About G.R.E.E.N.

G.R.E.E.N. --- Greater Racine Environmental Educators Network

How we started

The Greening Greater Racine initiative for schools began during the fall of 2014 school year at the urging of retired school librarian Marilyn Kiemen, insisting that “We need to get teachers involved.” 

Purpose: The purpose was for teachers to engage students with nature and ecology inside and outside the classroom. The small group met regularly with the encouragement and active participation of Christopher Tompkins, Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Racine Unified School District.

Growing Network. During the 2015-2016 school year, we began recruiting teachers by word-of-mouth, and our numbers quickly grew. From the start we have sought to draw participation both from public and private schools. By the fall of 2017 there were more than 80 teachers and administrators who expressed an interest in being a part of this network.

Organization. The network has been facilitated by David Rhoads, Director of Greening Greater Racine, and guided by a planning committee composed of representative members of the network. Two interns from the University of Parkside, Meghan Lauer and Cassie Meredith, have enabled us to make strides in developing resources and promoting activities, classes, schools, and nature centers.

Meetings. The GREEN program holds regular meetings during the school year. The meetings feature a school, such as the Racine Montessori School, the 21st Century Preparatory School, and the North Park Elementary School. We also share resources available from school programs, such as the Green and Healthy School Certification Program at Walden High School. Attendees also report on their projects and programs with each other.

Stated Goals

  • Develop a network of educators (teachers, administrators, parents, students, environmental organizations, home-schoolers, and interested citizens) to share and learn around nature and the environment.
  • Create an inventory of current eco-programs in the public and independent schools.
  • Develop an online catalogue of eco-resources for teachers and students.
  • Plan networking events designed to inform the public.

Public Promotion


In the fall of 2016 G.R.E.E.N. hosted a Golden Rondelle program on “Naturing Our Children.” The program featured a presentation by Geoffrey Bishop, Founder and Director of Nature’s Classroom Institute. 

It also showcased eco-programs at local schools: Christopher Thompkins (Racine Unified School District) Rita Lewis (Racine Montessori School)Jeff Appenzeller (North Park Elementary School)Jamian Knuth (The 21st Century Preparatory School)Peter O’Shea (Walden III High School)Nancy Carlson (Watershed Program for 4th and 7th graders)

Interested in Joining G.R.E.E.N?

​Wish to be part of the network? For more information, explore the remain the Green pages on this website or Facebook page by clicking HERE. If you wish to become part of the GREEN network to receive information about resources and announcements of meetings, please contact David Rhoads at [email protected].

The GREEN school network is an initiative of Greening Greater Racine, An inclusive environmental grass-roots movement of faith communities, environmental organizations, businesses, government agencies,schools, and citizens working to inspire, educate, and motivate people to take actions that make possible a healthier and more sustainable life in greater Racine now and in the future.