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Environmental Protection & Preservation

Conference Aims to Boost Environmental Education State-wide in West Virginia

A consortium of non-profit and government organizations who want to see environmental learning flourish in West Virginia will hold a conference March 21 for teachers and educators interested in teaching children about the environment. The conference, Environmental Education Pathways: Gather, Share, & Collaborate, will be held at West Virginia University Jackson's Mill in Weston, W. Va.

"EPA is proud to be a partner with the West Virginia Environmental Education Association," said Donald S. Welsh, EPA's mid-Atlantic regional administrator. "This conference is a significant step toward fostering a statewide network of educators who see value in teaching young people about their environment."

Teachers, nature center directors, Scout leaders and others are encouraged to attend the conference, which will offer curriculum guidance and hands-on training for developing environmental education programs. This is a grassroots effort involving educators from state and federal agencies, colleges and universities, non-profits, and K-12 schools.

Jane Eller, Executive Director of the Kentucky Environmental Education Council and member of the Board of Directors for the North American Association for Environmental Education ( NAAEE ) will deliver the keynote address. Brian Day, Executive Director of NAAEE will lead sessions on NAAEE's national project Guidelines for Excellence series-guidelines for the development of balanced, scientifically accurate, and comprehensive environmental education programs. Other conference sessions will include presentations of Project WET, Save Our Streams, Project WILD, and Project Learning Tree- hands-on training about water monitoring, wetlands, and wildlife that can be used to incorporate environmental education in teaching. Other workshops include tips on grant writing and a presentation of the West Virginia Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment ( GLOBE ) program-a worldwide network of students, teachers, and scientists studying the global environment.

"Education is one of the most important components in environmental protection," said West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection Cabinet Secretary Stephanie R. Timmermeyer. "This conference will boost our efforts to get both teachers and students thinking about how to promote a healthy environment."

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