Center for Land Stewardship and Sustainability (CLaSS)

  • Rutgers Environmental Stewards
    Sustainable Landscapes

    Duke Farms is the regional host for the Rutgers Environmental Steward Program. The program provides training and experience which equips participants to contribute effectively to the process of finding solutions for environmental problems in the communities of New Jersey. Graduates become knowledgeable about the basic processes of earth, air, water and biological systems. They increase awareness of the techniques and tools used to monitor and assess the health of the environment. They gain an understanding of the research and regulatory infrastructure of state and federal agencies operating in New Jersey that relate to environmental issues. They are given an introduction to group dynamics and community leadership.

    They learn to recognize the elements of sound science and public policy based on that science. They acquire some sense of the limits of current understanding of the environment.

    It is our goal that graduates use their knowledge to expand public awareness of scientifically based information related to environmental issues and facilitate positive change in their community.

    Normal Class Time: Thursdays, January to May; 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm.

    For inquiries and more information about the program please contact Pat Rector, or Dan Ross,  or visit the Rutgers Environmental Steward website at

    Eventbrite - Rutgers Environmental Stewards - 2017

  • Bald Eagles in the Classroom: Using an NGSS Aligned and Problem Based Approach
    2/4/2017   9:00am to 3:00pm
    Wildlife Habitats

     If you are a K-12 teacher who is passionate about STE(A)M, environmental studies, biology or earth science education and want to bring a NGSS bald eagle Problem-Based Learning (PBL) unit into your classroom, this workshop is for you!

    Duke Farms and Innovative Designs for Education (IDE) have partnered to create grade level specific PBL units that will meet the needs of the CCSS and NGSS including the cross-cutting standards, practices, and core ideas. Teachers will explore the power of PBL as they spend the day working with other teachers at their grade level and will then leave with new tools including a problem-based task, analytic rubric, unit level scaffold, and tools for facilitation to implement a new bald eagle  unit in their classrooms.

    Cost: $30 per educator. includes coffee and lunch.

    Eventbrite - Bald Eagles in the Classroom: Using an NGSS Aligned and Problem Based Approach

  • Stories from the Land
    2/28/2017   8:30 AM to 4:00 PM

    Stories from the Land will explore oral and written language through the natural setting and materials at Duke Farms.  Participants will explore story elements and generate writing ideas by interacting and collaborating with peers.  Students will learn to tell stories using the full range of presentation skills.   

    Everyone will leave with examples of stories connected to the natural world and activities to use after the workshop.   

    Cost: $25 per person.

    Eventbrite - Stories from the Land

  • Duke Farms Climate Science & Sustainable Actions Academy
    Sustainable Landscapes

    Weather, climate, and sustainable actions are prominent in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the NJ Student Learning Standards (NJSLS) for Science. Let the 2,700 acre Duke Farms property serve as your living laboratory and source of inspiration for exciting new lessons on these topics.

    Participating K-12 educators, administrators and non-formal educators will conduct hands-on outdoor fieldwork, hear lectures from NJ’s top experts, and develop NGSS/NJSLS-aligned lesson plans that bring the concepts of climate change and sustainability to life for students. 

    Academy Topics:

    1.     The processes that lead to climate change

    2.     How human activity contributes to climate change

    3.     Local and global impacts of climate change

    4.     Climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies

    5.     Sustainable actions within educational institutions

    Academy Schedule:
    - Registration Deadline March 1, 2017

    - In-Person Orientation Dinner (Wednesday, March 15, 2017)

    - Pre-Academy Distance Learning (March-June; roughly 12 hours of independent work)

    - In-Person Summer Academy Sessions (June 26 - June 29, 2017  8:00am-4:30pm)

    - FINAL NGSS-Aligned Teaching Plan  (Due: September 30, 2017)    

    Cost: $150 includes all course materials, orientation dinner and on-site housing (June 26-29) for the first eight registered participants.

    Lead Faculty for the Academy are Ms. Laura Gallagher and Dr. Missy Holzer. View their bios HERE

    Participants can also earn points for Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification.

    Eventbrite - Duke Farms Climate Science & Sustainable Actions Academy

  • ANJEE Leadership Retreat
    3/11/2017 -3/12/2017  

    The Alliance for NJ Environmental Educators (ANJEE) needs your energy and enthusiasm and your intellect and ideas to help us chart the future of our alliance.  Join the vibrant, caring and fun people who keep ANJEE going. What can you expect at this year’s Leadership Retreat?  

    • Recap of ANJEE accomplishments since last year’s retreat.
    • Discussion of ANJEE’s Strategic Plan.
    • Planning for our September 2017 Outdoor Conference and the 33rd winter conference in 2018.
    • New volunteer opportunities.
    • Executive Board and Advisory Council business meeting.
    • National (NAAEE) and state environmental education updates.
    • Private tour of Duke Farms.
    • Socializing and networking opportunities with a vibrant group of educators. (A.K.A. fun!)

    Registration and Logistics    

    DEADLINE:  Sunday March 5, 2017

    • Once you are registered, a packing list and retreat agenda will be e-mailed to you.
    • Lodging for Saturday night is in one of Duke’s five comfortable cottages. All have full kitchens, shared living space and most have double beds.
    • Breakfast and lunch will be provided by the Duke Farms cafe. Coffee, tea & snacks will be available throughout the weekend. Dinner on Saturday night will be at Old Man Rafferty’s in Hillsborough.

    Registration Options

    Saturday & Sunday Overnight Registration

        • 5 meals - 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner (Sat.) - one overnight

        • Cost: $45 per person.

    Saturday & Sunday No Overnight Registration

        • 5 meals - no overnight

        • Cost: $40 per person.

    Saturday Only

        • 3 meals - breakfast, lunch and dinner - no overnight

        • Cost: $30 per person.

    Sunday Only 

        • 2 meals - breakfast and lunch - no overnight

        • Cost: $15 per person.

    Eventbrite - ANJEE Leadership Retreat

  • Voices from the Land: Integrating Language and Landscape, Art and Culture
    6/9/2017 -6/10/2017  

    The Voices from the Land project and this workshop (for educators of pre-k to 12, naturalists, artists and other adults) is a celebration of oral and written language… of natural science, art, performance and technology.  Taught by veteran teachers, participants experience all aspects of a Voices project, learning strategies for connecting children to natural landscapes… fostering a love for the natural world.  

    Through this workshop, participants learn how to help children work in small groups as they explore and discover a natural site, using art concepts and skills to create art from natural materials.  Communication skills (oral and written) are used to create, edit and publish poetry.  Digital technologies are used to document and share the art then students help layout, design and publish a full-color book of their art and poetry… or full-color posters that showcase their work.  Finally, students develop performance strategies to share their work.  

    Cost: $50 per educator.

    Workshop Schedule:

    Friday, June 9

    8:00-8:30                          Sign-in

    8:30-12:00                        Welcome / Introductions / outdoor activities 

    12:00-12:45                      Lunch (Brown Bag)

    12:45-1:30                        Introduction to Voices Poetry

    1:30-2:15                          Small group writing time

    2:15-2:45                          Teaching Oral Performance

    2:45-3:15                          Small group planning time

    3:15-4:00                          Designing Voices books and posters

    Saturday, June 10

    8:30-9:00                          Discovery Walk (outdoor activity)  

    9:15-10:00                        Group performance rehearsal time

    10:00-11:00                      Oral Performances

    11:00-11:20                      Break

    11:20-12:20                      Oral Performances

    12:20-1:00                        Wider Connections & Workshop Conclusion

    Eventbrite - Voices from the Land: Integrating Language and Landscape, Art and Culture

  • Teaching and Learning with Monarch Butterflies
    8/3/2017 -8/4/2017  

    Each fall, monarch butterflies from the U.S. and Canada begin a 2,000 mile migration to Mexico; in following spring, their great grandchildren return.  'Teaching and Learning With Monarch Butterflies' is a two-day workshop combining classroom and field experiences where participants are taught by a team of experienced educators that provide participants with the knowledge, skills, materials and confidence to raise monarchs on their own.

    This workshop enables pre-K through 12th grade educators to teach essential skills in literacy, math, science, geography, technology, Spanish, the arts and social studies… through the captivating story of monarchs (but isn’t limited to educators).

    Each participant receives: Hands-on instruction by experienced teachers; Rearing cages, books, posters, DVDs and other essential materials; Strategies for creating butterfly gardens; Activities for any subject area; Proven models for engaging community support; On-going support.  

    Cost: $50 per educator.

    Class Schedule:

    Thursday, August 4

    8:00-8:30                             Feed Butterflies

    8:30-9:00                               Door prizes; Intros; workshop buddies

    9:00-9:45                               Intro to the Monarch/Milkweed/MTN story

    9:45-11:00                            Life Cycle Stations/Break

    11:00-11:15                          Journeys and Transformations DVD

    11:15-12:15                          Rearing cages, holding cages activity

    12:15-12:45                          Lunch

    12:45-1:15                            Care and Feeding of Monarchs

    1:15-2:00                               Milkweed Community/Gardens

    1:45-2:30                               Gardens/Duke Farms

    2:30-4:00                               Field Trip

    Friday, August 4

    8:00-8:30                             Feed Butterflies

    8:30-9:00                              Morning activity and door prizes

    9:00-10:15                            Sharing session, classroom activities

    10:15-12:00                          Tagging and releasing Monarchs

    11:45-12:00                          Journeys and Transformations DVD

    12:00-12:30                          Lunch

    12:30-1:15                            Migration Games                

    1:15-2:15                               Learning activities

    2:15-3:15                               Native Plant Greenhouse

    3:15-3:30                               Wider connections (Voices project, etc)       

    3:30-4:00                             Wrap-up

    Eventbrite - Teaching and Learning with Monarch Butterflies

  • ANJEE Autumn Conference: From Inspiration to Impact in the Outdoors
    9/29/2017   8:30 AM to 5:00 PM

    The Alliance for NJ Environmental Education (ANJEE) is excited to present a day full of programs for educators at Duke Farms, a model for environmental stewardship and a more sustainable future.

    Our autumn event will feature a variety of outdoor sessions designed to educate and inspire.

        • Explore natural history with local experts in birding, animal tracking, plant ID and more.

        • Learn the secrets of amazing outdoor teachers who will share their tried and true techniques.

        • Investigate NGSS aligned lesson plans, designed specifically for outdoor education.

        • Try your hand at primitive skills or learn to carve a lovely linden leaf!

    Early Bird Attendee $50 (Before June 15, 2017)

    Regular Attendee $60 (after June 15, 2017)

    Pre and Post Conference Tour Schedule
    (Advance registration is required to attend these tours.)

    Farming Operations & Community Garden - 7:00 AM to 8:15 AM
    Meadow Walk to the Orchid Range - 7:00 AM to 8:15 AM
    Sustainable Technology at the Orientation Center - 5:15 PM to 6:30 PM
    Big Tree Walk - 5:15 PM to 6:30 PM
    Waterfall Walk - 5:15 PM to 6:30 PM

    Interested in exhibiting at the conference? Exhibitor registration is $75 (includes one table and one attendee.)

    The link below contains everything you need to register for the conference, pre and post conference tours and as an exhibitor.

    Eventbrite - ANJEE Autumn Conference: From Inspiration to Impact in the Outdoors

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