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To create a section of the playground that will provide an opportunity for other students to connect to Nature. It is desired to plant butterfly plants, a shade tree and purchase Nature play equipment from Dimensions Foundation to enhance exposure to the natural world at Lantana Elementary
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Our group attended Central Veterinary Associates in Valley Stream New York on April 15, 2007. CVA is a 24 hour animal hospital. Dr. Charos taught our group about x-rays, reptiles, they cleaned cages, fed the animals in the exotic ward and bathed two dogs. Dr. Charos removed stitches from a bearded dragon and taught us the importance of dental care in domestic animals. We had a ton of fun. When we finished the staff treated us to pizza!! We plan on doing this again in other animal hospitals and shelters.
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East Bay Roots & Shoots partnered with Cell Phones for Soldiers to collect used cell phones, pagers, ink cartridges, and PDA devices. We learned how recycling can help prevent the harmful chemicals (i.e., mercury), contained within these devices, from contaminating our soil and water, thus harming our wildlife. We researched Cell Phones for Soldiers (www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com) and learned that this brother-sister team uses the proceeds from recycling these items to purchase calling cards. These cards are then distributed to our soldiers serving overseas. We decorated two tri-fold display boards (the same ones used for science fair projects) with artwork and information regarding Roots & Shoots. We left space on these boards to attach flyers with specific information for the project we are working on. This way, we will be able to reuse the boards by updating the flyer information. We also decorated two cardboard boxes to drop the donations in. We approached the branch manager of our local bank, as well as the caretaker of our local American Legion Post, and obtained permission to setup our displays for six weeks. Flyers describing the campaign were distributed to the student body in our children's school and posted on local bulletin boards. We did send out press releases; however, we did not receive any coverage (that was disappointing). We collected approximately 50lbs of devices. Cell Phones for Soldiers provides a postage-paid, shipping label (downloaded from their website). As soon as we confirm how many cards were purchased with the proceeds, we will be able to draft a "thank you" to our participants. We will also issue another press release with the results. Our project displayed care and concern for the environment, animals, and the human community.
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My group went to the senior center to played bingo and baked them a cake and cookies. We had a lot of fun and so did the seniors. We wanted to go back but another group got to go.
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My group raked leaves and planted plants along the side walk. It was so much fun. We each planted a tree and get to watch it grow.
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We planted twenty native sitka wiilows along the banks of Rock Creek near our church. The trees were donated by Clean Water Services of Washington County. We mulched the saplings and put up browsing guards to protect them from beaver, nutria and deer. Our other partner was Rock Creek Watershed Partners.
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We built bat houses so that our church and neighborhood could provide homes for colonies of little brown bats. We learned that these beneficial creatures help to control insect populations, especially mosquitoes. We built 13 bat houses and we have mounted them around the grounds of our church and near Rock Creek.
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We made art out of non recyclable trash and are planing to sell it.
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We attended the Oakland Zoo's "Get Your Green Grove On" Earth Day Celebration on Sunday, April 15th. At this fun event, many different green organizations had tables with fun activities for the children and lots of information for parents and children alike. Activities included everything from making eco-friendly and safe cat toys, to sampling fair trade coffee and organic strawberries, to learning about how to recycle. Once the kids had had their fill of activities and information, and had seen all the zoo animals, they could unwind at the Green Groove Dance Party and sing along with popular children's band Orange Sherbert. Our Roots & Shoots table (stationed next to the chimpanzees, of course!) featured an art activity to help children learn about the benefits of planting trees in their communities to support their local ecosystem. We had many cutouts of animals that might be supported by a tree in an urban environment, such as birds, squirrels, mice, worms, buterflies and other bugs, lizards, turtles, and even humans! Children used brightly colored markers and crayons to design their own ecosystem inhabitants, and then added them to our "tree," a posterboard creation mounted on a Velcro-backed board. With little bits of adhesive Velcro, children could place their animals wherever they liked on or around the tree, and move them around easily if they changed their minds. Plus, the Velcro made the activity completely reusable! We had lots of fun staffing the table, and met many amazing locals who were interested in implementing positive change in their own communities. Some were already involved in community gardening and excited to hear about our ReBirth the Earth: Trees for Tomorrow Campaign. We were also able to answer many questions about Dr. Jane and chimpanzees, and connect with a leader of the Oakland Zoo Roots & Shoots group!
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To celebrate Earth Day at our church, we held a fair to educate the congregation about some of our projects. Members manned 5 stations: 1. Monarch Waystation: Using Journey North website, visitors learned about monarchs vs. viceroys; and had a chance to "sponsor a species"--buy one of the plants we need to order for our monarch waystation. 2. Amphibian Monitoring 3. "Nothing But Nets" Malaria Awareness project. $10 purchases a bed net to fight malaria among African children. 4. The "Green Church Initiative:" Our church signed this during our worship service, following guidelines of the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church. 5. Climate change: Information, and gave away "Last out, lights out; Don't be Fuelish" light switch covers. Also had interactive website on trade-offs in combating climate change (from Miriam Koshland Museum website). 6. Walk for Water sign-up 7. A "fair-trade awareness" table with a chance to find your ecological footprint.

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