Connections for Sustainability

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Photo of Jaclin DuRant

Jaclin DuRant poses with a grasshopper while teaching an Urban Naturalist class at A J Whittenberg.

Who is the Livability Educator?

The Livability Educator, Jaclin DuRant, works with students in AJ Whittenberg Elementary School's classrooms, the City of Greenville’s Community Centers, camps, afterschool educational programs, as well as with neighborhood residents.

Drawing from her background in Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development, Jaclin is developing and implementing educational programming that will engage the city’s youth and adults alike in lessons and discussions on their connection with the built, natural, and social environment.

A Community Quest student draws a picture of her house

A Community Quest student draws a picture
of her house.

Community Quest Program

The Community Quest Program has been developed by the Livability Educator for use as a curriculum supplement or full program in formal or informal education. Community Quest focuses on drawing connections between the built, social, and natural environment in an urban setting and provides background information and activities related to community, water quality, land use, planning, affordability, philanthropy, green space, housing, transportation, and more. Download the Community Quest Program and supplemental materials.

collage of photos of students interacting with nature
Urban Naturalist 2013

The Urban Naturalist Program

Created by the Livability Educator for the City of Greenville, the Urban Naturalist Program is a set of lesson plans, background information, handouts and materials designed to provide students with the tools to develop a closer connection to nature in the urban environment.
Download the Urban Naturalist Program teacher’s guide and supplemental materials.

image of book cover

Celebrating Urban Trees

A Tree!, the children’s story and coloring book written by the Livability Educator, tells the story of three friends who work together to plant a tree and make their neighborhood a better place to be. Learn more about the programming and tree planting that is part of the TD Green Streets grant and download A Tree! and other educational materials about urban trees.

The Recycled Bottle Greenhouse

photo of recycled bottle greenhouse

A J Whittenberg students help build their greenhouse.

During the 2012-13 school year, the Livability Educator spearheaded a project to build a greenhouse out of plastic bottles as part of the A J Whittenberg Elementary school outdoor classroom. Throughout the project, students collected close to 2000 plastic bottles and learned about green building, recycling, resource conservation, passive solar energy, rain barrels, water conservation, and much more.
Learn More

The Green Craft Challenge Booklet

An important part of developing sustainable communities, businesses, and lifestyles is reducing the amount of waste that we create. But, waste reduction can be a confusing

photo of recycled bottle with butterfly applique

Butterfly sun catcher made from a plastic bottle. Page 26-27 of the Green Craft Challenge Booklet.

topic. The Green Craft Challenge Booklet was developed by the Livability Educator to provide tools for parents and educators to engage students of all ages in discussions and problem solving related to their impact on the waste stream.

The Green Craft Challenge booklet is 28 pages of fun craft activities using materials that may otherwise be thrown in the trash. The crafts are paired with information about the waste stream and challenges designed to encourage out-of-the-box thinking. Download the Green Craft Challenge Booklet and get started crafting!

Photo of a hawk in Falls Park
A Hawk Surveys Falls Park

A Walk in the Woods

Healthy natural areas provide a wide variety of ecosystem functions that are essential for our growth and development, from clean air and water to recreation and natural resources. The upstate of South Carolina is an amazingly diverse area with a wide range of natural areas open to the public. Livability educator Jaclin DuRant believes a simple nature hike is a great way to stay healthy while developing an appreciation of the connections between ourselves and the natural environment.

Through the photo-journal series Walk in the Woods you can join Jaclin as she explores trails in parks, heritage preserves, and other natural areas in the upstate of South Carolina. The goal of the series is to highlight the connections that people have to the natural environment through discussion, fun facts about natural resources, and beautiful images. Along the way, she will introduce some of the wide diversity of plants, animals, and ecosystems that are available for your enjoyment in the upstate of South Carolina.
Read A Walk in the Woods