Program Materials

This page houses the current Groundswell program materials, forms, and project funding applications. You will find the following documents here: calendar of professional development workshops, Team Information Form, Initial Project Proposal, Detailed Project Proposal, project funding criteria, program information to share with parents and other educators, and more!

East Rockford Middle School bioswale

Godwin Middle School

Mulick Park Elementary

Professional Development

We offer several professional development workshops throughout the school year, as well as a week-long summer workshop series the first week of August. Our PD provides training on a wide range of watershed stewardship topics. 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!

Fall Dinner & Dialogue

Please join us for our fall Dinner and Dialogue event. Wendi Vogel from Kent ISD and Brenda Perry from Kent Innovation High School will be leading a learning lab on engaging students in stream monitoring. Learning labs are a great way for teachers to learn from other teachers by observing what is working well for them. They are also a way to share expertise with new or upcoming teachers in the Groundswell program.  We look forward to an evening of good conversation, good food, and plenty of networking with colleagues and partners.

Register for Fall Dinner & Dialogue

Native Plant Propagation

Native plants are the preferred species for habitat restoration and conservation projects. They are becoming more sought after for residential landscaping as well. However, purchasing native plants can become very costly for large-scale projects.

Join us to learn how to propagate your own native plants from seed! Rebecca Marquardt and Courtney Cheers will walk participants through the full propagation process, including:

  1. Identification of native plants
  2. Seed collecting
  3. Seed cleaning
  4. Seed storage options
  5. Stratification methods
  6. Germination best practices

 Attendees will gain hands-on experience in all phases of the propagation process and the importance of using native plants. Attendees will also receive seeds to take home for projects and resources for successful native plant propagation.

Register for Native Plant Propagation


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.

Team Information Form

Teachers/school teams must submit a Team Information Form in order to be eligible to apply for project funding.

This form asks for basic contact information for team members, as well as administrator contact information.

Click Here for Team Information Form

Initial Project Proposal

Submit this form to be considered for seed funding (up to $150 for individual teachers and up to $250 for teacher teams).

If your Initial Project Proposal is approved, you will be eligible to submit a Detailed Project Proposal to receive additional funding.

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

Click Here for Initial Project Proposal

Detailed Project Proposal

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

Submit this form to be considered for criteria-based funding (a total of up to $1,000 – average funding levels are around $750).

Click here to download the rubric used to evaluate the detailed proposals.

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

Click Here for Detailed Project Proposal

Groundswell Lite Option

If you are just getting started with Groundswell, we offer a "Groundswell Lite" option. Under that option, you would facilitate a smaller-scale stewardship exploration experience with students and receive up to $250 in project funding. Contact us to learn more.


Other Program Materials

Below you will find the:

  • Substitute reimbursement form
  • Photo release form
  • Parent letter

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

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.

Photo Release Form - English

Photo Release Form - Spanish

Parent Letter

We understand it can be difficult to explain Groundswell and place-based education in a few short sentences. Please feel free to send this letter home to provide more information and get parents excited about all the exciting opportunities you’ll be providing their student.

Parent Letter - English

Parent Letter - Spanish



Page last modified September 14, 2018