Environmental Education

At New Branches, we believe students should have the opportunity to be responsible citizens in caring, respecting and learning about the environment.

Students in garden with teacher showing plants/flowers

Environmental Education begins in Preschool and builds upon knowledge of Michigan’s natural resources, environmental concerns and being stewards of the Earth.

Kate Hasenbank is our Environmental Specialist, who works with teachers and students to infuse environmental studies into everyday learning.  Each student will spend one class period per week in an Environmental Science time.  Mrs. Hasenbank has earned a Master’s degree in Science focusing on Environmental Studies.

  • Every classroom offers environmentally focused lessons such as: weather, ecosystems, landforms, climate change, recycling, energy, and water quality.
  • Students have the opportunity to work together in our new garden and learn the food cycle from farm to table.  They will learn how to prepare the soil, plant, water, measure growth, harvest, and prepare food from crops.
  • Students will work with community organizations like Groundswell to learn more about the environment and how they can give back.
  • Water recycling: Rain barrel water collection is used to water the school rain gardens.
  • Learning Excursions: Students have the opportunity to participate in learning excursions through grade level field trips in Michigan, e.g. Grand Rapids Recycling Center, Kent County Waste Water Treatment Plant, Blandford Nature Center, The Bunker Nature Center of Calvin College, Frederick Meijer Gardens, The Grand Valley Science Research Vessel, The W.G. Jackson docked in Muskegon, MI.