OUR MISSION
The Maine Environmental Education Association enhances and amplifies
the efforts of individuals and organizations
building environmental awareness, appreciation, understanding, and action in Maine. 

 

2018 
Environmental Education Awards

NOMINATE AN OUTSTANDING ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATOR OR PROGRAM

Deadline: December 18, 2018

 CLICK HERE To Download the Nomination Form

   

 SAVE THESE DATES:

MEEA Awards Evening
January 30, 2019
Maine Audubon
Falmouth, Maine

MEEA Conference
March 14-15, 2019
Hutchinson Center
Belfast, Maine

Do you know an exceptional environmental educator in your Maine community? What about a school that is going above and beyond educating their students about nature and the environment? Is there a local land trust program or nonprofit program that has impacted your life? How about a Maine business you respect for their commitment to sustainability and the environment? If you can answer YES to any of these questions then nominate them so that their achievements can be publicly recognized at the 2018 Awards Night on January 30, 2019 at Maine Audubon Gilsland Farm in Falmouth, Maine. 

The 2017 Awards were given to:

  • The Dedham School: The Maine Environmental Education Association School of the Year
  • The Portland Water District: The Excellence in Environmental Education Program Award
  • Monica Wright: Eberhard Thiele Environmental Educator of the Year
  • Samar Ahmed: The Maine Environmental Education Association Student of the Year
  • Dorcas Miller: The Maine Environmental Education Association Lifetime Achievement Award

 Group - 2017 Awardees smaller

left to right, 
MEEA President, Olivia Griset
Annie Goodwin and Rhonda Tate, Dedham School - School of the Year
Sarah Plummer and Carina Brown, Portland Water District - Excellence in Environmental Education Program
Monica Wright - Eberhard Thiele Environmental Educator of the Year
Samar Ahmed - Student of the Year
Dorcas Miller - Lifetime Achievement Award

 

 

Census of Community-Based 
Environmental Learning in Maine
Click here to
TAKE THE CENSUS

A partnership between the Maine Math and Science Alliance and the Maine Environmental Education Association is spearheading a Census of Community-Based Environmental Learning in Maine. The project takesthe first steps toward building the capacity and networks for community-based environmental education fields in the state of Maine. A census to determine who, where, and how K-12 youth are engaging in this type of learning will be deployed between October 2018-February 2019, and a final report will be available in Spring 2019. The project is  generously supported by the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation.

 

 Why we need it: The state of Maine has a wealth of community-based environmental education initiatives. Unfortunately, many of these initiatives work in isolation from other similar initiatives and the impacts of the educational experiences are not measured or understood. Consequently, there are no overarching learning goals that this community is working towards in unison.

Goals: The long-term goal of Census of Community-Based Environmental Learning in Maine is that information will be regularly gathered from the field to:

  • Determine professional development needs of those providing this type of education
  • Examine current and anticipated challenges that community-based environmental learning initiatives face
  • Identify regions and populations that are not being served equitably
  • Identify weaknesses in how this type of education is being delivered and the impacts it generates
  • Identify high quality educational experiences that could serve as exemplars for others

An advisory board of leaders in the field of environmental education in Maine will help accomplish these goals. For more information or if you would like to be a part of this project, please contact MMSA Research Associate Alex Brasili, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What is Community-Based Environmental Learning? We are interested in learning how schools and organizations across Maine are educating youth about the environment while also connecting them to their communities. There are many terms for this type of learning including “Community-Based Education,” “Inquiry-Based Education,” “Nature-Based Education,” “Environmental Education,” “Eco-Justice Education,” “Place-Based Education,” and many others. We want to hear about all of the work going on across Maine that may fall into these categories. While these learning experiences do not have to necessarily take place outdoors, they do need to connect youth to locally relevant content.

Learning may occur in any setting including inside the classroom, outdoors, or at a nature center, zoo, park, etc. They often (but not always) include some of the following characteristics:

  • Interdisciplinary
  • Academic, social-emotional, and civic outcomes
  • Youth action to improve the environment
  • Opportunity to explore environmental issues
  • Problem-solving, critical thinking, and decision-making
  • Wonder of natural phenomena

Examples of Community-Based Environmental Learning:

  • Making observations and/or gathering and interpreting data about natural phenomena outside of the classroom
  • School gardens connected to math, science, or other learning outcomes
  • Developing a better understanding of an environmental issue – such as water quality or air pollution – and then generating ideas for how to create change locally
  • Generating computer models of environmental systems that influence the local community – such as weather, climate change, or forest ecology
  • Service Learning Projects that positively impact community natural health such as removing invasive species, recycling or composting, assisting in trail building, etc.
 

MEEA To Hire First
Executive Director

The Maine Environmental Education Association will soon have its first executive director! As a thriving, rapidly growing, non-profit organization MEEA is in the process of searching for the right leader to work with the board of directors, staff, and volunteers to lead and grow MEEA's work in strengthening and broadening the environmental education field. 

MEEA builds public support for environmental education through our federal and statewide advocacy and policy work; aligns the actions of environmental education providers throughout Maine through effective communication and networking, and acts as the voice of Maine environmental education professionals at both the regional and national level. MEEA  makes it a point to collaborate across sectors to advance policies that raise environmental literacy and lead to a more sustainable future for all Maine communities.

MEEA has had notable success in recent years in developing and implementing innovative leadership programs that nurture emerging environmental leaders, helping build a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environmental sector.

 


 


Critical Window to Reach out to School Districts on ESSA Funding

Hello MEEA members. We wanted to reach out to with some interesting Environmental Education Policy updates that impacts your work here in Maine. Environmental educators have a critical opportunity now to reach out to school district leaders, encouraging them to use applicable funds from the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to support environmental education.

ESSA is the act that governs K-12 education in the United States, replacing No Child Left Behind. The legislation passed at the end of 2015 and includes, for the first time, language that makes environmental education explicitly eligible for funding under a Title IV grant program.

The fiscal year 2018 budget agreement includes $1.1 billion for Title IV, Part A, which is nearly three times more than was allocated for 2017, the first year for ESSA implementation. This increase makes the 2018-19 school year the first truly meaningful opportunity for Title IV, Part A programs to make an impact in many school districts—and those programs include environmental education.

Federal ESSA funds will be distributed to states July 1, and then states will distribute funds to school districts, which have great flexibility for how to use them -- including for environmental education. School districts need to submit a plan to the state outlining their intentions for using ESSA funds in order to receive their allocation. In Maine our plan is due JULY 1.

The time is now to reach out to districts you work with to make the case for environmental education. 

Please contact us at MEEA if you need support regarding ESSA Outreach!

 

ESSAslide.jpg

 

Click here to read more about the Every Student Succeeds Act from NAAEE

Click here for information from Maine DOE about ESSA.

Here is a letter template that you can use to reach out to superintendents with whom you work.

Download a talking points document here that you can use if you have a meeting with school leadership regarding ESSA funds and Environmental Education.

Click here for a recording of the NAAEE webinar last week that shares more info regarding ESSA and ESSA.