Grand Calumet River Area of Concern
The following resources operate primarily in Lake, Porter, and La Porte counties to conduct environmental education and programming in the Grand Calumet River Area of Concern and the region immediately surrounding it. For more details about resources and opportunities to get students involved, please contact the program director.
The Mighty Acorns is an environmental education program that connects 3rd-5th grade students to multiple meaningful and sustained interactions with their local ecosystems. The program is through the Shirley Heinze Land Trust has built-in funding and ready-made resources for educators, including paid training and classroom and field materials. Contact the Mighty Acorns Partnership Coordinator, Meghan Forseth to participate in the program.
The Field Museum offers two youth conservation action programs: Earth Force and Calumet Is My Back Yard (CIMBY). Earth Force is an environmental problem solving program designed to deal with an environmental problem in the neighborhood of the participating 7th or 8th grade classroom. For information about Earth Force, contact Angie Viands. Calumet In My Back Yard (CIMBY) is for high school students and allows a classroom to sponsor a local natural area in the Calumet Region and design and implement ecological restoration projects. For information regarding the CIMBY program, contact Samantha Ozik.
The Dunes Learning Center prides itself as being "a classroom without walls." The center hosts summer camps as well as school programs. Educators may request a presentation, either on site or in their own classroom. Tuition assistance for environmental education may be available. For information on the Dunes Learning Center, contact Erin Crofton, education director.
Shifting Sands tells the story of how one region, where rare plants grow in the shadows of smokestacks, sparked a movement for a national park; a movement which eventually led to game-changing environmental policies with worldwide impact and unique partnerships on the path to a more sustainable world. The film corresponds with a curriculum and educator guide, which can be downloaded for free from the Shifting Sands website. The curriculum is designed to enhance educational opportunities before, during, and after viewing the documentary. To order a copy of the documentary, visit the Lakeshore Public Media webpage.
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant supports a wide array of programming and resources for educators in the Calumet region and across the Great Lakes. Resources include teacher training and workshops, material lending, free curricula, posters and classroom outfitting, etc. Contact Terri Hallesy, IISG education coordinator, for more information and ways to get started.