What’s That Flower?

Last summer Dr. Lora Shadwick attended AEEA’s EE Expo at Mount Magazine State Park. In the morning she led a well-received walk to identify native edible plants within the park. In the afternoon she attended a session on using the iNaturalist app to engage community and document biodiversity.

She immediately began using the app that summer with early high school age Upward Bound students and continued in the spring of this year with college age students. The spring ecology lab class had permission from a local cemetery board to visit the cemetery grounds and document observations. The iNaturalist tool was as an optional value-added part of the course, and those who chose to use iNaturalist found it to be engaging and easy to use.

In addition to ease of use, the benefits of the app include generating a species list of the area, helping instructors who may be unfamiliar with local organisms, producing a map of where the students were during the lab, and continued engagement. Quite a few of the student’s research grade observations were added into the Biodiversity of Arkansas project. Even though using iNaturalist was optional in this lab, the result was more observations than students. One hundred twenty students chose to use the app and made over 800 observations.

One aspect of using iNaturalist that Dr. Shadwick really likes is the ability to help students with identifying their observations even if she is not present when the observation is made. Positive identifications can occur long after the photo is taken. Help with identification has come from the community, and you can help as well. Check out their work, and add your expertise.

iNaturalist can be used with a variety of ages, from upper elementary to adults. It is one of many tools to engage students in outdoor learning.


Earth Day Every Day Support AEEA!  

The Arkansas Environmental Education Association is creating a more sustainable world for all through professional and collaborative learning. We work to build understanding, appreciation, and support of our natural environment. AEEA provides high-quality professional development; promotes hands-on, interdisciplinary education programs; and connects a network of educators, students, businesses, government agencies, and non-profit organizations around the state.  

Earth Day Every Day Support AEEA!

Idea #1: Donate $100 towards compostable plates, cups, napkins, and cutlery.  When AEEA hosts events, our goal is zero waste. We reuse, recycle, and compost, sending very little to the landfill. The amount is only a suggestion – all donations are appreciated! This request has been met! Thank you!

Idea #2: Attend an event – Are you an educator in need of high-quality professional development? We provide workshops, conferences, and community networking events.  See the events page for details of our next educator workshop.

Idea #3: Show your love of through AEEA swag – wear it, drink out of it, shop with it. Shop at Cafe Press, and a portion of each purchase supports AEEA.

Idea #4: Shop with AmazonSmile – If you shop through Amazon, why not send a little money toward AEEA while you do. At no additional cost to you, AEEA can receive funds for many purchases you make when you sign up for the AmazonSmile program.
How do I sign up? Go to
Remember, always start at and Amazon will donate a portion of your eligible purchases to AEEA.

Idea #5: Become a member – Membership benefits include discounted registration for AEEA events; monthly e-newsletter of educational resources, professional development, and grants; potential for professional recognition; opportunities for mini-grants; and networking with other professionals. As the state affiliate for the North American Association of Environmental Education, our members are connected to a larger community of expertise and support. See more at

Idea #6: Buy a raffle ticket for a kayak – AEEA is selling raffle tickets for a Pelican Argo 100X Recreational kayak.  Tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20.  The drawing will be held September 2.  More details here. What a great way to explore Arkansas!

Idea #7: Donate $50 towards a State Science Fair Special Award – AEEA recognizes a student at the State Science Fair for an exceptional project with a sustainability focus or application. Help us expand this program and encourage high school students in science. A donation of $50 will help us toward that goal.  Read about the project of this year’s special award recipient, Anusha Bhattacharyya.

Idea #8: Sign up for Kroger Community Rewards Program  If you shop at Krogers, sign up for the Community Rewards Program and a portion of your purchase will support AEEA, no extra cost to you. How do I sign up? Visit New users will need to create an account which requires some basic information, a valid email address and a rewards card. Kroger rewards cards are available at the customer service desk at any Kroger. Once logged into your Kroger account, search for Arkansas Environmental Education Association either by name or KX841.
Click Enroll. Participants must swipe their registered Kroger rewards card or use the phone number that is related to their registered Kroger rewards card when shopping for each purchase to count. Buy food – support AEEA!

Idea #9: Donate $75 towards our mini-grant program.  Each year AEEA awards one classroom teacher and one non-formal educator with a mini-grant to help support an education project with a conservation or environmental theme.  Read more about 2019’s recipients here

Idea #10: Surprise us with a purchase from our Charity List on Amazon.  These are items that will be used for events, such as compostable plates, or items we can use at educator workshops, such as books and silent auction items. Amazon Charity List
Thank you to the supporter who already purchased books from our list!

Idea #11: Sponsor lunch at our next workshop! $300 will cover lunch for the Early Childhood and Nature workshop scheduled on May 22. Any amount is appreciated and you will be listed as an event sponsor.

Idea #12: Become of monthly sponsor of AEEA. You can sponsor for a month, a quarter, five months, a year, a decade! Pricing begins at $30. More details and information here.

Idea #13: Donate an item for a silent auction.  We love Arkansas made items if possible. Silent auctions have included nature photographs, paintings, handmade pottery, books, children’s bicycles, outdoor gear, and gift certificates. The silent auction helps funds our mini-grant program.

Idea #14: Donate a usable cell phone.  We need a new cell phone, and we know that cell phones are often traded in when they still work.  If you have a good cell phone sitting around that would work on Verizon network – we would appreciate it.  Saves us money and reusing is better than recycling!  

Okay, we don’t actually have a flip phone, but it is pretty old. 

Idea #15: Donate any amount you can afford – all donations are appreciated!  AEEA is creating a more sustainable world for all through professional and collaborative learning. We provide high-quality professional development; promote hands-on, interdisciplinary education programs; organize professional meetings, and connect a network of educators, students, businesses, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. You can support this through your financial donation of any amount.