Category Archives: Sustainability

Get your Flower Power and help grow Dani’s Dreams!

Click this link to get your bulbs delivered to your home!

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Dani’s Dreams is “Spreading Our Wings” as we grow our education programs with Eco Lessons in Southern Hancock Schools, Dani’s Dreams Go Green Outdoor Education Center at Zion Lutheran School and the Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Trail at Sugar Creek Township Park coming this fall. Proceeds from this fall bulb sale will go to provide area students in grades K-12 with innovative, hands-on lessons.

‘Spread Your Wings’ and join Dani’s Dreams’ Walk/Run Aug. 6!

danisdreams2016tshirtdesignJoin Dani’s Dreams as we “Spread Our Wings” with the 9th annual Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run Aug. 6, 8 a.m. at New Palestine High School.

Registration is only $25 for an individual and a family of 4 is only $50! Groups of 10 or more can register for only $10 each. With each registration, you also get the Coolest T-shirt on the Planet! See the design above.)

SIGN UP HERE TODAY! T-shirts are not guaranteed the day of the event

Proceeds will go to fund the development of the Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Trail at Sugar Creek Park and ECOFEST Lessons for Southern Hancock County students.

The walk/run is Dani’s Dreams major fundraiser and your registration or donation can give our children a chance to gain valuable reading, writing, science and technology skills and provide paid internships for high school and college students to be leaders in their communities. If you can’t come, you can still donate and receive a T-shirt!

Dani’s Dreams Innovation in Education Corp. is now a full-fledged 501c3 tax exempt organization with a mission to provide innovative, hands-on STEM and Literacy education activities for schools and organizations throughout Central Indiana.

Want to join our team as we “Change the World”? Contact President and CEO Donna Griffin at dgriffins96@gmail.com or 317-640-4430.

 

 

 

Good day, sunshine! ECOFEST 2016

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Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Programs and New Palestine High School teacher Brittany Bennett and her students hosted ECOFEST 2016 April 15, celebrating bringing innovative STEM education activities to Southern Hancock students. Students, parents and grandparents took the challenge and enjoyed bubbles, gliders and saw the liftoff of a solar balloon thanks to NPHS student volunteers at the Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center at Zion Lutheran School.

Ana Ostendorf and Allison Norman gave students in attendance a sneak peak at the ECOFEST solar energy lesson. All those in attendance saw solar in action thanks to David Griffin and learned how this renewable energy works in a video produced by our Dani’s Dreams reporters Sarah and Emily Adam.
NPHS Alumnus Ryan Schroeder tested ECOFEST participants’ knowledge of invasive species with his “Friends or Foes” game. Schroeder is the president of the Purdue University Environmental Science Club. DNR Project Learning Tree Coordinator Donna Rogler shared her extensive knowledge and seedlings to take home. Willing Hands Entertainment provided free facepainting for all kids!

Because of the great response to ECOFEST Lessons and the festival, Dani’s Dreams is extending the deadline for the Southern Hancock T-shirt Wars to sign up for membership and help your favorite elementary school win a $300 grant! Sign up by May 6 online here to become a Dani’s Dreams Team member and get your favorite kid a free T-shirt, wristband, certificate and exciting and fun activities and information they can use all year to “Change the World!”

Here comes the sun! See solar in action at Dani’s Dreams!

 

The Go Green Discovery Center at Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center at Zion Lutheran School is now solar-powered!

Classes, Scouts, Daycares, Preschools and other groups can visit the Go Green Center, learn more about how solar energy works with our Dani’s Dreams video report and create a solar craft!

Log onto https://www.eventbrite.com/e/danis-dreams-membership-ecofes… to support your school and be a part of Dani’s Dreams mission to “Change the World!”

With each membership, one Southern Hancock elementary school could win a $300 grant for the school, and every child gets a free specially designed T-shirt, wristband, certificate, special e-newsmat and loads of fun educational activities for only $25 a year! All proceeds go right back to Southern Hancock schools to support environmental education!

 

Taking care of ‘Our Common Ground’ – Dani’s Dreams coming to Sugar Creek Park

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Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center is joining forces with the Sugar Creek Township Park Board, New Palestine High School teacher Brittany Bennett and her AP Environmental Science class and Donna Rogler, Indiana DNR Project Learning Tree specialist, to develop a second education trail/activities for Southern Hancock students, teachers, families and community members, to be named, Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Trail at Sugar Creek Park.

NPHS AP environmental science (APES) students under the direction of Ms. Bennett will research, write and design signage as well as plan and lead activities for the trail. Ms. Rogler will provide curriculum, training and activities through Project Learning Tree.
Initial plans were announced Nov. 4 at the Dani’s Dreams Family Tree Day event at Sugar Creek Park (photo gallery above).

“The trail would have an overall theme of sustainability and should be a place the whole community can enjoy at any time to learn about the nature around them,” said Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center director Donna Griffin.

Dani’s Dreams has been working with New Palestine High’s APES students on the plan for the trail. Four stations are under development, focusing on:

Sustainability
Native trees/plants
Wildlife
Water/Hoosier Riverwatch.

Bennett and her students will be the leaders for the development and implementation of the trail, integrating their work into the APES curriculum and Dani’s Dreams mission to encourage and support teachers in use of creativity in the classroom, to foster an interest in science and discovery with projects designed to develop an appreciation, responsibility and concern for the natural world.

“Dani’s Dreams Nature Education Trail at Sugar Creek Township Park will build the next generation of committed invested citizens of New Palestine,” Griffin said. “This will empower the youth in this community to be leaders in their community and school and active participants in their education. The education value of this project is more than doubled with high school students teaching and mentoring elementary and middle school students and sharing their knowledge with the community.”

Community businesses, organizations, families and individuals who want to be involved in this innovative STEM education project, can contact Donna Griffin, dgriffins96@gmail.com or Brittany Bennett, brittanybennett@cscshc.org.

“Community-based environmental education can also support opportunities for intergenerational learning. With these kinds of approaches, community residents from young to old can learn from each other.” – National Environmental Education Foundation Environmental Literacy Report, 2015.

 

 

Join Dani’s Dreams for ‘Tree’-mendous fun today at Sugar Creek Park!

Take a nature walk, learn about trees and get creative – share the beauty of fall and the wonderful weather (while it lasts) today at Sugar Creek Park.

Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center invites all New Palestine families to Family Tree Day at Sugar Creek Park today, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 4-5:30 p.m. Join us for fun, outdoor education activities for all ages and be a part of the plans for “Our Common Ground.” Contact Donna Griffin at dgriffins96@gmail.com for more information. Stay tuned to http://www.danidreamsoutdooredcenter.com and the Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center Facebook Page for more details.

 

photosynthesis_1
PHOTOSYNTHESIS: Carbon Dioxide + Water + Light —-> Sugar + Oxygen

Dani’s Dreams reporter Anna Caster, Zion Lutheran student, gives you the fun facts about our towering tree friends:
By Anna Caster
Trees are very beautiful! There are many kinds of trees, such as Norway Spruce, White Pine, Juniper, Tulip Poplar, Maple and Cherry. Trees are useful for many different things in many different ways, such as shade, protection and shelter for animals, paper and wood products, and many other things.
Trees breathe in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. Humans are the exact opposite, we breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. Trees are helpful in making gum, picnic tables, cutting boards, doors, and trees help keep the soil on the ground from having erosion. Trees are wonderful plants that God made for the enjoyment of humans and animals.
Trees can do so many different things in so many different ways. I love trees and you should too!

See what Dani’s Dreams is growing at Sugar Creek Park!

family tree day at Sugar CreekAll New Palestine families are invited to Family Tree Day at Sugar Creek Park this Wednesday, 4-5:30 p.m. Join us for fun, outdoor education activities and be a part of the plans for “Our Common Ground.” Contact Donna Griffin at dgriffins96@gmail.com for more information. Stay tuned to http://www.danidreamsoutdooredcenter.com and the Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center Facebook Page for more details.

More about Monarchs and their amazing migration…

By Christina Harkleroad, coordinator,

Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center

Drawing by Victoria Miano, second grade, Zion Lutheran School

With Monarch Migration reaching a peak, and the success of our recent Butterflies UPCLOSE event, this week in our Dani’s Dream Outdoor Education column, we will be exploring butterflies. How do they live? What do they eat? How are they born? All these questions and more will be answered.

Monarch butterflies are found all across America. Monarchs spend their winter months in Mexico, but during the summer, they fly to America and even Canada. They can fly thousands of miles to make it to their summer homes. Not sure what monarch butterflies look like? They have black and orange wings and usually have a wing span of 3 ½- 4 inches. Their bodies are black and they have 2 black antennas on their heads. Males have a large black spot on their hind wings and females do not. Monarchs normally eat flower nectar for food. Milkweed flowers, clovers, thistles, goldenrods, ironweed, and sunflowers are all popular foods for monarchs.

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Drawing by Lillian Buist, second grade, Zion Lutheran School

Unfortunately, monarchs have a short life-span and live between 3-5 weeks on average. Because their lifespan is short, they must have multiple generations during the summer. By the end of the summer, the last generation must fly to Mexico for their over-wintering period. Monarchs flying north in the spring to the United States will find a mate. As they reach the U.S., the females will look for milkweed to lay their eggs. They eggs hatch after approximately 4 days and over a 2 week period, the caterpillars grow. Once they grow large enough, the caterpillars create a chrysalis or a cocoon and being the process of metamorphosis. The chrysalis is green with yellow spots and it provides protection for the caterpillar. After 2 more weeks, the butterfly emerges from the chrysalis. This process continues until it is time for the butterflies to fly back to Mexico.

Right now the Monarchs are just heading into Texas and a few are crossing the border into Mexico. Track this year’s migration on Monarch Watch.

For a fun story to read and learn more about the Monarch Life Cycle, click on “The Adventures of Ralph Sean Green” on our home page.

In the next column, we will be exploring ways other countries are becoming environmentally-friendly.

Second graders step up to learn, grow and share knowledge about Monarchs

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They flitted, they flew, and they soared – Monarchs and kids alike – at the Butterflies UPCLOSE event at Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center at Zion Lutheran School. More than 100 kids, parents and butterflies celebrated the joy of nature and God’s creation, led by teacher Brenda Kreutz and her second graders who were the tour guides for the butterfly house. The 14 students spent the last six weeks learning about the life cycle of a Monarch by growing close to 30-40 caterpillars, observing and recording the process in reports they shared with those in attendance. They worked with Betty Bemis of Backyard Butterflies who provided the caterpillars and her expert advice. The New Palestine community joined forces to support this innovative STEM educational event for area children. Willing Hands Entertainment provided face painting, New Palestine High School environmental education students and teacher Brittany Bennett helped with Monarch tagging and event organization. Dani’s Dreams thanks all those who attended for making the day so special and being active participants in creating, exploring and discovering!