Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Note to self: “There is a wider world that doesn’t care about nature conservation. Yet.”

This week’s review tackles dirty websites, how to identify centipedes without burying yourself in books, and argues why the RSPB’s Garden Birdwatch is worth an hour of your life, even if it does mean you’re likely to be couped up indoors and not experiencing the great outdoors like Chris Packham wants you to… (Oh, and there’s a weak analogy about chips in there too).

A friend of mine regaled to me an anecdote about childbirth this week. Not long after seeing his wife go through a twenty eight hour labour, finally giving birth to his first baby boy in the late hours, he (my mate, not the baby) was booted out of the hospital by the midwives. On the way home, starving, he stopped off at a chippie. While waiting for his sausage dinner his brain span, bursting with pride, dizzy with emotion. Overflowing with fresh memories, he quietly mentioned to the chippie when receiving the take-away that he was now a dad. “Congratulations,” said the chippie blandly, dumping the sausage dinner on the counter. “That’ll be three pounds eighty.”

I think wildlife’s a bit like this. Ok, the analogy’s not perfect, but it sums up how the very strong personal emotions and inspiration that nature gives you and me, may be viewed by the masses with a complete and blank disinterest and disregard. Put simply, nature is not everyone’s bag of chips*.

It’s easy to forget this when wildlife is something you’re involved in every day. We should have it on a Post-it note on every desk: “There is a wider world out there that just doesn’t care much about wildlife yet”. It’s true. Ever wondered why wildlife news stories are always on the radio at ten to the hour, not ten past? Why wildlife magazines vie for shelf space in WHSmith with motorbike magazines and sewing journals? Why the three main political parties barely mentioned nature conservation in their (now laughably irrelevant) manifestos?

Wildlife conservation is just not a big issue in the public conscience. After all, the RSPB has over one million members - what about the other 61 million members of our (big) society?

The truth is, we’re making inroads, but we have a long way to go in order to make a conservation-savvy society. That’s why it’s so good to see that, every now and then, there’s a wildlife conservation project that breaks into the public conscience.

A wildlife project your mum’s heard of…

Hats off then to the RSPB’s Garden Birdwatch. This classic ‘citizen science’ bird recording project has been running 30 years and every year pulls in 280,000 people, each of whom records observations of garden bird species in a one hour slot over the last weekend in January. “Yes, yes, 280,000 people is still only half a percent of the entire UK population”, I hear you say, but it’s a start. You can realistically expect to hear this one mentioned occasionally by strangers on the Tube, on a bus or, well, in the chippie.

So this year give it a go, if only for the excuse to sit down in your living room uninterrupted for an hour. You can register at:

Big Schools Birdwatch…

Garden Birdwatch’s sister project, the Big Schools Birdwatch, runs from the 24th of January to the 4th of February. The premise is the same: watch birds, record birds, relish birds, and the RSPB website is full to the brim with KS1 to KS3 resources. Plus there’s a neat addition where you can view, and interrogate, your own classroom results. Fantastic stuff – highly recommended.

Of mice and birds, and unidentified centipedes...

The question is: do the RSPB mind if I also record the field mice, the newest of my birdfeeder visitors? (Another Post-it for me this week: “clear seed detritus away from feeder before family next visits”).

In fact, if you do see strange birds or mammals during your classroom birdwatching (or any weird species in your schoolgrounds for that matter) then don’t forget about the excellent I-Spot. This cracking web resource, courtesy of the Open University, allows users to upload wildlife photos, and get other community members to identify them. Superb for those hard to key minibeasts!

Dirty websites…

Further evidence that there’s a whole world of wildlife waiting for the mainstream to discover comes courtesy of Project Dirt. This website aims to bring like-minded people together to make environmental change happen. If you click on the Projects page, you can see 447 environmental projects waiting for you to tap into if you’re a school or community group based in London.

Field work thumbs up…

Anyone else starting to hear our commoner birds doing some vocal practice laps in the mornings? Yes, spring –the field trip season- is approaching…! In last week’s blog I mentioned the Association for Science Education and their campaign to get science field-trips back on the school agenda. Their report is now released (here) – they’re urging the government to develop a co-ordinated programme of teacher training in fieldwork “to promote a more effective and inspirational approach to teaching science and mathematics using outdoor sites and venues in our towns and countryside”. If you’d like to help them you can get your local MP to sign their Early Day Motion.

Generation X-box

While we’re on the theme of getting young people outdoors, it was encouraging to hear Chris Packham supporting the Kids Closer to Nature campaign (am I being cynical or was this one big advert for Arla Foods?). Either way, getting the message out there that a quarter of young people spend too much time slumped in front of the telly is no doubt a good thing. The publicity also said that kids need more time outdoors with nature. Even if it was sales spin from Arla, it was well intentioned and encouraging.

Criminals can count birds too

Talking of getting the masses to love nature, it was good to read this week that the there’s sixty prisoners who are taking part in this year’s Garden Birdwatch . I must admit that my initial response was surprise. 60? Is that all! What else is there to do in prison except look out of the window? However, on a more serious note, there’s no doubt that a brush with nature is good for the soul, and that there’s new skills, training and confidence to be had by new audiences getting into wildlife conservation. This applies also to those involved in work with disadvantaged young people or those with mental health problems. With this in mind, this week’s funder of the week is the Digbeth Trust (Midlands) which helps community groups develop projects that turn “community ideas into community action” through a variety of grant streams, including those targeting mental health issues.

Ah mental well-being… I’m off to get my bird feeders stacked, my lounge windows cleaned, and find my most comfortable lounge outfit ready for this weekend’s birdwatching…

TTFN, Jules

* this is the weak analogy for which I can only apologise.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Why Hugh Fearnsley Whittington is not a sexy Gaia

This week’s review asks what better stirs people into action: sexy HD wildlife shots from the BBC’s Natural History Unit or Hugh Fearnsley Whittington shouting about the ludicrous state of the EU policy on fishing? Oh, and there’s resources to help communicate the sorry state of our oceans to others, news on funding from Tesco and an introduction to the RSPB’s Classroom Birdwatch. And (in a celebrity special) there’s two mentions of Davina McCall…

I’m going to tell you something weird. I have a recurring fantasy about what happens when you die. I have a theory (without any science to support it) that when you die you enter a de-briefing room where a Davina-esque demigod allows you to see your “best bits”, and interrogate your life’s events for interesting statistics.

These are the three statistics I’d love to know about my own life: i. has there ever been a moment when an animal has assessed whether or not I'm worth eating, without me ever knowing? (Was a bear watching me pass on that lonely walk in Canada? Was it a shark that bumped me from behind while snorkelling all those years ago?). Statistic ii. How many ticks have I had on my body without me ever knowing (ok, this is my own neurosis speaking); and Statistic iii. Would I still be into wildlife if there was no such thing as the BBC Natural History Unit?

This last question pops into my head every time the BBC releases a new ‘ground-breaking’ nature documentary series: a sexy Gaia-porn showpiece like Blue Planet, Planet Earth or, this week’s, Human Planet.

These programmes drip with beauty, and everyone (wildlife fan or not) appreciates them, but they rarely mention the fact that we’re buggering up this sexy planet, and we (not-so-sexy humans) need to do something about it.

Some people argue that this is a missed opportunity when the audience ratings for these Natural History Unit treats are invariably very high. Rarely is there a call to arms - a sad emotional “we have to do something” end to the narrative. The BBC Natural History Unit would argue that these programmes are the step-before; that these programmes underline the beauty and importance of these species and their habitats, and that their TV images inspire, and underpin, the conservation work of others in future. In other words these programmes are the public gateway to high-end environmental education.

The diversity of these approaches to environmental education were highlighted perfectly this week. At the same time that Hugh Fearnsley Whittington, on C4’s Fish Fight, was exposing the ridiculous nature of the EU Fisheries policy that sees half of all marketable fish thrown overboard, the BBC was showing how Homo sapiens have conquered the oceans in surprising ways like surfing, free-diving, and errr... hypnotising sharks. All of this was (of course) in sensual HD.

Did the BBC show us the glorious gory human efficiency with which up to 73 million hammerhead shark fins are cut off on Chinese star-destroyer-esque vessels each year? Of course not. Should they have? Well, I’m sure that they would argue that the thousands of people signing up to the Fish Fight petition, were inspired to try and protect the oceans by watching Blue Planet a few years ago…(Another stat for our heavenly Davina debrief).

This is a paradox known well to environmental educators or fellow wildlife nuts: when inspiring action from others do you start with scare stories about the fate of the planet, or do you invest in wildlife appreciation, and then casually introduce conservation issues at the end of the session?

Resources that exist to teach others about the fate of our oceans, and over-fishing, abound on the internet. For me, the most powerful images are on Google Earth, care of the Sylvia Earle Alliance (for those that don’t know her, Sylvia Earle is the Jane Goodall of the oceans). On this website you can uncover ocean stories, including looking at the disastrous impact of bottom trawling (China is becoming a recurring theme in this blog...).

The Sylvia Earle Alliance website also has an amazing map that shows where declining fish stocks have occured, decade by decade. (Spoiler alert: it’s like watching an army of Pacmen gobbling up pills, across the planet).

Another good website (particularly for younger audiences) is the Marine Conservation Society's, specifically its Cool Seas programme.

Those seeking sweeping changes to the science curriculum to accommodate more ‘sea learning’ could do no worse than read more about the US-based approach called Ocean Literacy. (Thanks to Autumnwatch’s Maya Plass for that one).

If it’s quiet time you’re after, then how about watching ‘End of the Line’ or ‘The Cove’ (which I confess, I still haven’t seen)?

Lastly, if you’re after a bit of training in using the sea for environmental education, then Archimedes Training are offering an OCN Beach Schools Qualification.

Outdoor learning: every little helps…

Thankfully there is no need for heavenly statistics about the value of outdoor learning. Answer: it works. If you don’t believe me here’s an introduction (courtesy of a nice letter in the Guardian this week), and if you want a big review of why outdoor learning has value look at this. This literature review is the Rosetta Stone for why outdoor learning matters; it translates all of the pre-2004 published research about the issue into plain English. (Hint: save a copy for cut-and-pasting the summary into future funding bids!).

In fact, talking of funding bids, Tesco’s Charity Trust aims to help Tesco support the local communities in which they operate. I notice a number of schools (and their environmental initiatives) are on Tesco's list of organisation’s they’ve supported. Their community awards offer between £500 to £4,000 in support for projects.

Rest In Pieces…

On the downside, it looks like the government is pocketing the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund. This fund was made up of contributions from the gravel extraction industry. The fund supported lots of wildlife charities in the past, many of them working at a community level with schools. More from the RSPB here

Park life!

Many of these community awards seem to go to primary schools. Where are the secondary schools? If you’re a secondary schools in the southeast you might like to know that the Field Studies Council is on hand to help through a project called Schools in the Park, offering the use of free equipment, and support to make use of nearby parks and open spaces for outdoor learning.

Ready… steady… bird!

Not long to go until the recording-fest that is the RSPB’s Garden Birdwatch on the 29th and 30th of January. Even if you don’t know your dunnocks from your doves, this is great fun – and educational to boot. The Big Schools Birdwatch is from the 24th January to the 4th of February – this year’s it’s the scheme's 10 year anniversary! Many happy returns!

Meanwhile this blog returns next week, neurosis-free.


Thursday, 13 January 2011

"How do I get a job working with animals?" (or models?)

This week The Bug explores how to get a job in wildlife conservation, what is a Science Fair, does wildlife conservation actually work, what is the new DDT, and is Chris Packham married?...

A curious thing happened to the internet about six months ago. Google started trying to finish your sentences. For instance, type in ‘Angelina’ and it tries to finish your sentence with ‘…Jolie’. It makes this presumption by looking at what most people on planet Earth type into Google and predicting what you'll write, a process it calls autocompleting.

This makes for some interesting lunchtime fun. Type in “Chris Packham” and you can see that most people finish this search sentence with “married” (or “gay”). Type in “how do I get rid of…” and you’ll see that most people (well, kids) are searching Google trying to get rid of the parental control settings on their internet browser. That or fleas.

Well, the point of all this is because if you type in “How do I get a job working with…” guess what comes up tops? Yep, you guessed it: “…animals”. Incredible. In fact, two of the top ten searched items on this planet are “…working with animals” or “…working with wildlife”. (For interest, “How do I get a job working with models” is also in the top ten*).

So, animals is top of the list then - interesting? Yes. Entirely surprising? No, not for those working in wildlife conservation who have to sift increasingly through reams of graduate CVs that come in for each and every paid position.

The truth is, working with wildlife –certainly paid employment in conservation- is really hard to get. Lots of people want to do it. Lots of people have trained for it, and lots of people have gathered lots of experience to help them get it. But with budgets being shaved on pretty much all sides of the conservation arena, there’s undoubtedly growing numbers of graduates competing for fewer and fewer paid graduate posts.

The RSPB, increasingly the mothership of UK wildlife conservation, this week reminds us of the struggle that graduates face: they have a new project that’s offering eighteen paid graduate places within their science teams, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. It can certainly be viewed as a sign of the times when the Lottery is funding paid employment for wildlife conservation, while the government quietly and politely sweeps the curtain back…

I’m undecided as to where, as environmental educators, this puts us? Should we be pushing undergraduates (and sixth formers for that matter) harder, pushing them to take on more and more volunteer work to add nitro to their CV’s and better guarantee them the job at the end, or should we be promoting the notion throughout education (including within university) that good old amateur naturalism is as worthy a pursuit as a paid career?

For me, the truth lies somewhere in between, if you provide enough inspiration, pupils may find some thirst within life for paid, or unpaid, conservation work. They’ll get it where they can. Either way, wildlife conservation wins.

For what it’s worth, here’s my own top-five advice for graduates to get paid work in wildlife conservation (or at least get an interview!):

1. Volunteer – if you haven’t got experience, then get in line. Charities depend on volunteers for a number of things: office work, field surveys, event preparation are but three. It’ll make you stick out to show that you have worked in some capacity for a wildlife charity, volunteer group, or even an environmental consultancy (depending on what sort of work you’re after). Many charities have started special schemes (apprenticeships) offering six month unpaid positions – these can give you a good spread of skills (office / site-based / working in teams), if you’ve got the savings… (ha!).

2. Get admin-savvy: because budgets within wildlife conservation are getting tighter by the day, there won’t be a Miss Moneypenny on hand to sort out your filing, to walk you through the office software or to organise a meeting using Outlook. You’ll need to show you’ve got these skills. They don’t sound like much, but they can help show that you are the sort of person that can fit in, and start working quickly.

3. Try and manage your own project, or show that you ‘own’ something: Consider writing a blog, starting a volunteer group, campaigning on a local issue – anything, as long as it’s yours, and you managed it yourself. If you can manage a project successfully it shows to your future employee that you’re capable of seeing something through, of working with other people and of problem-solving ‘on the job’. It shows them that you’re a known quantity, and that you’re capable. Depending on the project, this sort of thing can shine out on a CV.

4. Don’t fly-CV, and be concise [unlike this blog]: If you’re struggling to come up with reasons why you can do the job you’re thinking of applying for, then give up and invest your energy in a job application where you feel it’s more ‘you’. Also think carefully about honing down your CV, for instance picking out the top three things you’ve done for each of the given skills they outline that they want – almost like a tick list. Punchy, powerful CVs are always better than tomes of single-side gumph.

5. Read the advert: I cannot underline how important this one is. CAREFULLY READ THE ADVERT: if they ask for a covering letter outlining why you’re suitable then do one. Don’t just say: “Dear sir / madam, here’s my CV”. Take note of the deadline too!

(Ok these are just my own modest thoughts, but they might be helpful to someone who has just typed “How to get a job working with…” into Google). Please feel free to add your tips below.

IN OTHER NEWS…Field trips, errr, make the news…

Of course, experience counts for a lot when it comes to CVs, and what better early experiences are there than the biology field trip? Well, it was fantastic to see the Association for Science Education’s message this week that increasing the number of school field trips could help improve children's understanding and knowledge of biology and chemistry.

Science legend Steve Jones sums it up in a lovely piece in the Telegraph:
“I have vivid memories, once I had escaped screaming from my grammar school chemistry lab, of being taken at the age of 14 on a trip to the Field Studies Council’s Malham Tarn Field Centre in Yorkshire; and being enthralled by the possibility, even in the rain, of actually discovering something about animals (fresh water snails, as it happened) in the wild.”

“That first experience of field work formed my scientific career as it has that of many others.” he says.

ASE hopes to bring the field trip back to the centre of the school experience. Next week, it launches a report on the issue at the House of Commons. Good luck to them!

Google does a science fair

Ah, the science fair. That piece of American culture that we in the UK only know of through occasional references in US teenage sit-coms (Saved by the Bell anyone? Anyone?). The idea is that you pick a problem and you solve said problem with a little table display, ideally with a diarama, or a hamster in a mini-blimp. Well, hats off to Google for coming up with an international Science Fair (International? Ssshhhh... just don't mention the Chinese...) for 13-18 year olds. Prizes include expeditions with National Geographic, Google scholarships (worth £25k) and something about Lego. Just don’t ask them what they do with the ideas…

Reasons to be alive…

Didn’t I read that January was one of the most depressing months of the year? Well, here’s one reason to be cheerful. Conservation works. It’s easy to forget that conservation does save species, and that species once on the brink of extinction can be pulled back. A nice summary of conservation success stories can be found here on Treehugger's beautiful blog: You might want to tell others (pupils or colleagues), to help keep their peckers up.

…but not necessarily blind to the challenges
Remember DDT? Course you do, it’s the staple example in biology textbooks of how pesticides can multiply up the foodchain and do massive damage to species, and ecosystems. Well, if you’re looking for a more recent example to discuss with pupils or fellow wildlife fanatics then look no further than neonicotinoids. These pesky chemicals are increasingly thought to be behind recent bee declines. But will the government listen to the science-based arguments from Buglife and The Independent? Answer: probably not yet, so write to your local MP.

Hmmmmmm…MPs working with animals? There’s something you won’t see in Google’s autocomplete listings any time soon.

Until next week, Jules

*answer: grow-up or get a Saturday job in Games Workshop.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Three about trees...

I refer, in my previous post, to the ‘Chrimbo Limbo’, the period when the professional world goes into a sort of hibernation, and where drinking port and wearing knitted jumpers becomes, well, normal. As a result (of the quiet, not of drinking port), here is a rather succinct review of the week’s environmental education news for you, courtesy of this week’s The Bug

New year, new life, saplings sprouting and other new year analogies: If you’ve got a space set-aside for tree-planting but you’re struggling to cover the cost, don’t forget about the Big Tree Campaign. The first 1,000 schools to register on their website will receive a free sapling pack of fifteen native species. The deadline approaches (January 12th)... There are also bigger funding pots available through this campaign, to help your schools become tree-tastic (yes I did just write that) – find out more information here.

And talking of trees…If you’re looking for a global campaign to link your tree-based environmental education exploits to, I’d recommend having a look at information on the UN's Year of the Forest, a neat follow-on from the organismal orgy that was International Year of Biodiversity 2010 (IYB2010). If IYB2010 is anything to go by the Year of the Forest could attract a host of media attention, AND more pots of funding for tree-planting projects, and the usual cornucopia of education resources too.

What you can do with your old Christmas trees:
The tree theme continues. As well as being the Year of the Forest; the year of the Edinburgh trams; the Year of Consequences; the year of the fixed remortgage; and the Year of the Musical Robot (no, I'm not joking), 2011 is also the year to bring insects in from the cold, according to the Telegraph. One way you can help the UK’s dwindling invertebrates is by providing new insect homes in your school. One excellent idea is to cut up your spent Christmas trees and turn them into minibeast paradises – advice and information provided courtesy of Gardener’s World’s garden wildlife guru, Kate Bradbury. Great stuff – an activity I can imagine some schools relishing.

British Science and Engineering Week
One last thing…It won’t be long until the British Science and Engineering Week (11th – 20th March 2011). You can register your activities, and download information resources on their website, and there’s something in there about winning £800 too.

Happy New Year all – may it be one utterly festooned in nature.

- Jules

Extinction lifeline for environmental education fundraisers...

This week, the Bug outlines funding sources available to environmental educators keen to make habitat improvements to their school grounds or community greenspaces...

Well, the 'Chrimbo Limbo' has come and gone, when the malnourished news wires propel a host of "2011 is the year of.." stories. So far, I've seen 2011 quoted as: the year of the tablet; the year of the Edinburgh trams; the Year of Consequences (that'll be Milliband); the year of the fixed remortgage; and the Year of the Musical Robot (no, I'm not joking).

Thankfully nature themes feature strongly this year: 2011 is the UN's Year of the Forest, a neat follow-on from organismal orgy that was International Year of Biodiversity 2010 (IYB2010). If IYB2010 is anything to go by the Year of the Forest could attract a host of media attention, AND more pots of funding for tree-planting projects and funding (more on that later...). There will no doubt be good 'forest based' educational resources that spring up in due course too, as an output of this celebratory campaign.

2011 is also the year "to bring insects in from the cold", as well as being the Year of the Bat. You may also be interested to know it'll be the Chinese Year of the Rabbit (they don't need much conservation help though, God love 'em).

So what's my New Year headline? I'd be tempted to call 2011 "The Year of the Fundraiser". The fundraiser Argento venotoria, a disappearing creature. Once a common and rather plucky species, it is sadly facing a number of threats due to the decline of its food source -funding pots- which are eroding away through mankind's chaotic management of the banking system, the investments on which many grantmaker's depend.

With fewer funding pots, and increasing competition for existing funding pots, this is serious stuff for those seeking financial help in making their environmental education projects a reality. In particular, this may affect the bigger 'wildlife habitat' projects: the pond-dipping platforms, the new allotments and the sensory gardens, for instance.

As the economic downturn bites (and here the analogy with the animal world continues) only the fittest fundraisers will survive and gain financial nourishment. I suspect that these will be the fundraisers that: a. know where the funding pots are; and b, know how to write a good funding application.

So, allow me to help you on your journey by providing you with five funding avenues that can help you get your environmental education projects off the ground.

1. The big funders: Some of your projects may involve large-scale works to your school's (or community) site (such as putting in a new pond, a butterfly bank, or allotment site). The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF - Your Heritage grantscheme, 5k to 50k) is a popular grant-giver for projects like these. They can fund projects that demonstrate that you will improve a local heritage item (e.g. ponds, wildlife, birds etc.), and improve local lives (not just in the school but also in the local community). The application process is rather intense (lots of questions, and likely a couple of face-to-face chats with HLF), a process that can be difficult for some schools to invest in. It could be worth the effort though...

Another big grant giver are the landfill tax credit schemes such as Biffaward and Violia (though I haven't much experience personally with this one). These players invest in local projects (normally within 5-10km from a landfill site) that benefit communities and schools. Again, you have to invest time in the application process, but the rewards (in terms of money generated) might be worth it.

2. The corporate funders: Some multi-nationals have a charitable grant-giving arm (often run by marketeers eager to show off their organisation's ethical beliefs and credentials). These are good pots, and relatively easy to apply for. The two best I know of are: 02's 'It's your community', and the Santander Foundation - both offer grants of over £1k-2k. There are others - in fact if you know of particularly good ones please do add a comments below...

3. The local authority funders: it's no secret that local authorities are bearing the brunt of the recession. Sadly environmental activities have been first to be chopped back for many, being deemed (WRONGLY!) to be a non-essential service. However, all local authorities will have someone (or even a team of people) called 'Biodiversity Officers' or suchlike. Search your local authority's website. These people are excellent contacts to email for information on small local funding pots (not necessarily council run) that could be just the job for your wildlife project. Sometimes these funding pots are undersubscribed - they're waiting for environmental educators like you to make contact!

4. The wildlife charities: Many wildlife charities may be open to working with schools or community groups to help create (and sometimes fund the creation of) special habitats for the species they represent. For ponds (which is where most of my experience lies), there are small funding pots available to create or restore ponds for great crested newts (see Amphibian and Reptile Conservation), or to create new high-quality ponds for other aquatic wildlife (see Pond Conservation's Million Ponds project) - Plantlife too may also be able to help if you're a plant buff. For ponds too it might be worth scanning Froglife's website to see what education projects they have on the go at that given time.

Another great charity is Learning Through Landscapes. Though they can't offer much in the way of grants, they can offer a free advisory service to enhance your plans for your outdoor learning project, possibly making it even more attractive to funders.

5. The local good folks: Yes, you guessed it, 2011 is also the European Year of Volunteering, so you could have a think about what you could get for free from a local volunteer workforce. If you have a project that requires some hard graft (not necessarily money) why not enquire about roping in existing conservation volunteer workforces from local branches of BTCV, the Wildlife Trust or Groundwork.

So there you have it! Five channels open to you if you're trying to get money for environmental education projects in 2011. This is by no means all of them. There are other funding pots out there to help environmental educators make their dreams a reality - please do post comments below if you have recommendations!

Oh, and Happy 2011, may it be your year too. And here's to those rabbits.

- Jules