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Partnerships for Youth Development: Green Leadership Academy for Diverse Ecosystems (GLADE) Janice Schnake Greene Department of Biology and Bull Shoals Field Station, Missouri State University, Springfield, MO 65897.

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Partnerships for Youth Development:

Green Leadership Academy for Diverse Ecosystems (GLADE)

Janice Schnake GreeneDepartment of Biology and Bull Shoals Field Station, Missouri State University, Springfield, MO 65897

This program could not be as successful without community partners. Missouri Department of Conservation locates areas of habitat to restore each year on the Drury and Mincy Wildlife Conservation Areas and provides expertise and assistance in the restoration work. They also provide information on large game management in Missouri.

As GLADE has continued, additional partners have provided their expertise to activities. Partners include the James River Basin Partnership, Watershed Committee of the Ozarks, and Ozarks Water Watch, who help with water quality monitoring and provide assistance to students on projects such as rain gardens.

Chase Studio provides tours of the facility to share the field of Museum Studies with students and show how art and science go together.

The Springfield Master Naturalists provide local expertise to students has they conduct their community projects. They join the GLADE students for an afternoon and dinner to interact with the students prior to the community project stage.

National Park Service provides expertise on fire ecology. MSU professors conduct field activities in their field of expertise.

Many financial partners provide necessary funds and/or supplies for GLADE. We are trying to keep the Academy at no cost to students.

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks provides funding for student community projects. The Coover Foundation is providing funds for a new teacher development workshop so teachers will be better able to assist students in projects.

Introduction

The Green Leadership Academy for Diverse Ecosystems (GLADE) is a week-long academy for high school students sponsored by the Greater Ozarks Audubon Society and Missouri State University (MSU). The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and other groups serve as partners.

GLADE began in 2009. It is an intensive outdoor experience with four major goals: (1) increase knowledge of and interest in the local area; (2) restore habitat for threatened/endangered species; (3) develop leadership skills; and (4) provide resources for students to develop conservation/sustainability projects in their communities.

GLADE is held annually at the MSU Bull Shoals Field Station within the MDC Drury Wildlife Conservation Area in southwest Missouri. It serves students from rural southwest Missouri and the Springfield area.

Community partners are essential to the success of GLADE. Partners can provide expertise/instruction, financial support, or support for students’ community projects after GLADE.

Habitat Restoration

Students participate in habitat restoration for either the endangered/threatened Swainson’s Warbler or Bachman’s Sparrow on Missouri Department of Conservation land. Through this work, students learn about the relationships of habitat to the targeted species and to the many other species that depend upon these habitats. Students may plant giant river cane in the riparian zone of the local creek or they may cut cedar trees from a glade area with supervision from the Missouri Department of Conservation land managers.

For each of four years, approximately 2 acres of river cane were planted along Bee Creek in the MDC Mincy Conservation Area. The cane is dug from existing stands with a backhoe then planted, by the students, in new areas along the riparian corridor.

Partners

Activities

Students learn, through hands-on experiences, about the biodiversity of the area, wildlife and habitat management strategies, and local environmental issues. Activities include bird banding, habitat restoration, water quality analysis, herpetological studies, entomology, local geology, and museum studies or the relationships between science and art. Students also participate in a variety of group problem-solving activities, with discussion, to help develop leadership skills.

Community Projects

After GLADE, students are provided with resources to develop a project in their community. Students may write a simple grant proposal to obtain up to $500 for their project. Several have used their money as seed money and been able to get additional funds from other partners. Example projects include establishing a rain garden at their high school to help alleviate flooding problems near their football field, developing an outdoor classroom for the local elementary school (several students have worked on this project over the 5 years), designing native flower beds for demonstration and education, increasing recycling at their school, promoting the use of canvas bags at grocery stores instead of plastic bags, and habitat restoration and/or clean-up work days.

In Year 3, participants cut and removed cedar trees (Juniperus sp.) from a glade-like woodland area in the Mincy Conservation Area. Removal of cedar trees opens the canopy for more herbaceous vegetation.

For further information

Contact janicegreene@missouristate.edu. More information on GLADE can be obtained at www.greenleadershipacademy.org/.

Amy & Sarah establishing a rain garden at their high school.

Building bluebird houses for a bluebird trail at a local park.

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Chase Studio (creator of museum displays)

Outdoor classroom project