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RFC, ACES to advise on environmental education plan

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Sopris Sun Staff Report

The Basalt-based Roaring Fork Conservancy, and the Aspen Center for Environmental studies, were recently picked to help advise the state on implementing its first-ever Colorado Environmental Education plan, according to a press release.

The Colorado Department of National Resources, and Colorado Department of Education, chose RFC and ACES as one of several organizations to comprise the new Colorado Environmental Education Council, whose mission is to implement the new Colorado Environmental Education Plan (CEEP).

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“The council is bringing together innovative, creative thought leaders from all different sectors who share a passion for advancing education and helping students learn about the environment where they live,” said Katie Navin, executive director of the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education.

The Colorado Environmental Education Leadership Council is currently made up of 19 members representing a broad range of industries from all regions of the state. Locally, retired teacher Susy Ellison serves on the statewide council. Members will serve to advance the development and enhancement of environmental education networks and partnerships across the state. The purpose and role of the council is outlined in the CEEP, with the initial task of developing regional councils that will locally implement the mission, goals and strategies of the CEEP.

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Local representatives on the council include Arin Trook at Aspen Center for Environmental Studies and Sarah Johnson at Roaring Fork Conservancy.

“The CEEP emphasizes a strong partnership between schools, local government agencies and nonprofits to implement the objectives of the CEEP. I look forward to working … to identify these partners and their contributions to bring the best environmental education possible to northwest region schools,” Trook said.

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“ … At Roaring Fork Conservancy, we believe strongly in the potential of the CEEP to help us further our watershed education programs … by reaching out to diverse partners, schools and other environmental education providers in the community with a similar vision,” said Johnson.

The CEEP was adopted by the Colorado State Board of Education with bi-partisan support in 2012.

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CEEP aims to:

• Restore and increase field experiences as part of the school curriculum;

• Improve statewide access to existing environmental education programs and materials;

• Make connections with Colorado Academic Standards and 21st Century Skills to support classroom instruction, and;

• Create opportunities for enhanced and ongoing professional contacts between environmental education providers and supporters who are working together to advance environmental literacy.

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