Today we celebrate Earth Day and the history of the environmental movement that has empowered citizens to respect, enjoy, and take care of the planet for decades. Since the first Earth Day in 1970 much progress has been made. From changes in policies to development of environmental organizations and advocacy groups. Many sustaining endeavors have taken place as a result of dedicated educators and advocates of our shared environment.
Forty-six years ago, one of the groups of dedicated people that came together was a special group of Kentuckians who shared a passion for environmental education and started KAEE. Since that time KAEE has become one of the most viable state/provincial EE organizations in North America. In fact, it was the first such organization to officially become an affiliate of the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), which promotes EE throughout the continent, and has members from over 55 countries worldwide.
A lot has been accomplished in those 45 years, but there is still so much to do. As we face the environmental issues of this century, more and more people are seeing education as a key to addressing those issues. We also know that our efforts need to broaden to include not just more individuals and groups, but to include a much broader, diverse, and inclusive network.
As we celebrate this special Earth focused day, week, and month, it is imperative that we realize and understand the importance of long term commitment to our environmental goals.
At KAEE we believe that an environmentally literate community is an engaged community that takes ownership of and responsibility for the health and well being of our habitat. Our members work to advocate for EE in Kentucky in various ways. Because we have seen how significant advances in EE can be achieved through policies at both the state and federal levels, KAEE stays alert to opportunities to shape EE policy, develop strategies for advancing key initiatives, and build capacity for advocacy within the EE community. KAEE and its members work closely with state government employees; local, regional, and statewide elected officials; and communities around Kentucky to bolster EE around the state.
We believe we can expand our impact in the EE field by advocating for policies, legislation, and government resources that affect our members and the greater EE community. Learn how you can get involved in very specific ways on our Advocacy page here!
KAEE is one of the country’s oldest associations supporting environmental education. We are people from all walks of life, coming together to support EE.