Spring is in the air, but we are almost booked for summer! If you are interested in having ME4E come to your site so we can lead our wonderful programs, contact us now. Only a few select dates and times are still available. To see our list of Summer Reading Opportunities click here
Don't forget to get outdoors for play and discovery. Animals are starting to migrate and plants will soon start to pop. When you start to notice the seasonal changes, take some pictures & email us your photos and observation. We will post them in our next Teal Tidings.
Ready to bloom!
Teal Tidings - September 2012
Welcome back to school! Fall is right around he corner, but there are many celebrations this month including Sept. 18th - International Day for Preservation of Ozone Layer and Sept. 23rd - Neptune was discovered in 1846.
Now is a great time to get outdoors for play and discovery. Animals are starting to migrate and plants will go dormant soon. Can you start to notice the sesaonal changes by you? Email us your photos and obervation and we will post them in our October Teal Tidings.
We found a toad!
Teal Tidings - August 2012
Thank you for a wonderful summer! We visited over a dozen different libraries enhancing their summer reading programs. Check out the fun with a few pictures we posted on Facebook. ME4E also visited summer camps, summer schools and lead activities at the Wetlands Discovery Center in Park Forest. If you would like to check out the Central Park Wetlands and the Wetlands Discovery Center, we will be hosting a Nature Bingo on August 29th at 10 am.
This month we are preparing for our Fall lineup. ME4E will be leading many afterschool programs that focus on STEM education. STEM traditionally stands for Science, Technology, Engineering & Math, however, we like to add a little “green” to our STEM. Utilizing reused items, covering environmental topics and incorporating sustainable concepts are just a few techniques that make our STEM activities distinctive. We will post dates, locations and times on Facebook later this month. Make sure you “like” us to receive updates as soon as they become available.
Hands Up for STEM!
Teal Tidings - June 2012
We just updated our events page and have posted over 3 dozen activities this summer! Check them out on our facebook page. Many of the programs are FREE, but you may need to register, so sign up early since space is limited! We have programs for ALL ages so make sure to visit, learn and have fun with us this summer.
In the fall ME4E will start offering parties at the Wetlands Discovery Center in Park Forest, IL. Great for birthdays, scout meetings, youth groups and community organizations. We are working with Groupon to launch this service at a greatly reduced price, but quantities will be limited. Once a date for the deal is set we will post it on our website, tweet it and update our status to let you know early! Don't miss out on having a unique event with us.
Teal Tidings - May 2012
May is an eventful month for us in the environmental field. Did you know it is Garlic Mustard Awareness Month, EcoDriving Month, National Duckling Month, Flower Month, Clean Air Month, National Birds of Prey Month & National Bike Month? Plus it hosts National Wildflower Week, National Backyard games week, International Space Day, Frog Jumping Day, Space Day, Endangered Species Day, and World Turtle Day! If you need a reason to celebrate nature or being green, May is a great month.
ME4E had a busy April. We lead a lot of new programs and attended several special events including STEMapalooza for the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. Photos of many of our
activities are found on our Facebook page. Make sure to like us for updates, grant opportunities, green tips and more.
We will be leading more than 30 different programs at suburban libraries this summer to enhance their summer reading program. Check out our list of possible programs by clicking on the photo to the right, then look in your local library's summer reading program brochure for one of our titles. Since space is limitied, you need to register with them. Don't forget, you might be able to attend other local libraries programs too! When you visit our events page on Facebook you can see ALL our community program opportunities Guaranteed to have fun while learning, come join us!
Click on image to view brochure
Teal Tidings - January 2012
There's no time like the present for going green. Whether or not you're making resolutions, reinforce good habits and positive behaviors or try a new eco-friendly routine. Here are a few ways to start 2012:
• When a light bulb goes out, replace it with an LED one
• Mulch your live Christmas tree. There are many locations available to drop it off.
• Don’t let the tap run while washing hands and face, brushing teeth, or shaving.
• When packing a lunch, opt for reusable containers for food storage instead of wrapping the food with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
• Don’t go anywhere without your cloth bag!
• Leave a cup and reusable bottle for water at work to eliminate buying drinks.
• If there isn’t an office recycling system, start one yourself!
• Lower your office’s carbon footprint by seeing computers, monitors, printers, copiers, speakers and other business equipment to their energy saving feature and turning them off at the end of the day.
We hope you have a wonderful 2012. Like us Facebook or follow on Twitter for daily green news you can use and share. Maybe we’ll inspire you to inspire others.
Teal Tidings - December 2011
Some people call this the most wonderful time of the year. Others say bah humbug. However you feel, we hope you take advantage of the wonders of winter. Celebrate that our days will soon be getting longer. Embraced family & friends that will soon gather together to share warm memories and make resolutions for another blessed year. To you and yours have a green holiday season.
Did you notice the new link on the left side of this page? It is a calendar for IDNR resource availability and programs at the Wetlands Discovery Center. Now you can see what is happening in the center and if any of the loan equipment is in use. Please keep in mind that all ME4E programs that are open to community members are listed on our Facebook events page.
Teal Tidings - November 2011
Fall is officially in full swing. Daylight savings time is over, frost is a regular occurrence and time to find your shovel because that four letter word might fall from the sky at any moment. Most of the leaves have fallen from the trees, but don't despair. Now you will have a better view of the night sky! There are some great winter constellations including Orion and Gemini that you can see in the southern sky. Don't let the cooler weather and shorter days get you down. Look up and view nature's nightly heavenly bodies..
We would like to thank all the people who attended our October Wetlands Discovery Center Open House. ME4E will host another one in Spring. All of our community programs are listed on our events page so check regularly for updates and additions. Contact us if you would like to host a program open to your community too.
ME4E would also like to thank several folks for their recent donations. T.K.'s Junk is regularly on the lookout for items they can salvage, recycle and re-purpose so that they are kept out the waste stream. When they came across a trailer that would allow us to transport program materials to local events via bicycle, we took them up on their offer. This donation allows ME4E to reduce their carbon footprint.
The donation from Mr. Mulvey was a bit more technical. We have been working on improvements to the Wetlands Discovery Center in Park Forest. There was internet in the Aqua Center, but not accessible in the WDC. A router was donated by Mr. Mulvey and the Recreation & Parks Department for the Village of Park Forest installed the wifi and even donated a laptop and wireless printer too. Now our programs have access to the internet for research, streaming videos and social networking.
We have already used these donation for programs. If you would like to help us be greener or improve our services, we would be happy to talk with you. From native plants to individual dry erase boards to field guides, ME4E appreciates all your gifts.
Coming soon...Birthday Parties & Program Enhanced Meetings at the Wetland Discovery Center.
Change is all around us in nature. From 30 degree differences in weather to baby animals growing up, it’s easy to see Autumn is right around the corner. ME4E is also changing. One recent change is our new email address, info@ME4E.org. Please update your contact list. During this transition we may have missed your email, so if you did not get a prompt response resend it to our new address. We look forward to staying in contact with you!.
It is still nice out, so go on a scavenger hunt and find some of these natural changes! Look for different color leaves, animal tracks, pine cones, nests, seeds of various sizes or evergreens. Enjoy the benefits of getting outdoors. Playing outside can reduce stress and increase attention spans. Get “un-plugged” at least 30 minutes a day for a healthier and greener you.
Teal Tidings - August 2011
August is here! Everyone knows what that means. Back to school time. Good Luck to all! We look forward to seeing you in classroom & field day experiences this autum.
Out-of-school time can be filled with learning opportunities too. This fall we are offering programs in a series format for both libraries and at the Wetlands Discovery Center. Fun for all ages and at a variety of locations. Make sure to click on the flyers to the right for general program information. To learn about the specifics, go to our events page on
Click to enlarge Library flyer
Click to enlarge Wetland flyer
Teal Tidings - JULY 2011
Hopefully you had a safe and fun 4th. We have been having a wonderful summer visiting libraries and leading activities for groups of all ages. If you would like to participate any of our community programs, check out our events page on Facebook. ME4E will be at various libraries, summer camps, events & the Wetlands Discovery Center. Make sure you check us out at the Chicago Botanic Gardens on July 23 & 24. If you go to your local library, they may even have FREE passes! We look forward to seeing you soon. .
If you can’t make it to one of our events, here is a suggestion for nature fun. Go on a bug scavenger hunt. Look for different colors, sizes, shapes & movements. Maybe bugs are not your thing, so pick another classification: birds, mammals, flowers, etc. Make sure to use all of your senses too! We would love to hear about your summer nature adventures. Please email us your stories and photos.
Wet & Wild Fun!
GR2011 - Microscope Photos
Teal Tidings - May 2011
It is hard to believe that ME4E is celebrating their 4th anniversary. It would not be possible without all the wonderful organization and people we have worked with over the years. We would like to give a special THANK YOU to the following groups for believing in our environment.
Alsip-Merrionette Park Public Library, Boy Scouts of America, Bridgeview Library, Cactus & Succulent Society of Greater Chicago, Chicago Heights Library, Chicago Public Libraries, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Ridge Library, Crete Library, Critter Crew, Evergreen Park Library, Flossmoor Library, Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Forest Preserve District Will County, Girl Scouts of America, Green Hills Library, Home School Groups, Jack & Jill of America, KinderCare, Mindful Yoga & Pilates, Oak Lawn Library, OAK Seniors Group, Olympia Fields Park District, Prairie Trails Library, Richton Park Library, School District 160, School District 161, School District 162, School District 163, School District 169, South Holland Library, Steger-South Chicago Heights Library, Thorn Creek Audubon Society, Trinity Christian College and Village of Park Forest Recreation & Parks Department
Hopefully we have not left anyone out. If you would like ME4E to assist you or your organization please contact us. We look forward to many more years of bringing fun, hands-on programs to learners of all ages.
Teal Tidings - April 2011
How do you plan to celebrate Earth Day? We will be very busy leading programs at schools, libraries & natural areas. Make sure to check our events page on Facebook for dates, times and details.
Summer will soon be upon us. We are looking forward to the warmer weather. Birds have been singing, buds are bursting and baby animals are quickly growing up. Make sure you get outside and enjoy the change of seasons.
Teal Tidings - March 2011
March is a month of change. The sap starts to run in trees, days will start to be longer than night, animals are migrating, and of course we can’t over look our erratic weather patters. It’s a great time to get out and enjoy all that nature has to offer. No matter your age, creed, or abilities EVERYONE can experience nature! Follow us on Twitter or Like us on Facebook to get suggestions, tips and event offerings that may inspire you to get a little greener this Spring. Check out some of our past Tweets at the bottom ofthis page!
Just like the natural world, ME4E is also going through changes. Some are more dramatic than others, like we are now looking for volunteers to assist with programs. We have been growing for the past three years and we are now in search of former teachers, naturalist & people who just enjoy sharing their love of the nature with others to help us fulfill the demand of our unique programs. Complete our application and become part of the ME4E team.
A big congrats needs to go out to the students in Illinois. ISAT is over! We are looking forward to seeing the scores for the schools that we lead our S.M.A.R.T. Kaboodle program in. We have had great success in the past and are confident it has continued in 2011.
Teal Tidings - February 2011
If you have not heard, the Chicagoland area had a little snow storm to start off the month. This hasn't stopped ME4E. Many programs were recently scheduled so make sure you check our events page on Facebook for the latest community programs. If you want us to come to your neighborhood, let us know! We are always excited to go to new locations and meet new people.
Have you seen the new ad for Valentine's Day... it's for saying I love Us. Well don't forget to love OUR Earth too! Show your love by giving back. There are many opportunities including Audubon events, citizen science projects and reducing your footprint (energy, water, carbon, etc.). How will you express your love for our planet? Tell us on our blog!
ME4E wants YOU! We are looking for volunteers to lead FREE programs at the Wetlands Discovery Center in Park Forest, IL. If you have a passion for nature and would like to share it, contact us. This is a wonderful opportunity that we are honored to offer.
Look to the left of this page. Do you notice the column of links? If you want to read back issues of our Teal Tidings, see other services ME4E offers or just want to tell us about your nature experience, that's the place to go. Are we missing something that you would love for us to share? Send us an email!
Teal Tidings - January 2011
Happy New Year! As we look back on 2010, our hearts are filled with hope for more successful green stories in 2011. We will be continuing to work with the wonderful students of SD 162 and expanding our community program offerings. Make sure to like us on Facebook or follow us in Twitter to get updates of where we will be, how to register & more!
We want to thank all our supporters over the past several years, new and long-standing. ME4E has received many lovely letters and drawings from participants
and we are going to post some on our Testimonials page. Continue to send us your work and maybe you’ll see it online too.
Even though the ground is frozen, we have started to get requests for Summer Reading programs. Click on our flyer to the left to view our offerings and then contact us to schedule your dates before the ground thaws!.
Click to enlarge
Teal Tidings - December 2010
We are back online! So much has changed since we last updated our website. Hopefully you were able to follow us on Facebook or Twitter. If not here is what you missed. We are offering community programs at the Wetlands Discovery Center in Park Forest, IL. New programs are listed in their seasonal Recreation & Parks brochure. Check your local library too. ME4E has expanded our offerings to libraries and the response has been very positive.
ME4E also has been leading a series of programs at 22 different Chicago Public Library branches. The Extreme Explorers Series was funded by a grant for their NatureConnections program. Many schools within walking distance of a branch are participating in these programs as field trips. Programs that are open to the public are listed on our Facebook events page. To learn more about NatureConnections or CPL visit their website
We want to wish you a happy holiday season and hope you get outdoors to enjoy the winter wonders of nature. No matter where you live or what the temperature is, nature is out there. You never know what you might experience. If you need some ideas of how you can enjoy your natural world, contact us! ME4E is happy to share our knowledge.
What are you doing this July? Check us out at the Evergreen Park Public Library, Richton Park Library, Green Hills Library, Wetland Discovery Center in Park Forest, Flossmoor Library or the Chicago Botanic Gardens! For details and additonal information visit our Facebook page.
ME4E will also be at EcoFair360 on Sunday July 18th at 11 am talking about citizen scientist opportunities. Can't make it? Make sure to check back after the event because we will be posting our presentation online! Lots of great green information will be available. You could even win free solar energy!
Come get your GREEN on!
Teal Tidings - JUNE 2010
School might be taking a summer vacation, but we are not. ME4E has already led events for summer reading programs at libraries and is getting ready for activities with camps and youth groups. It's not too late to schedule us for summer school enrichment or other programs. Only a few dates are available, so contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
If you are looking for some fun community programs, we have many to choose from in the
Chicagoland area. Visit our Facebook page for a list of locations, activities, ages, how to register and cost. Most are FREE so make sure to check them out. We are offering programs for young tots to senior citizens. Make sure to “like” us when on Facebook. ME4E posts daily with tips, program reminders, grants, activities and more. If you prefer Twitter, no problem! We post our updates there too. Just “follow” us. Either way you can stay in the green with ME4E.
Teal Tidings - MAY 2010
Did you know ME4E has led STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs since it's conception over three years ago? STEM education has received a lot of attention
in recent years. The federal government has appropriated around $3 billion annually for STEM support. Many teachers have to facilitate classes in subjects that they did NOT major or minor in college. Our staff has the education and experience to help. If you desire to make your STEM programs a little greener or just would like to try a new approach to the typical field trip contact ME4E.
Even though April has Earth Day & Arbor Day, May is one of our busiest months of the school year. The weather is usually warmer, testing is done for the year, spring breaks are over and who wouldn't want to get outside to have fun while learning? Several new groups will utilizing our services this month. Thanks to the new Wetland Discovery Center, we have an wonderful indoor lab to enhance our outdoor programs.
If you like ME4E let us know on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. We share grants, activities and list green events daily. You can even view photos of our programs. Have a nature or environmental related question, just ask! ME4E has access to numerous resources that we are happy to share with you. After you join us, get outside and enjoy the nature in your community!
Teal Tidings - April 2010
Happy 40th Earth Day! 20 million people participated in the first Earth Day and this year it is expected that billions will. How will you celebrate? There are many community events, workshops and service projects, but you can also make it a private event. Any activity that helps reduce your impact on the environment will do. Make a toad house, walk to the store, plant native flowers or fix a leaky faucet. Challenge yourself to make Earth Day everyday by making Earth-friendly choices in your daily life.
ME4E had their first program in the Wetland Discovery Center in Park Forest, IL. After participants made plaster casts of tracks and played a unique bingo game, everyone went outside on that snowy day to find actual footprints. With their newly acquired knowledge, participants were able to identify all the tracks they found. Additional programs will be offered in the Wetland Discovery Center throughout the year. Become a Fan of ME4E on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get notified of upcoming programs.
Looking to do your own thing? Start some seeds, go on a hike, put out a bird feeder, geocache or watch a sunset. There are so many websites, blogs, groups and enewsletters with ideas. Now you can use your favorite search engine to help you explore the outdoors.
If you can’t get out, then participate in Earth Hour at 8:30pm on March 27. Turn off all non-essential electrical items for 60 minutes. This is a symbolic calling for action on climate change. You could also use this hour for some quality family time.
To all our teachers and students in Illinois, Good Luck with ISAT! We know you have been working very hard all year and have seen improvement during our February visits. ME4E knows retaining information occurs when information is repeated, taught in a variety of ways and understood outside the classroom. Best wishes again for all!
Thorn Creek Audubon Society Newsletter - January/February 2010
Teal Tidings - February 2010
Whether we have six more weeks of winter or not, we LOVE nature. It gives us clean air, water, food and shelter. Our environment can also impact our mental and physical health. Being out in nature can lessen stress, anxiety and tension.
You also may have many volunteer opportunities in your area for clean ups, restoration and community service. Contact us if you live in Will or Cook County for upcoming scheduled dates.
We are excited about the new Wetland Discovery Center in Park Forest, IL. On Feb. 18th ME4E will be leading an ISAT focused astronomy program called Just Look Up. Scroll down to the bottom of the linked page for details. This will be the FIRST of many programs ME4E will be offered in the WDC. When you become a fan of ME4E on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, you will receive updates for community programs, grants opportunities and other “green” news.
Teal Tidings - January 2010
Happy New Year! As we start 2010, ME4E is excited about all the new possibilities that are in our sights. We have been told that the windows and floor are almost complete in a new environmental classroom. If construction stays on schedule, make sure to check it out on February 18th for an ISAT focused Astronomy program. Visit our Facebook events
page for more details.
We also have started talks with several organizations about partnering for future programs. Once plans are finalized, we will be making the announcements on our website so check back often. If you prefer to have our updates sent to you, follow us on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.
Of course we cannot forget our past. ME4E is grateful to all our supporters over the years. An individual can make a difference, but when people work together the effects are exponentially compounded. Thank you for your positive feedback and your desire to incorporate our environment into daily life.
Teal Tidings - December 2009
No matter what you celebrate, we hope you are able to enjoy the wonders of nature this winter. Dec 21st is the Winter Solstice. Since we will be experiencing almost 15 hours of darkness, get out and view some winter constellations.
All month long you can check out Jupiter
and on December 14th you can view the Germinid meteor shower. The moon will be full on both the 2nd & 31st, perfect time to view its craters and seas. For additional astronomical information, check out Sky Maps. You can print out a map of the night sky that is great for all sky watchers especially newcomers to Astronomy. Each month a new map is available.
We are also excited about the new educational classroom being constructed in the Aqua Center. Students visiting the Central Park Wetland in Park Forest, IL will now have access to an indoor lab too. More details will be available in future Teal Tidings. An astronomy program is currently scheduled there on February 18th 2010. Let’s hope they stay on schedule!
Large windows will be on both exterior walls.
Teal Tidings - November 2009
Well the deciduous trees have lost their leaves and the temperatures have been a little chilly, but there is still one constant reminder of autumn lurking outside and in our homes…the ladybug. We have been receiving a lot of questions and comments about this notorious critter lately, so here is a little information we would like to pass along.
Ladybugs serve a useful purpose by devouring aphids on plants during both adult and larva stages. There are around 450 species in North America and about 5000 species worldwide. In Japan, the multicolored Asian Lady Beetle cluster on high cliffs and in caves, but since their arrival to North America, our homes become a hibernation substitute. Our native ladybugs will hibernate in leaf litter so the chances of
seeing them in your home are rare.
Also, many native species including the nine-spotted, two-spotted and transverse ladybugs have declined dramatically in the last decade. A captive native ladybug program was stated in New York to try to understand the decline. Unfortunately, other useful insects like bees are also majorly declining.
The Asian Ladybug is attracted to light colored homes, especially older homes since more heat escapes due to lack of insulation. They hibernate in groups, so if you see one, the chances are they are more. Most ladybugs will die in your home because they need more humidity then many houses have. They also release pheromones, that last for years, so current and future generations to find a good hibernating location. If squashed the lady beetles may stain fabric and painted surfaces and their blood has a unique odor, so it is better to vacuum them or just catch and release back outside. They have been known to occasionally “bite” but they are actually drinking perspiration so they do not dehydrate.
In most cultures, a Ladybug is considered lucky and killing one is said to bring sadness and misfortune. People in Switzerland told their young children that they were brought to them, as babies, by Ladybugs. In the 1800's, some doctors used Ladybugs to treat measles and others mashed ladybugs to put them into a cavity. They said the insects would stop a toothache, but please do not try this! In some folklore, if you catch a Ladybug in your home and count the number of spots, that is how many dollars you'll soon find. Anyway you put it, ladybugs are a well-know across the world and now hopefully you understand them a little better.
Don’t forget to check out our upcoming public events on our Facebook page. We would love to see you soon. If you would like us to come to your town, let us know! ME4E would be happy to contact your library, park district, school, scout group, etc. to inform them how much we have to offer.
Ladybugs can be found world wide.
Teal Tidings - October 2009
It officially feels like autumn. The leaves are starting to change and the wildlife is preparing for winter. This is a great time to view the natural beauty in your community so get out and enjoy the nature in your own backyard.
Last month we tested water for World Water Monitoring Day and National Public Lands Day with students from Prairie State
College, School District 162 and School District 163. Thanks to all who helped with this day of special programming, especially the staff of the Park Forest Recreation and Parks Department. We also want to congratulate all the individuals who completed the Walk the Wetlands 5K.
Pictures, videos and upcoming events can be found on our Facebook page. We also have links to some great articles on our In the News page.
Enjoy the colors of fall
Teal Tidings - September 2009
Welcome to a new school-year! The weather has been very fall like and we are excited to work with so many great new and returning groups this autumn. Several new sites are in the works, so check back for updates. Whether you will be celebrating National Blueberry Popsicle Month or Honey Month this September, make sure to thank nature for all of its sweet treats.
Results from water tests will be sent to WWMD
Get outside and be healthy on Labor Day, Monday, September 7th! We will be at the Walk the Wetlands 5K event in Park Forest, so stop by and say hello. Want to give back? On Thursday, September 24th ME4E will celebrate National Public Lands Day. Water quality testing, clean ups and more are planned for the afternoon. Please RSVP so we have enough supplies for everyone! Make sure to check out our Facebook page for pictures, updates and additional public events.
School will be back in session soon. Don’t forget to enjoy the outdoors. Whether you are riding a bike, looking for wildlife or just hanging with friends, the open spaces in your community are the perfect setting.
If you are looking for a fun FREE outdoor activity, check out our Walk the Wetlands Training on
Saturday, August 22 at 9 am. We will start by the Aqua Center at 30 N. Orchard in Park Forest, IL. We will be hiking the entire perimeter of the Central Park Wetlands (2.5K) and you can ask the ME4E staff questions about what you see. Small activities will take place around the wetland too. Dress for the weather and all ages are welcome. Please register by clicking HERE!
You can also use this morning to prepare for the 5K Walk the Wetlands on Monday, Sept. 7th.
Fall is a busy time for ME4E. Make sure to contact us early when scheduling a program so you can get your first choice in dates and times. If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter you will receive regular updates and have access to pictures and public events. Check us out today!
Teal Tidings - July 2009
July is National Recreation and Parks Month. It is a time for you and your family to get outside and enjoy the sunshine by visiting a local park! Participate in a quality leisure activity like biking or hiking. Maybe help out at a scheduled workday. We have lots of ideas for folks who want to visit a natural spot in their community, but not sure what to do when there. Contact us for suggestions!
Congratulations are in order for several students whose design won the “Art on a Rain Barrel” contest. They will be painting it on a rain barrel at Navy Pier on Saturday, September 19th from 9am till noon. Their painted barrel will then be judged at 12:30 and awards given out at 1pm. Once dry, the barrel will be used at their school to collect water for their schoolyard native garden. We can’t wait to see their design become a reality.
We have several public events occurring this summer. ME4E will be at libraries, the Chicago Botanic Gardens and local naturalized areas. Check out our Facebook page for dates, times and locations. Pre-registration is required for most programs so make sure you contact the event sponsor.
There are many trails and natural areas. Check one out today!
Teal Tidings - June 2009
Summer is upon us. Did you know June is “Leave No Child Inside" month in the State of Illinois and nationally it is “Great Outdoors” month? Make sure to get outside and explore your community’s natural areas. Also, many libraries are using the “Read on the Wild Side” theme for their summer reading program. Check out a book about nature and read it outside! This is just one of many ways you can reverse nature deficit disorder by reconnecting with the outdoors.
ME4E will be leading programs for summer schools, libraries, daycares and park districts this summer. If you are looking for educational and fun programs for your group, contact us today. To see pictures, get updates and learn about public programs follow us on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook. You can see past Tweets at the bottom of this page.
Front page of the Southtown Star Neighborhood Edition 6-4-09! Click to enlarge
Teal Tidings - May 2009
April was a busy month and May will continute that trend. To see more about ME4E happenings check out our In the News link to the left if this artical.
This month we wanted to show off some of the pictures students have taken at the wetland with our digital microscope. They did a great job! Additional program photos can be found on our Facebook page. Become a fan today!
We only have a few more ME4E T-shirts left. The back of the shirt has a tree frog and the words “be green celebrate earth day”, while the front-left chest has the ME4E logo. Available in adult sizes small, medium and large. Only $10 each! Please contact us if you would like to place an order.
Teal Tidings - April 2009
April is a special month for all of us at ME4E. Hopefully you know that Earth Day is on the 22nd, Arbor Day is April 24th and maybe you are aware that National EE week is from the 12th -18th. Many wonderful nature discoveries will be taking place in both indoors and out during this entire month. Photos will be posted on our Facebook page regularly so become a fan today. If twitter is more your speed, follow us for instant updates.
We have had several inquires for ME4E T-shirts and now we can fulfill your requests. The back of the shirt has a tree frog and the words “be green celebrate earth day”, while the front-left chest
The back of our shirts
has the ME4E logo. Limited quantities of shirts are available in adult sizes small, medium and large. Only $10 each! Please contact us if you would like to place an order.
Schedule your summer enrichment programs now! ME4E is a perfect match for many of the public libraries’ summer reading theme. View our flyer to see what ME4E has to offer. Remember we customize all our programs to meet the needs of our partners. Summer camps and schools can also benifit from our services. Our knowledge and resources are available to make your program unique and successful.
Teal Tidings - March 2009
March is upon us and teachers around the state know what that means. Good luck to all your students! We hope our S.M.A.R.T. program helped them prepare. Thanks for all the wonderful feedback. If you would like to share more suggestions or comments about this or any other ME4E program, please contact us. We can be called, emailed, blogged, Facebooked, faxed and even Twittered! We want to be easily accessible, so pick the format that is best for you.
Rumor has it that Spring is just around the corner. ME4E is looking forward to getting outdoors again and discovering all the wonders that nature offers with you. We have a very packed schedule, but
would love to work with your group. Please contact us at your earliest convenience to confirm a date on our schedule. Don't miss out on having fun while learning!
We also have been getting a lot of interest in our summer reading enrichment programs. ME4E is a perfect match for many of the public libraries’ summer reading theme. View our flyer to see what ME4E has to offer. Remember we customize all our programs to meet the needs of our partners. Our knowledge and resources are available to make your program unique and successful.
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Teal Tidings - February 2009
Don't forget to participate in the 2009 Great Backyard Bird Count! On February 13-16 look outside (from a window is fine) and count the birds you see visiting your community. Their website has games, data sheets and information that will help participants learn about our winter feathered friends.
Did you know ME4E is now on Facebook? Get our public program event schedule, candid photos, updates and more. We would love for you to become a fan! It is another way our supporters can interact with us year-round. Visit our page today by clicking on the Facebook logo. We look forward to hearing from you!!!
Become a fan TODAY.
Teal Tidings - January 2009
Looking for some fun this winter, but want to stay warm? Participate in the 2009 Great Backyard Bird Count! On February 13-16 look outside (from a window is fine) and count the birds you see visiting your community. Their website has games, data sheets and information that will help participants learn about our winter feathered friends.
Mark your calendar! On Saturday February 7, 2009 ME4E will be presenting at the Wild Things Conference at the U of I at Chicago. From 3-3:30 we will be on a panel discussing how we create successful community partnerships and at 3:45 play with our “toys” to get a closer view of our natural world. For conference registration and schedule information click on their ad.
Come, Learn, Enjoy!
Teal Tidings - December 2008
Did you know the Earth is actually nearer the sun in January than it is in June -- by three million miles? This is irrelevant to our planet’s seasons. The Earth leans slightly on its axis like a spinning top and this tilt makes the sun’s rays shine unevenly across its surface. Winter solstice, December 21, is when our hemisphere is leaning farthest away from the sun. The shortest amount of daylight occurs and the sun has its lowest arc in the sky.
Many cultures around the world perform solstice ceremonies. In Europe many people feed wildlife. Fill a bird feeder, string some cereal or put out some dried corn. Your backyard wildlife will be grateful.
December is also when ME4E is begins its S.M.A.R.T. workshops. We come to classrooms and help the students prepare for their March state tests. Hands-on activities with an environmental theme cover math, reading and science skills. Students work in small teams so that collaboration is also part of the program. A post-evaluation can be requested so that teachers can focus future skill reviews on areas that may need additional assistance. Contact us today to schedule your workshop.
Teal Tidings - November 2008
November can’t be beat for both outdoor field trips and in-class programs. We are looking forward to seeing last year’s 4th graders who helped adopt the Central Park Wetlands (CPW) kiosk. They will be updating the CPW kiosk with photos, stories and drawings so make sure you check it out.
Our study-buddies at Arcadia will investigate quadrats at a local community woodland and the CPW. After a teacher workshop with ME4E, our buddies then get to compare their schoolyard quadrat to the one from their trip. We can’t wait to hear their results.
Let us not forget our community programs. Look for us at the Crete Library for an Animal Track program on Saturday the 8th, every Tuesday night for Nature P.J. Story Time at Green Hills Library and the TogetherGreen Volunteer Day at Bartel Grassland on November 22nd. These are all great opportunities to learn about our environment and the wonderful critters in it.
Southtown Star - November 2, 2008
Teal Tidings - October 2008
October is a busy month for ME4E. We are leading programs at Bartel Grasslands, Flossmoor Library, Izaak Walton, Crete Library, Schoolyard Habitats, and Central Park Wetlands.
Topics include monarch migration, how wetlands help humans, abiotic & biotic quadrat study, life cycle of butterflies, bluebird conservation, the water cycle, bird beak adaptation, rock cycle, restoration, GPS studies and wetland ecology. Our calendar is filling up quickly, so email us soon to schedule your program.
Make sure you visit us at the South Suburban Earth Science Club's Annual Fossil, Gem & Mineral Show on Saturday, October 18th at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights. We will be helping anyone especially Girl, Boy & Cub Scouts with learning about geology. ME4E staff is Merit Badge certified in Geology too, so bring your blue card!
Students looking at seeds
Teal Tidings - September 2008
ME4E would like to congratulate all the participants in the Central Park Wetlands (CPW) 5K walk. It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed seeing so many of you getting healthy with nature. We hoped you had fun and will continue to walk around CPW throughout the year.
So far ME4E has scheduled over 25 classrooms to visit CPW during the 2008-2009 school year. Topics include monarch migration, how wetlands help humans, life cycle of butterflies, bluebird conservation, the water cycle, wetland biotic identification, restoration, GPS studies and wetland ecology. Our calendar is filling up quickly, so email us soon to schedule your program.
Don’t forget we also lead programs at several other habitats including prairie and woodlands. If you are unable to travel, ME4E is happy to come to you. We can utilize your schoolyard as an outdoor classroom or lead activities inside. The possibilities are endless and we look forward to hearing from you.
Teal Tidings - August 2008
Wow! ME4E has been online for over a year and looking back in our archives what a year it has been. Thanks to the Cactus and Succulent Society of Greater Chicago and the Chicago Botanic Gardens for putting on a wonderful event. We had a great time on July 26 & 27 leading our three different programs that were specifically designed with the club’s philosophy in mind.
If you missed us there or if you are looking for some additional family fun before school starts, ME4E will be at several other events. Come check us out. We would love to see you there.
On Saturday, August 9, we will be at the Grand Opening of Whalon Lake in
Naperville, IL. You can find us in the Green Team Tent from 10 am – 3 pm. Activities include a Fishing-for-Trash game, discovering microscopic critters in the lake then emailing yourself a picture of them and creating paper pots for planting seeds in. More information about the event can be found on the FPDWC website.
The Park Forest Scenic 5 and More will be held on September 1. ME4E will have our event tent out there so make sure to look for us! Location and activities are still being determined so check back here soon for updates. For details about the full day of events happening in Park Forest visit the Village's website.
A water boatman is a special treat to see under a microscope
Teal Tidings - June 2008
We recently received letters from one of the classes we worked with this spring. Click on any of the thumbnails to better view the letter.
ME4E had a great 2007-2008 and have already started to book for the 2008-2009 school-year. If you are interested in having ME4E enhance your curriculum do not hesitate in contacting us. We would love to hear from you. You deserve to get your needs met during a program instead of trying to fit “their program” into your group’s goals and objectives.
Make sure to check out our summer enrichment camps! There are opportunities for students entering grades 1 through 7 and no matter where you live everyone gets the same low rate. These programs were designed just for the summer so whether you have experienced ME4E’s quality programs before or you would like to try something new, we would love to see you there.
Descriptions of each week are available on the Village of Park Forest website under camps . To register either call 708-748-2005 or print out the registration form and mail it in. Space is limited!
Teal Tidings - May 2008
We just completed our second event for the Fitness @ the Library program with School District 162. It was funded by a LSTA grant. The goal was to provide information during fitness activities. ME4E created two different days of interactive and informational stations along Old Plank Trail. Students from the middle school were also trained to lead the 20 different stations. Over 350 students, family members and community supporters participated in the educational walks.
Summer is just around the corner and we have partnered with the Village of Park Forest to offer summer enrichment camps! These can be taken “a la cart” or in conjunction with the village’s traditional camps. There are opportunities for students entering grades 1 through 7 and no matter where you live everyone gets the same low rate. These programs were designed just for the summer so whether you have experienced ME4E’s quality programs before or you would like to try something new, we would love to see you there.
Descriptions of each week are available on the Village of Park Forest website under camps . To register either call 708-748-2005 or print out the registration form and mail it in. Space is limited!
Teal Tidings -- April 2008
We knew ME4E was a starting point for many of our clients to enhance their curriculum with environmental studies, however just in the past year several of them have taken the next step on their own. This month’s article is to highlight a few of their accomplishments.
School District 162 has a new podcast page that teachers are able to show off their students’ videos. Ms. Godin’s 4th grade class of Indiana School in Park Forest, IL created two videos. One is about wetlands and the other is on vandalism. Both were created after ME4E led several student workshops at Central Park Wetlands and in their classroom.
We look forward to working with them again this spring. Rehabbing and posting information on a kiosk at the Central Park Wetlands will be their major focus.
The Village of Park Forest has been a wonderful community partner to work with. They assisted with erecting bat houses that 5th graders from School District 163 built as well as offering indoor space when the weather has not cooperated. Every summer they offer traditional day camps and this year they have asked ME4E to provide summer enrichment camps. They can be taken as a stand-alone camp or as an
addition offering during the regular day camp program.
We are excited to offer unique and fun programs and appreciate Park Forest’s “go green” attitude.
If you are looking to start something “green” visit us at the NWI Earth Day Event on April 19th or email us today. Summer and ‘08-‘09 school year scheduling are already taking place. Don’t let your group miss the opportunity to environmentally enhance their activities!
Teal Tidings - March 2008
Trying to go green? ME4E has been able to assist groups with Earth Day programs, schoolyard habitats, recycling events and more. We have even partnered with an ink cartridge recycling company so funds raised by groups will be credited to future ME4E services.
With ME4E, our youth are becoming environmental stewards of Chicago’s south suburbs. They are more aware and interested in animal
and plant populations. They also are studying biodiversity, participating in restoration and learning about our area’s critically important habitats.
Visit us at the NW Indiana Earth Day on April 19th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. We will have a table set up at Sunset Hill Farm County Park, which is in Valparaiso at the corner of Hwy 6 and Meridian. There will be workshops, hikes, food, children’s tent, eco-friendly vendors and more. Make sure to stop by and say Hi.
Give our Earth a hand or two this Earth Day!
Southtown Star - March 4, 2008
Teal Tidings - Jan 2008
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our friendships and community partnerships that we created in 2007. From schoolyard rain gardens to traveling through time at Izaak Walton, ME4E has offered a diverse range of programs to a mixture of schools, libraries, and youth groups.
Looking forward to 2008, ME4E will be offering video field trips, after-school programs, restoration projects and more. If you would like to know how to partner with ME4E to enhance your program, contact us today!
Thorn Creek Audubon Society Newsletter - January/February 2008
Teal Tidings - December 2007
Thousands of people across the globe will be participating in bird counts this winter. ME4E wanted to share these wonderful opportunities that collect actual data that scientists will use; as well as allowing you to be part of something that connects people worldwide.
January 5, 2008 is the Thorn Creek Audubon Society’s day to count birds for the Christmas Bird Count. If your home is inside the boundary, then you can report the birds that visit your feeder to Dory Grosche. If not, join a group of birdwatchers in the field by contacting Al Thomas.
Never been on a CBC before and you want to participate in a count this year? Visit the Audubon’s website for more information and make sure to contact the appropriate contact prior to January 1.
The 11th annual Great Backyard Bird Count is February 15-18, 2008. This fun event that takes as little as 15 minutes, and anyone can participate. It’s a great activity for kids, families, and adults of any age. Beginners and experts alike are welcome. All you have to do is count birds at your favorite location for at least 15 minutes during the count. You enter your tallies on the GBBC web site. Then you’ll be able to see your results, as well as what others are reporting from around the United States and Canada as the count progresses. Visit the GBBC website for more information.
Reading about birds in the winter time can be and outdoor adventure!
ME4E has created “Buddies 4 Bats”, a district-wide initiative with all 5th and 2nd graders in School District 163. After several meetings with the district’s Science Depot, ME4E formed a solid community partnership between the Thorn Creek Audubon Society (TCAS), the Village of Park Forest and District 163.
The Science Depot will be teaching 2nd graders about native bats in November while ME4E will prepare the 5th grade students. Members of TCAS built 8 bat houses for the 5th graders to assemble and decorate during the month of December. Placing the bat houses will be at the Central
Park Wetland with assistance from the Village of Park Forest.
Over the next several months, each 5th grade class will be researching about Illinois' bats. Their behaviors, feeding habits and lifestyles will be written and illustrated in a book for a 2nd grade class. Special needs students will be designing their own bat houses to compare with the Audubon design. In spring, ME4E will lead field trips to the wetlands to bring the entire project full circle.
Don’t let your school or community miss out on fun learning experiences! When we partner with you and your local organizations, almost anything is achievable. View our showcase page to see additional projects. Contact ME4E to discover a new world of program possibilities.
A typical bat house
Thorn Creek Audubon Society Newsletter - November/December 2007
Teal Tidings - October 2007
ME4E would like to thank Dick Riner (Bartel Steward), John Elliot (FPDCC Education Manager), the local Conservation Officers, Jim Wagner (FPDCC Volunteer Services), Ron Wegrzyn (Suburban Aero Club of Chicago) and School District 163 for the wonderful programs that occurred in early October.
Over 200 2nd graders, their teachers and parents were special guests at Bartel Grasslands in Matteson, IL. Students learned what animals make Bartel home with games, hikes,
self-discovery and journaling. Classification and adaptation were the main themes of the day.
We were very fortunate with having almost perfect weather. Even the local model airplane group gave the students an air show during lunch.
If your group is looking for a unique outdoor learning experience, contact ME4E. We partner with many local organizations to bring you a diverse series of activities that will complement your current curriculum.
Students taking a closer look at what lives in a grassland.
Teal Tidings - September 2007
Have you heard of Learn and Serve America? Schools and community organizations try for Learn and Serve grants to help them expand high-quality service-learning initiatives.
Service-learning is a method of learning and teaching that connects classroom lessons with meaningful service to the community.
Building academic skills while strengthening communities through service is the main goal. Increasing student engagement, developing civic skills, improving academic achievement and building stronger communities are just a few of its benefits.
ME4E has been privileged to assist
with providing curriculum, teacher workshops and programs for grantees. We ensure that the service that students perform has a strong connection to the curriculum they are already studying and that there are clear and specific learning objectives. Customized journals for the students to analyze and think critically about their service have also been created for some clients.
If you have received funding and are looking for a proven and reliable organization to assist in completing your grant requirements, contact ME4E via email today. We would love to meet and discuss your project’s needs.
Teachers learning vocabulary with the student journals.
Homewood Izaak Walton Preserve Newsletter - August 2007
Teal Tidings - August 2007
We would just like to thank the Cactus and Succulent Society of Greater Chicago (CSSGC) and the Chicago Botanic Gardens (CBG) for putting on a wonderful event .
ME4E was sponsored by the CSSGC to offer activities for children during their 20th Annual Plant Show and Sale. Three different programs were specifically designed with the club’s philosophy in mind.
Both staff of the CBG and members of the CSSGC requested our services for future events. “It was fun to watch the kids get excited about cacti,” stated the CSSGC president.
If your group is looking for fun, hands-on and educational programs please email us with your request. Customization is our specialty and we will work with you in order to provide the best activities that meet your needs.
This family is making their own prickly pear cacti