Community Environmental Education Guidelines

North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) created the Guidelines for Excellence to improve the quality of environmental education. The Guidelines cover such topics as environmental literacy, professional development of environmental educators, and implementation of non-formal environmental education. Now, Bora Simmons and Akiima Price lead a project on developing a new set of Guidelines on Community Environmental Education. Watch this video, which I filmed last year at the NAAEE conference:


AmeriCorps, NYRP, New York

Last year, I have interviewed Nathan Moore who worked for the New York Restoration Project through AmeriCorps. His idea is that you do not necessarily have to have a degree in environmental studies to teach about the environment. Nathan is a social worker, which helps him connect with urban students in underserved communities, and teach them about urban nature.

Sense of place: survey

Do you conduct environmental education, stewardship, or restoration programs? Then you may be want to explore the effect of your program on sense of place among participants. Some researchers view sense of place as part of human well-being, and showed the relationship between sense of place and pro-environmental behavior. The video below discusses the sense of place survey.

Nature University

Nature University, a summer camp program organized by New York Restoration Project.

Narrator: Omari Washington. Videography: Alex Kudryavtsev. New York City, 2011.

Drew Gardens, the Bronx, NYC

In this video, Jennifer Plewka talks about different people using Drew Gardens (The Bronx, New York), including students of all ages, adults, elderly people, artists, adults with special needs, political refugees, and immigrants. Drew Gardens includes several ecosystems: the Bronx River, vegetable garden, open space, and urban forest.

Narrator: Jennifer Plewka. Videography: Alex Kudryavtsev. New York City, 2011.

Satellite Academy Eco-Leaders Program

Field trips to various urban environmental sites is one of the methods that Carol Kennedy uses to teach high school students in the Bronx, New York City. For example, in summer students are rowing on the Bronx River, taking water samples, and interviewing practitioners about rooftop gardens. Carol says, “My philosophy and my approach to teaching is to give the students a wide range of experiences that they would not normally have with the natural world in the urban environment – so that they can form a new view of the world and a new identity.” Watch this video to learn more:

Unstructured time and other educational approaches

Educators at Rocking the Boat, New York City, share some ideas about urban environmental education. Videography: Alex Kudryavtsev (Cornell University), narrators: Adelaida Guance and Anthony Archino (Rocking the Boat). New York City, 2010.