Thursday, January 6, 2011

Comment Period on N.C. Environmental Literacy Plan Extended to February 4

The first draft of the North Carolina Environmental Literacy Plan is now available for public review and input. The plan calls for a wide variety of recommendations with the end goal of enhancing environmental literacy among North Carolina’s PreK-12 public school students.

Download a copy of the draft plan by clicking on the link below, then use the online feedback form to provide your comments by February 4, 2011.

North Carolina Environmental Literacy Plan: Smart Minds, Greener Future – Draft 1.0

Access the Online Feedback Form

The N.C. Department of Environment & Natural Resources, the N.C. Department of Public Instruction and numerous partners have been working together to craft an environmental literacy plan for North Carolina. The plan is one way in which North Carolina is responding to proposed federal legislation to enhance environmental literacy among public school students. It will ensure that environmental education is integrated throughout North Carolina's PreK-12 formal education system. To qualify for future federal funding for environmental literacy, the plan will have to be adopted as policy by the North Carolina State Board of Education.

The plan describes how our state will prepare students to understand, analyze, and address the major environmental challenges facing North Carolina and the country. There are four main components, each one outlining specific strategies for ensuring that North Carolina students graduate as environmentally literate citizens. These components include state educational standards and graduation requirements as they relate to environmental literacy, teacher professional development in environmental education, model school grounds and facilities, and strategies for measuring the environmental literacy of students.

Find out more about the NC Environmental Literacy Plan at

Arbor Day in N.C. Did you know March 18 is Arbor Day in North Carolina? Under state law, the first Friday following March 15 is Arbor Day in our state. Several states celebrate their own Arbor Days in addition to National Arbor Day (April 29) to coincide with the ideal time to plant trees in the region.

There are several ways you can celebrate the importance of trees to our environment, health and economy.

-The North Carolina Division of Forest Resources explains more about N.C. Arbor Day and has suggestions on easy ways to participate.

-Get outside! Several N.C. Environmental Education Centers have events and programs today and this weekend. Many EE Centers have notable tree specimens--as a matter of fact, several are arboretums, have a forestry focus or have interpretive areas with examples of native N.C. trees. North Carolina also has a network of seven Educational State Forests across the state--the perfect place to get outside and learn more about trees.

-Last but not least, the N.C. State University Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources and several other partners is hosting a N.C. Arbor Day Celebration at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday (March 18). Lots of fun and education, as well as free redbud tree seedlings, is guaranteed!

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