Zilker Neighborhood Gardens

Commentary by a National Wildlife Steward who helps Zilker neighbors establish native plant gardens

Tag Archives: environment

How Academic Performance Can Be Improved By Connecting Kids to Nature (free talk, 10/5)

How Academic Performance Can Be Improved By Connecting Kids to Nature

Sun, 10/05/2014 – 12:00pm – 1:00pm

Research shows that environment-based learning is an effective means of engaging students in core subject areas such as math and science. Marya Fowler, Senior Education Manager for National Wildlife Federation will show how and why schoolyard habitats and outdoor classrooms help students learn.

Prior to joining NWF in 1999, Marya taught for several years at the secondary level. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Environmental Planning/Landscape Design and worked in the field of landscape design, creating restoration management plans for habitat and wildlife using native plants. As Senior Education Manager for NWF’s South Central Regional Center, Marya focuses on the advancement of NWF’s K-12 school-based programming in the region, including Eco-Schools USA, Schoolyard Habitats and global warming education and literacy, with an emphasis on integrating these programs at the state/school district levels and promoting environmental education as a means to improving student academic performance.


First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin, Pubic Affairs Forum, Green Sanctuary Committee, 4700 Grover, Austin, Texas

Go to the Rocky Mountains (Estes Park) for Free!

Do you have a 8-18 year old who loves the outdoors? Are you available between July 7-13, 2012 to go to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado? Then, you should encourage your son or daughter to write a no-more-than 3 page essay to apply for the 3rd Annual Tufts Scholarship. Hurry – you only have through March 30th. And make sure your son/daughter writes the essay – not you. As a teacher, I can tell you that it’s pretty clear when a student or a parent does the homework for school.  Here’s more information and a link:

NWF and the Tufts Family are seeking nominations (from students between ages of 8-18) to apply for the award.
The award winner and a chaperone will attend a week long educational adventure with the Family Summit Inc program.  This year the nature adventure will be in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.
Students need to submit an essay along with a completed nomination form by March 30th to be eligible.  You can learn more and download the nomination form at:

The Fund finances an annual award that recognizes an individual between the ages of 8 and 18 who displays an interest in the natural world, aiming to foster that interest and encourage a lifelong path of environmental study. The Fund provides an opportunity for a young person to experience NWF’s mission of inspiring individuals of all ages to care about and protect wildlife and wildlife habitat.

Good luck, and I hope someone from Austin, Texas wins. (Or my nieces in Wisconsin or nephews/nieces in California!)

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