Environmental (or Ecological) Literacy (EL) can be defined as “a reflection of an individual's understanding, skills and motivation to make responsible decisions that consider our relationships with natural systems, communities and future generations”. To be eco-literate is to understand the principles of ecological communities (ecosystems), how they are impacted or affected by our basic resource needs, and how to use these principles for the creation of sustainable and equitable human communities.
The vision of the EEP is to build the foundations for an environmentally literate student body that will be better prepared to engage the environmental, social and economic challenges of the future. In its simplest form the aim of the EEP is to provide opportunities for students to be exposed to nature throughout their school day with a focus on experiential learning. To realize this vision the EEP subscribes to six overlying objectives:
Further develop the EEP model by engaging the wider CCE community.
Engage students in hands-on learning through our outdoor classroom green spaces and field visits to natural habitats surrounding our region including our partners, UC Natural Reserve Systems (Stebbins Canyon and Quail Ridge), with an emphasis on environmental protection and sustainability.
Foster the connection for students and the community that we are on ancestral lands. Honor and draw on the knowledge of the local native tribes, who inhabited these lands for thousands of years.
Honor the legacy of Cesar Chavez by promoting the interconnection of social justice, food justice and environmental justice.
Establish outdoor teaching and recreational spaces that incorporate principles of sustainable outdoor urban design. Our campus green spaces will serve as learning labs for growing seasonal foods and providing examples of local natural habitats, thereby fostering healthy local ecosystems and biodiversity.
Be a leader by example to the Davis community in the promotion of sustainable environmental, agricultural and cultural best land management practices.
EEP is inspired by the work done by Green Schoolyards America. Let's draw from their work and research and apply it to our new campus Master Plan.
Green Schoolyards America, Co-founder of the National COVID-19 Outdoor Learning Initiative.
“Green Schoolyards America seeks to transform asphalt-covered school grounds into park-like green spaces that improve children’s well-being, learning, and play while contributing to the ecological health and resilience of our cities. We are working to change the norm for school ground design, use, and management so that all children will have access to the natural world in the places they already visit on a daily basis. Our programs support the living school ground movement, build relationships that help it succeed, and work to embed this perspective in our existing institutions and policy and regulatory frameworks.”
Julia Seebach & Amber Husten (Co-Chair)
Paul Havemann (Adviser and Former Chair)
Green Schoolyards America: