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 multi-day workshop series at the end of summer. 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!


An Indigenous Way of Being

March 16, 2021 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

We are excited to invite you to join us for an exploration of Anishinaabe teachings and relationality around protecting the environment. Increase your awareness of Anishinaabe culture and traditions...

View More Events

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.

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