Environmental education is the key to children developing a positive relationship with the environment, as well as inspiring environmental stewardship in adults. Forming an environmental education program is a beneficial project for the community and future. It helps your group to reach out to the public, spread knowledge, and recruit volunteers, in addition to providing funds and donations. The process of creating education programs takes plenty of planning and funds to get programs off the ground.
Education programs keep your group in the public’s spotlight, so make sure programs represent the group’s goals and values. Picking programs that relate to your group’s strengths are effective. For example, if staff members have expertise in a specific topic, create a program around that, or use an environmental feature of the watershed to focus on (an endangered species, stream ecology, etc.). Also, focusing on local issues in the community is a great way to spread awareness, and to recruit volunteers.
Visit the North American Association for Environmental Education website for information on the publication Nonformal Environmental Education Programs: Guidelines for Excellence. A team of environmental education professionals wrote these guidelines; and the publication deals with creating high quality environmental lessons, products, and materials. Topics include organizational needs assessment, program scope, program delivery, and evaluation.
For more information, please refer to the links below for additional resources.