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2021 Year in Review: Cultivating Collective Impact

Welcome to Part 2 of our 2021 Year in Review, in which we highlight how our work last year helped cultivate collective impact in Kentucky and beyond.

FAYETTE COUNTY EE NEEDS ASSESSMENT Lexington Fayette Urban County Government provides significant funding and support for environmental education programs. KAEE was contracted to provide a review of current research on EE best practices, identify successful programs across the United States as potential models, and assess existing efforts. The report served to share those results and make recommendations for funding priorities in the future, with an emphasis on how LFUCG and its partners could most effectively increase the environmental literacy levels of Lexington residents.


We received a contract from LFUCG to oversee the coordination and administration of environmental education efforts in Lexington. This project will focus on advancing environmental education efforts for K-12 public and private schools within Lexington-Fayette County. ​ Specifically, KAEE will assist LFUCG to:

  • Train city staff and contract educators in the curriculum, field trips, lessons, and programs

  • Develop curriculum for K-12 classrooms and non-formal environmental education programming to provide for community partners that serve youth outside of school hours

  • Lead Teachers’ Environmental Academy(s) each summer and develop ongoing engagement for alumni of the program

  • Manage scheduling of educators to lead classroom-based lessons

  • Reimburse schools for buses and substitutes related to field trips

  • Connect students to green careers


Funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Pisces Foundation, this project included a comprehensive study of the environmental education already happening on the ground in eight southeastern states, helping the states involved identify gaps and barriers to access that prevent successful implementation in some areas. We have collected data from 646 participating organizations for the Southeast Regional Landscape Analysis and are are now working on data analysis and a communications plan for this project. The final report will provide recommendations and next steps for increasing environmental literacy efforts in the southeast based on an inventory of model programs and initiatives happening nationwide.


We began training educators throughout the southeast in Don't Waste It!, a new educator guide to waste management. Don’t Waste It! has been expanded through the southeast with the help of a $100,000 environmental education grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency received by KAEE and the Environmental Educators of North Carolina (EENC). SEEA recently released new state-specific versions of the guide for Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida.


This year, KAEE launched a third Thursday bi-monthly webinar series as a new membership perk. Featuring a wide variety of presenters and topics, the aim of this series is to educate, inspire, and help connect KAEE members and friends with available and relevant environmental education resources and ideas. We also welcomed two new members to our Board of Directors in 2021: John Pollpeter and Erin Sliney.


To see the full 2021 Annual Report, click here.


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