Wellborn fund spreads wealth for ecology education in the Upper Valley

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 10/20/2019 10:32:07 PM

CONCORD — Twenty years after Marguerite Wellborn bequeathed $10 million to support ecology education throughout the Upper Valley, the fund named for the late Hanover naturalist keeps on giving.

This week, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation announced almost $300,000 in grants from the Wellborn Ecology Fund to more than 20 area schools and educational institutions. The gifts range from $3,500 to Bradford (Vt.) Elementary School for an outdoor classroom to $69,000 for the Upper Valley Teaching Place Collaborative.

“The ... Collaborative’s mission is to help all Upper Valley schools get kids outside,” Traci Fowler, the Charitable foundation’s senior program officer and manager of the Wellborn Ecology Fund, said in a news release. “We’ve seen that with targeted, accessible technical assistance, educators can connect students to the natural world right in their own backyards — whether they are teaching English, science or math.”

The Wellborn fund also awarded $49,000 to the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock, whose Wellborn Institute oversees professional development for Upper Valley teachers who aim to incorporate natural and community resources into the classroom.

Institutions receiving follow-up rounds of support include the Lyme-based Center for Northern Woodlands Education, with another $25,000 to run the weekly essay series “The Outside Story.” And $20,000 went both to Sullivan County for place-based ecology education in county schools, and to the Vermont Institute of Natural Science of Quechee for the institute’s Center for Environmental Education, which works with area schools.

In addition to Bradford Elementary, individual schools receiving grants for outdoor classrooms were Piermont Village School with $5,000, Mount Lebanon Elementary in Lebanon with $4,450 and Thetford Academy with $3,500.

Other Valley grant recipients were:

White River Partnership, South Royalton — $5,000 for Monitoring the White River program for 18 schools from the watershed system.

Dartmouth College — $5,000 for a project in which area high school students collect dragonfly larvae for mercury testing.

Four Winds Nature Institute, Chittenden, Vt. — $30,000 for Upper Valley Linkages in Environmental Literacy.

Vital Communities, White River Junction — $20,000 to continue farm-to-school programs.

Montshire Museum of Science — $10,000 for programs for needy children and families.

ForestKinder, Randolph Center — $5,000 for Outdoor Play and Learning Conference.

The Fells, Newbury, N.H. — $5,000 to improve accessibility to ecology exhibits, programs.

Riverside Middle School, Springfield, Vt. — $3,500 for compost system and associated curriculum.

Linking Lands Alliance, White River Junction — $2,916 for teachers incorporating maps, other tools in studies of local, regional landscapes.

Woodstock Union High School — $2,569 for Ottauquechee River watershed-education curriculum.

Newton School, South Strafford — $1,000 to equip outdoor-education program for kindergarten through fourth grade.

David Corriveau can be reached at dcorriveau@vnews.com and at 603-727-3304.

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