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By the Numbers: EGLE expands environmental education in 2023
January 30, 2024
The numbers are in, and EGLE’s Environmental Education program grew substantially in 2023. In addition to adding lots of new resources, EGLE Classroom was in the top five for EGLE newsletter subscription growth.
Teachers practice a field investigation during an Ecosystems and Biodiversity workshop.
Key environmental education accomplishments include:
Expansion of the Environmental Education Lending Station
The Environmental Education Resource Lending Station was established through funding from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in 2022. In 2023, materials were used by 32 organizations across nine of EGLE’s ten regions, reaching 5,304 youth, families, and professionals across Michigan communities. Throughout 2023, EGLE continued to add instructional videos to our Lending Station YouTube Playlist to support use of these materials.
3 New Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum Support (MEECS) Units
Funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, MEECS curriculum units for Ecosystems and Biodiversity, Water Quality, and Climate Change were revised and released to better align with Michigan’s K-12 Science Standards and Michigan Social Studies Standards.
EGLE and partner organizations hosted 27 MEECS workshops across the state, training 332 educators who impact an estimated 29,684 youth annually.
In December, EGLE also released the MI EnviroLearning Hub, which includes interactive and geospatial activities for students that support the revised Climate Change lessons.
Michigan Green Schools
The Michigan Green Schools program released a new online application hub in 2023 and certified 306 schools, an increase of 110 from 2022.
In addition, 15 Country Coordinator vacancies were filled across Michigan, including the entirety of the Upper Peninsula. The 2024 Michigan Green School application is open now through March 3!
EnviroSchool Professional Learning Series
In 2023, EGLE Classroom hosted seven professional learning webinars, training 135 educators through live participation. Recordings of this series have been viewed a total of 625 times.
The 2023 Earth Day Student Webinar, Taking Clean Water Action in YOUR Community, celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act and demonstrated how students and educators from around the state are acting to protect and improve water quality. This event reached over 150 students and educators live and has been viewed nearly 200 times since.
The 2023 Environmental Service Award was given to Whitefish Township Community School for their work educating about and preventing invasive species. The 2024 application is available through March 8.
The annual K-5 Earth Day poster contest was also a success with over 250 entries. First and second place prizes were awarded for each grade level.
EGLE Career Series
Environmental Education released four new video interviews featuring EGLE staff and their career pathways:
- Environmental Engineer
- Compost Coordinator
- Senior Environmental Quality Analyst
- Biosolids Compliance Inspector
Environmental Education staff participated in over 30 public events during the year, reaching over 2,900 students, teachers, and community members.