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Who We Are

About Groundswell

Groundswell is a place-based environmental education program housed in the College of Education at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We support K-12 educators who want to take their students beyond the classroom, in partnership with a coalition of community organizations.

Groundswell students engage in community-based learning and environmental stewardship to protect the Grand River and the Great Lakes. We provide free teacher training, project funding, connections with community partners, and additional support depending on the school’s individual needs and interests.

Mission Statement

Improve teaching and learning through community-based projects and foster the next generation of environmental stewards.

Program History

Groundswell is one of nine local networks, called hubs, of the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (GLSI) in Michigan.

  • 2007


    Thirty community partners representing business, government, nonprofit, and education gathered to develop the hub.

  • 2009


    Programming began with 7 schools; Called the Kent County Grand River Watershed hub.

  • 2010


    Branded as Groundswell with mission to support K-12 teachers in place-based environmental education and academic service learning pedagogies.

Program Growth

We continue to expand the program, increasing our support for educators engaging students in high-quality place-based environmental education.

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