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Future Conservation Depends on Environmental Literacy

We’ve been focusing our attention this year on strengthening and expanding our environmental education work, the foundation of which is our new Science in Nature program.

Michelle Eckman, who joined Connecticut Audubon Society in January 2012 as director of education, has been participating in environmental literacy efforts across the state. She wrote this post about recent happenings...

We’ve been focusing our attention this year on strengthening and expanding our environmental education work, the foundation of which is our new Science in Nature program. Our belief is that environmental literacy is essential to an enlightened, conservation-minded public, now and in future generations.

Our education program is designed to address specific goals outlined in the Connecticut Environmental Literacy Plan, and so we were delighted earlier this month when Governor Malloy issued a proclamation supporting the plan. Here’s part of what it said:

Connecticut’s future depends on its citizens being environmentally literate and able to make informed choices about issues such as energy and water use, air quality and land development …

Therefore I, Dannel P. Malloy … support environmental literacy and sustainable communities and convey honor on the Connecticut Environmental Literacy Plan as a way to meet environmental challenges in the State of Connecticut.

Connecticut’s Environmental Literacy Plan was devised by a steering committee of education experts, starting in 2009, in response to federal No Child Left Inside legislation (Ellen Castaldini, a longtime member of the regional board of our Center at Glastonbury, was a member of the steering committee).

You can find a link to the plan here, on the website of the Connecticut Outdoor and Environmental Education Association. We particularly like this summary, in the section of the plan called, “Background: The Need for Environmental Literacy”:

An Environmental Literacy Plan (ELP) for Connecticut is an important stepping-stone for our state’s future. It is imperative that we act now to prepare today’s students - tomorrow’s citizens and policy makers - with the proper knowledge and skills to make critical decisions regarding our global and local resources and environmental health. The ultimate goal is for all citizens in Connecticut to use environmental literacy for individual and social purposes to create and maintain sustainable communities.

This is precisely what we had in mind earlier this year when we released our Connecticut State of the Birds 2012 report, “Where Is the Next Generation of Conservationists Coming From?”

Connecticut Audubon Society’s education program is designed to reach that next generation. We will inaugurate Science in Nature in September, for Bridgeport and Fairfield schools, and expand statewide in coming years. We intend to keep our focus on the ELP and we like to think of the Governor’s support as an indirect endorsement of our initiative.

Our belief is that environmental literacy is essential to an economically, mentally and physically healthy society, now and in future generations.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Daniella Ruiz June 25, 2012 at 11:21 PM
D&CC>> good point! how soon some forget! now how do we go about keeping these politicians honest and accountable? or are they simply reflecting the fuzzy nature of the constituents? people must continually be vigilant, for our own collective best interest is at stake.
Elizabeth June 25, 2012 at 11:43 PM
Can you please just come out and state exactly what you mean by your post so that it is not left to one's imagination to figure out what that rampant prolific species is and what you have in mind to take care of the problem?
Catherine & Dennis June 26, 2012 at 08:56 PM
We have learned so much about what we have done to the earth, to the wetlands, yet in times of bad economy we make decisions to throw it all away. On top of all of the debt that will be left to our children and theirs, we need to atleast leave a cleaner planet. We met with the conservation group of Windsor, a very concerned, dedicated and educated group. Windsor is lucky to have them. They write recommendations but no one considers them. Let's stop all of the political talk and do what is right!!
James Bond November 28, 2012 at 11:41 PM
Rampant prolific species=human beings.
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