Field Biology Community Project

The following are some project ideas to consider. Some of them need more research as to their validity. Of course your own ideas are welcome as well!

1. Teach elementary/middle school students about an environmental issue. Pick a subject that you learned this year and create a lesson plan and a block unit plan on that subject for a selected grade (choices are 1st through 9th). Present the lesson to the teacher (and the class if the teacher can fit it in to her/his end of the year curriculum.)
2. Get the NPHS recycling program more widely utilized throughout the schools. See me for more information.
3. Plant trees in NPHS courtyard. Prepare garden beds for the fall. Note: this project requires YOU to water the garden throughout the summer so the plants can get established. Maintenance can not do this for you.
4. Developing a nature trail on school grounds. Create a tree key and some kind of weather proof labeling system. You need to work with Maintenance to see what will work.
5. Plan a Bronx zoo field trip for elementary school kids to study endangered species. Make a field trip guide to the zoo and a class lesson on endangered species. Present to teachers.
6. Contact a local (state) environmental organization and participate in one of their projects. Most of these sites have an email service of current alerts and actions on behalf of the environment. Select a hot issue and research what you can do to help. (Rhonda Belluso at NYPIRG, the New York Public Interest Research Group, is a good resource rhondabelluso@hotmail.com.)
7. Write a children's book (with illustrations) that cover topics we discussed earlier in the year. Read the book to an elementary class and do a hands on project with them.
8. Do some restoration work in the community. Contact the appropriate agencies and plant trees, shrubs and perennials around New Paltz. I know the New Paltz Garden club could use your help, also the New Paltz Beautification Committee contact Sue Stegan @shstegen@att.net.
9. Conduct your own CLEAN SWEEP day in your neighborhood. Take before and after pictures. Document the extent of your clean up.
10. Do a Wallkill River clean up and recycle the recyclable materials. Document how far you went along the river.
10. Make your home more energy/resource efficient. Note: you must have permission of your parents before you do ANYTHING!!!!
fix dripping faucets
weatherstrip door/windows
get your family to switch to more environmentally friendly cleaning products
start a recycling campaign at home (visit the town dump and see how they handle recyclable materials)
find out how to dispose of used oil, old pesticides, and other toxic nasties
work out a plan to reduce your electric bills and water usage (go to the hardware store and learn about energy and water saving devices)
find out what kind of lawn mowers are better for the environment, etc.
11. Write an environmental article for a local paper like the New Paltz Times. It must be published to get credit.
12. Get involved in local environmental issues by attending the village or town Environmental Conservation Commission.
13. Make a cookbook on vegetarian meals. Cook them for friends or family (or the class!!!). The recipes must use ingredients that reflect a LOW impact use of our agricultural resources.
14. Prepare and distribute a handbook of locally available environmentally friendly products and organizations. Make a guide book for the Chamber of Commerce.
15. Contact local libraries and book stores. Make a list of suggestions for our librarian to establish a larger environmental library at school. Put together a reading list for incoming APES students.
16. Contact the Department of Environmental Conservation for ideas. The regional branch is just down the road- @256-3000.
17. Contact Jason West our GREEN PARTY mayor and see if you can be of service to him in his efforts to make New Paltz more environmentally friendly. His latest efforts are to get our school buses to run on Biodiesel!
18. Volunteer at the Mohonk Reserve. (Sue Fick, 255-0919) They have LOTS of ideas for you like helping with a native plants garden, improving the trails, and being a bike patrol volunteer.
19. Organize an Earth Day celebration for our school next year-
posters
information “booths”
brochures on how kids can make a difference
20. Volunteer at a local organic farm or health food store. They could use your enthusiasm and help! (Four Winds Farm- Polly or Jay Armour, 255-3088)
21. Volunteer at a local humane society or animal shelter. Do something meaningful for our homeless animals like giving them affection so they socialize better and have a better chance at being adopted. Kingston A.S.P.C.A. @ 331-5377.
22. Help an elderly neighbor with their yard work. Recycle yard waste and of course use no environmentally toxic pesticides. Take before and after pictures.
23. Research how NPHS can reduce their use of copying paper. Create a document on your findings.
24. Start a recycling campaign at a local retirement community.
25. Lead a field trip through the Gunks for kids- contact Mohonk Preserve (Sue Fick, 255-0919) or our middle/elementary school teachers.
26. See if can do something for the Transfer Station/Recycling Center in Gardiner (255-9775) or Landfill & Recycling Center in New Paltz (255-8456).
27. Clean up along the rail trail. Take before and after shots. Document how much ground you covered. Write an article about your experience in the New Paltz Times.
28. Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity (568-6035). Build a house for the needy.
29. Volunteer for Families of New Paltz (338-5953). Donate your time to help others help themselves.
30. Volunteer for the Salvation Army (255-9852). Recycle clothes from your neighborhood.

Wow- the possibilities are numerous. Make it meaningful! Make a difference!