Larry Volpe
  • Male
  • San Jose, CA
  • United States
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Reaching Critical Mass, Treating the Cause Not the Effect!

I have been taking 5th graders through college kids on outdoor adventures for 13 years. I dedicate about 9 weekends a year taking these kids backpacking, car camping, sea kayaking, river rafting and…Continue

Started Oct 2, 2011

Toxic Flowers Coming to a Vase Near You!

  Flowers, roses and all the other floral arrangements you buy need to be perfect. So perfect that the smallest blemish makes then unmarketable. As a result some flowers use dozens to 100 times more…Continue

Started Feb 10, 2011

A Letter I sent to Sierra Magazine. If you agree, write to them in support of this proposal.

 Dear Editors,I am writing to see if you would be interested in doing a story about an award I was recently honored with. I teach 5th grade in San Jose, CA. In my 14 years of teaching I have donated…Continue

Started Jan 30, 2011

1 Reply

Check out...…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by Larry Volpe Jan 15, 2011.


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Title or Role
5th grade teacher
Dan Lairon Elementary
I've been teaching fifth grade for almost 14 years. I received my BS in Restoration Ecology and Teaching Credential from San Jose State University. I grew up in the mtns. of S. NY as well as the Finger Lakes region of CNY. I grew up appreciating clean, wild places and that upbringing has made me an advocate for wild places. And there is no better way to advocate for such places than to change the attitudes of future consumers, leaders and voters. Sharing nature with my students has been recognized by C&NN and it is a great honor to receive the Natural Teacher Award. This honor will hopefully inspire many more educators so we can reach more youth.

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Larry Volpe's Blog

School Gardening with Native Plants

The passion I have for the natural world has been with me as long I can remember. I have been sharing this passion with my students for fifteen years. What better way to attract wildlife than through landscaping? Walk through any neighborhood and 98% of the flora you see is from another country or continent. Much of this provides little wildlife value. It only makes sense to plant the plants that our native fauna have coevolved with over many thousands of years.  California is a Mecca…


Posted on August 12, 2012 at 11:00am

Local Sierra Club chapter posts Natural Teacher Award on homepage.

Here's the homepage of the Loma Prieta Chapter of the Sierra Club with an article about the Natural Teacher Award.

Posted on December 12, 2010 at 6:19pm — 1 Comment

Comment Wall (5 comments)

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At 12:15pm on November 30, 2010, John Thielbahr said…
Larry, could you send me an email so we can communicate directly. My email is I want to keep you up to date on some projects we are discussing in your area, and get your ideas about how to invite more teachers to become Natural Teachers. Best, jt
At 3:01am on November 28, 2010, Juliet Robertson said…
Hello Larry

Welcome to C&NN Connect and congratulations on the Natural Teacher's Award - I suspect you've set the standard for years come!

Over here in Scotland, we are encouraging our Teaching Council that regulates the teaching profession to offer "Professional Recognition" to teachers who demonstrate very good practice in outdoor learning. There is already such recognition for sustainable development education.

Best wishes
At 9:39pm on November 26, 2010, John Thielbahr said…
Hi Larry and thanks for your note. I do know Donal. I was Board Chair of a local environmental education non-profit in Moscow, Idaho and met him several times. Very committed to our work.

Many thanks for your offer to participate in tracking the impact of your great work. I am just beginning discussions with a major university about intergenerational research about the impact of nature. I will keep you posted on our discussions.

Congratulations again on winning the first Natural Teacher Award. Well deserved. I look forward to meeting you at some point and working with you to expand the movement. Very best wishes. John
At 2:10pm on November 26, 2010, Suz Lipman said…
Glad you're ready to help spread the word! Are you on Facebook? We do community building there, as well. And thanks for the heads-up to let all the wonderful natural teachers that we've recently come in contact with know about this forum. I've seen some great sharing of resources and ideas on the Natural Teachers Network, and I'm sure there will be lots more. Cheers!
At 1:21pm on November 26, 2010, Suz Lipman said…
Hi Larry! Welcome to the forum. I'm really glad you joined and posted your terrific pictures. It was wonderful to meet you and celebrate your Natural Teachers Award and great that you could be honored for your very inspirational work getting kids into nature so they can form their own lifetime bonds with it. Come on by the Natural Teachers Network group, which I'm sure will be a home for you here, among others. See you soon!

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