5 Wins for Environmental Education in 2012

NM VistaThe Environmental Education of Association of New Mexico had a great year and we’re looking forward to an exciting 2013. We hope you’ll continue to be a part of EEANM and help support us through your membership, donations and efforts in the environmental education community.

1. Launch of Environmental Literacy Planning. EEANM is leading a statewide effort to create an environmental literacy plan for New Mexico. We hosted 12 stakeholders meetings around the state from Alamagordo to Farmington this year and have additional meetings upcoming. With your help, we’ll create a plan to ensure all New Mexico students have the experience and lessons they need to be environmentally literate citizens.

2. Passage of Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights. The New Mexico Legislature unanimously passed the non-binding joint memorial sponsored by Sen. Cynthia Nava and Rep. Mimi Stewart. EEANM partnered with the Leave No New Mexico Child Inside Coalition and Wild Friends to engage legislators and rally support for this important foundation for future environmental education legislation. Read the Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights.

3. Start of an EPA Small Grant Program. EEANM was awarded an EPA regional grant in 2012-13. Nineteen grants of $5000 or less will support EE programs across the region (New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas). Independent out-of-state grant reviewers rated our state’s proposals very highly, and we are proud that six grants are going to New Mexico programs.

4. Creation of an NM Consortium. In this EECapacity funded project, EEANM is partnering with the Southwest Organizing Program (SWOP) to work with small non-profits in our community. Through trainings, a learning community and site visits, the consortium aims to strengthen networks by bringing together groups working on environmental education, social justice, food security, sustainable agriculture and other environmental fields.

5. Continuation of Professional Development Workshops. EEANM held eight professional development workshops around the state using Project Learning Tree and Project WET. The workshops give educators resources to teach about the environment, both indoors and out.

Looking Forward to 2013

With a great board of directors in place and a busy year ahead, we look forward to implementing the programs funded by EECapacity and EPA Regional Grants. We will offer more workshops for educators and join the science and math teachers’ associations for a conference in Las Cruces next fall. We are partnering with Wild Friends again at the Legislature. And we plan to continue working on the Environmental Literacy Plan and a certification for environmental educators through the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE).

We hope you’ll be a part of EEANM’s future!

This information was originally published in EE Connections for Winter 2012 [PDF].