If you’ve read about our week at the recent NAAEE ee360 Leadership Clinic, you already know that we’re a proud affiliate of the North American Association for Environmental Education. But did you know we’re also a proud affiliate of another remarkable EE network? In our role as a member of the Southeastern Environmental Education Alliance (SEEA), Kentucky (through KAEE) teams with EE associations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee to further the mission of increasing environmental knowledge and community engagement through the power of environmental education.
As part of this eight-state alliance, SEEA members collaborate on a number of projects, grants, action plans, shared spaces, and more. Additionally, the individual members continually inspire and support one another and frequently share with the group news of their own successes and conundrums.
Today we want to share some of those recent successes with you! Here are a few updates from our friends in SEEA:
Alabama (Environmental Education Association of Alabama): The Annual Mountains to Gulf Workshop was held June 23-30 and was a great success. (Check out dozens of amazing photos from the event here!)
Florida (League of Environmental Educators in Florida): LEEF’s board will have a retreat in mid-August to discuss takeaways from the ee360 Leadership Clinic, where a Florida team of five participated. That team “is enthusiastic about leading the way to meaningful change and improvement when we begin working with the LEEF board” later this summer, they said.
Georgia (Environmental Education Alliance of Georgia): After completing the June ee360 clinic—what they called “an intense experience in a beautiful setting”—the five-member team representing the Georgia alliance traveled to Yosemite to see if Half Dome could really compare with Stone Mountain. (We’ll keep their conclusions about that debate to ourselves.) They then returned to their home state full of ideas to move their alliance forward. “After lots of reflection and discussion about challenges and obstacles,” they said, “we are focused on planning for how to get our organization prepared for hiring an executive director in 2020.”
Mississippi (Mississippi Environmental Education Alliance): MEEA is currently undergoing wonderful transformations and recently met with the Mississippi Alliance of Nonprofits and Philanthropy to learn about becoming a 501(c)3 organization. MEEA’s Debra Veeder shared that they have set deadlines to have their organization’s bylaws completed incorporated by the end of July and to “hopefully become a 501(c)3 by the end of September.”
North Carolina (Environmental Educators of North Carolina): Two representatives from EENC participated in the ee360 Leadership Clinic, where the organization’s Executive Director Lauren Pyle led a presentation about crowdfunding. EENC will host its third Summit of NC Environmental Organizations on July 12 in Raleigh. They have also received a grant from NAAEE to become the official host and sponsor for Guidelines for Excellence workshops across the state. (The Guidelines for Excellence is a series of materials to help environmental educators hone their practice and programs to national standards for high-quality EE programming. Guidelines for Excellence workshops have been approved as Criteria I workshops in the North Carolina EE Certification program.)
South Carolina (Environmental Education Association of South Carolina): In mid-June, EEASC hosted approximately 75 educators at its Annual Conference at Moore Farms Botanical Garden in Lake City, where participants enjoyed a diverse array of sessions, field trips, and networking opportunities in a beautiful southern garden setting. Lauren Pyle (you may remember that she’s EENC’s Executive Director!) and Dr. Brad Daniel (more about him below) led a session on board development, strategic planning, and fundraising for conference participants. EEASC also launched a redesigned website in June with a new look, structure, and functionality (check it out at www.eeasc.org), recently established a statewide environmental education listserv, and is in the process of launching regional listservs for each of EEASC’s designated regions.
*Special thanks to Brad Daniel for including updates about SEEA affiliates in a monthly newsletter so all members can celebrate! Dr. Daniel wears numerous hats in the EE realm, serving as Executive Director at 2nd Nature TREC (Training, Research, Education, Consulting); Partnership Chair at Environmental Educators of North Carolina (EENC); Chair of the Leadership Team for the Southeastern Environmental Education Alliance (SEEA); and member of the AEE Southeast Region Council.
By Leigh Cocanougher