Photo Release Form - English

Formulario de Publicación de Fotografía (Photo Release Form - Spanish)

Page last modified April 3, 2023