Jeffers Foundation


A teaching resource for use in the classroom (updated weekly).

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Provided by the Freshwater Society


A brief overview of some of what Jeffers Foundation is doing



Connect to an Active Lifestyle

Unplug! Have fun outdoors together!
Jeffers Foundation makes getting outdoors easy: Two or three clicks at FamiliesOutdoors.Org will lead to the perfect outdoor activity! [more]

School Gardens

A Garden for Every School

Schoolyard gardens have been a 'growing' phenomenon in the last few years.

As creative educators look for new ways to teach students sound environmental principles as well as good nutrition, gardens offer an excellent solution. We surveyed the state looking for high-quality programs. The result is over a dozen videos and case histories to help you learn from the best. [more]

WRAP - Waste Reduction Awareness Program

WRAP - Waste Reduction Awareness Program

WRAP is a Jeffers initiative to assist elementary schools to reduce lunchroom waste. 31 Minnesota schools were recognized with WRAP awards for reducing waste. Jeffers and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency collaborated to aggregate information and case studies with the goal that schools complete the WRAP Self-Assessment and visit the WRAP web pages to find the resources necessary to improve their waste reduction / education efforts.

Jeffers Workshops

Jeffers Workshops

Fostering Environmental Stewardship through Education

Jeffers primary purpose is to help youngsters learn sound principles of Environmental Stewardship and to love and understand their natural world. Jeffers workshops exist for that sole purpose. One of Jeffers guiding principles has always been to help Teachers do their job more effectively without adding cost or additional work. [more]

Jeffers Junior Naturalist Program

Jeffers Junior Naturalist Program

Character Development through Service Learning

Jeffers Foundation has observed that the child who goes outdoors to do something meaningful for someone else is a happier, healthier and more sucessful student. The Jeffers Junior Naturalist program has been designed to give children from third grade on opportunities to participate in service learning activities in their schools and communities. For those wishing to make an EE program, this is a great culture builder. [more]

Jeffers Journal

Jeffers Journal

Chairman Paul's Fabulous Idea Takes Root & Blossoms

Early in Jeffers journey, Chairman Paul (Oberg), in support of a Foundation goal to help educate young persons, recognized that a key learning activity is for students to make observations and to systematically record them. Chairman Paul realized that most of these observation / recording exercises were done using single sheets of paper, many of which were easily lost. He envisioned a "science notebook" which could become a permanent part of each student's primary education. The Jeffers Journal is his realization of this dream. [more]



Integrating Environmental Education

Jeffers collaborated with teachers from the Prior Lake/Savage Area school district to develop a series of morning meeting type EE lessons which are standards-based and presented in a ring-bound card format that is easy to manage. Included with the cards is a "how-to" CD which also includes indexes and supporting materials. Teachers across the state are enthusiastically using this program to Integrate Environmental Education into every class day. [more]

The Outdoor Classroom

The Outdoor Classroom

Team Teaching with Mother Nature

Jeffers Foundation believes children learn better, are healthier, more manageable, and perform better on tests when they learn experientially out of doors. The Outdoor Classroom is a three part video on DVD created by Jeffers and available free of charge to help parents, teachers and administrators realize how important and how easy team Teaching with Mother Nature can be. [more]

The Calendar in the Classroom

Calendar in the Classroom

Learning from Nature's Own Classroom

Recognizing what a great resource the Minnesota Weatherguide Environment™ Calendar is Jeffers partners with Freshwater Society, the publisher of the calendar, to put the calendar and calendar based lessons in elementary classrooms throughout the state. With the help of an instructive video, the lessons are presented to the elementary teacher in such a way that she/he is comfortable teaching their students real science. [more]

Jeffers Pond

Jeffers Pond

Nature Preserved a Special Place to Enjoy and Share

Robert (Bob) Jeffers owned very attractive land in Prior Lake. An important element of this land is a hilly, wooded portion which also contains a small, deep lake or pond. Before his death Bob wished that this property be developed such that this beautiful, natural area be preserved for public enjoyment of nature and educational purposes. Such is Jeffers Pond. [more]

Big Green Bus

Big Green Bus

Transportation Subsidy Program

Need help getting your class to that special can't be missed outdoor / environmental education venue or event? Jeffers Big Green Bus is just around the corner.

McColl Pond Environmental Learning Center

McColl Pond Environmental Learning Center

Like Minds + Diverse Means = LEEDS GOLD Facility

A primary Jeffers goal is "productive partnerships" where the synergy of like minds and diverse means produces a result that is more than the sum of the parts. Jeffers' partnership with the City of Savage, MN began with a collaboration in providing EE opportunities for the students in Glendale elementary and developed into a major grant toward the building of McColl Pond environmental learning center, a LEEDS GOLD certified structure. [more]

See all Programs, Partners and Projects →


Over the years JEFFERS FOUNDATION has been pleased to partner with the MAEE Minnesota Association for Environmental Education. JEFFERS has helped sponsor the annual meeting, provided presenters for workshops and a few years ago helped to establish the MAEE Environmental Educator Awards Program. We at JEFFERS are proud to recognize awardees of the MAEE Environmental Educator Awards for 2014:

Jim Rue - Lifetime Achievement

Jim is a Special Education teacher at Belwin Outdoor Science, a St. Paul school located near Afton, MN.

Tim Chase - Formal Educator of the Year

Tim is a teacher in the Murray Middle School in St. Paul and makes regular use of the Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom.

Bryan Wood - Non-Formal Educator of the Year

Bryan is the Excutive Director of the Audubon Center of the North Woods in Sandstone, MN where he oversees a fabulous RELC.

JEFFERS is delighted to congratulate this Year's award recipients and wishes to thank them for their untiring and imaginative efforts to foster Environmental Stewardship through Education. See more at:

School Garden Grants

School Garden Grants

Fifteen Minnesota schools from Audubon in the northwest to Winona in the southeast were awarded $500 "seed" grants to help them "plant" school gardens. These gardens will serve a population of more than 6500 Minnesota students.

The grants came about as a result of a year-long effort by Jeffers to identify and publish exemplary school garden practices all around the state and encourage other schools to start school gardens. Check out the School Gardens pages for lots of exciting details.

The grants were awarded to the following schools:

Cornelia Elementary
Gaia Democratic
Good Shepherd
Grandview Middle
Hiawatha Community
Highland Elementary
Lake Park Audubon
Metro Deaf
North Park Elem
Rosemount Elem
Southgate Elem
Sun Rise River
Weaver Lake Elem
Winona Middle

Golden Valley
Apple Valley
St. Paul
Columbia Hgts
North Branch
Maple Grove


Jeffers Foundation makes available programs and products free of charge to teachers and schools.

Jeffers Shares

From its very inception, one of the guiding principles of Jeffers Foundation has been to help teachers share sound principles of environmental stewardship with their students in such a manner as to leverage teacher prep time and effort all the while offering programs and products free of cost to school and teacher.

Consequently, Jeffers provides programs, products and teacher workshops at no cost. In fact if teachers attend one of our workshops, they will receive a number of supporting items (determined by the nature of the workshop). What Jeffers requests is that teachers share with Jeffers and hence with others, their experiences so that other teachers may benefit from what is learned.

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