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Environmental Literacy

by CAEE last modified 02-28-2011 14:00

Do you help connect kids to the world around us?  If so, then you are a part of environmental literacy!

Now and in the future students must make difficult decisions that impact the health of the environment, success of our communities, and vitality of our economy.  As educators we must provide them the skills they need to face those opportunities and challenges.

Environmental education integrates an understanding of scientific concepts and societal needs and is designed to develop students that are environmentally literate. An environmentally literate person understands the implications of his/her actions, and has the skills to critically think about and make responsible choices.  These skills are transferable to every facet of life.

Environmental Literacy Plan: Positioning Colorado

CAEE is working with a dedicated Task Force, the Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Department of Natural Resources to create an environmental literacy plan, and we invite you to join us as we work towards plan adoption and implementation. 

Download and Review the Draft Plan here.

The draft was completed in January of 2011 and will complete a statewide feedback tour through the Department of Education this Spring.  Check back for details.

The environmental literacy plan will position Colorado to bring broad based support for environmental education through national legislation, titled the No Child Left Inside Act (NCLI).

Statewide, there is a groundswell of activities and interest in environmental education, but a lack of a coordinated strategy to enable collaborative work toward our common goal of developing productive citizens. Colorado is working to engage the varied institutions working in environmental education to provide high quality education focused on developing 21st century skills.  Creating systemic change will require both collaboration and careful and strategic planning.  An environmental literacy plan creates the framework for standards, achievement, professional development, assessment, and leadership for individuals and organizations to thrive and achieve innovation in education.

Join in the Plan

Email CAEE to get involved or share your ideas.

CAEE is looking for community leaders (yes, that’s you!) involved or interested in helping connect learners to the world around us to work with us on the development and implementation of this environmental literacy plan.  The results of this effort will have widespread impact - environmental education opportunities for every student in every school across Colorado.  

It is important for the value and strength of the plan that many diverse perspectives are involved.  This is a large step for CAEE and environmental education in Colorado; please seriously consider walking with us in this effort.
There are many ways to be involved:

  • Committee Member: We need a group of people, willing to delve into what is sure to be challenging conversation.  Conference phone services are available, you do not need to travel to the CAEE office in Golden to be present.
  • Committee Member-At-Large: If you can not attend meetings, but would like to participate on the committee by reading meeting minutes and providing input outside of meetings.
  • Interested Advisor: If you can not keep up with regular updates, but want to comment on major aspects of the program (e.g., graduation requirements, standards connections, assessment)
  • I’ve got an idea: If you don’t want to formally commit to being a part of this process, but you’ve got a concern that needs to be addressed, a question for the committee to consider, or some great idea for how this will work best in Colorado.

Feel free to contact CAEE staff with questions or to get involved at anytime by calling 303-273-9527 or emailing.

We want to hear from you!

Use the new wiki at to -
*Check out recent happenings, meetings, and changes to the process and the environmental literacy plan
*Add your thoughts - we want to hear from you!  Also feel free to send comments to email.