Planting a rain garden at Park Elementary School in Cross Plains, WI. Photo: Bill Arthur

Planting a rain garden at Park Elementary School in Cross Plains, WI. Photo: Bill Arthur

The Earth Partnership Program exists to establish a positive relationship between children and the land by assisting teachers in creating restoration projects on school sites and providing the tools for building a curriculum that incorporates restoration into almost any subject area

Our motivation in Earth Partnership is to create opportunities for experiences with nature on school sites. By having students transform school landscapes into natural habitats, their studies of science, math, and related subjects can show them why learning is important and that they can make a difference.

How the Partnership Works

  • Earth Partnership staff help teachers and students develop the restoration at their school.
  • Teachers receive on-site consultations from Earth Partnership staff.
  • A teacher in-service for each school is provided by Earth Partnership staff.
  • Teachers and students participate in scientific restoration research.
  • This research, which will provide students with inquiry-based activities, will be facilitated by Earth Partnership staff.
  • A one-day meeting during the year will gather members of all teams to share ideas, discuss projects, and experience seasonal restoration activities.
  • Ongoing enrichment classes are available to all alumni.
  • An e-mail list-serve links teachers, students, scientists and restoration experts.
  • A newsletter provides news and new curriculum ideas.

The program includes a two-week institute in the summer and ongoing support from UW–Madison Arboretum staff to help schools with restoration planning and curriculum development.

The teaching potential of ecological restoration can involve any ecosystem indigenous to a region. The 1,200-acre UW–Madison Arboretum is internationally recognized as a leader in the field of ecological restoration. The biological communities collection at the Arboretum is living, dramatic proof of the possibilities inherent in restoration.