Older adult woman exchanges laugh with middle school child in classroom.

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Environmental education programs are taking place in a variety of settings including environmental centers, schools, parks and recreation facilities, and farms. Funding, research, and program design tend to target young people as the primary audience. Yet, considering the doubling of the 65+ population in the coming decades, as well as the emphasis placed on post-retirement volunteerism and civic engagement, the environmental education agenda should be anchored not only in school learning but also across settings and across the lifespan.

Program benefits:
  • Unity for a common goal
  • Encourage exploration, study, and action to improve the natural environment
  • Increase awareness and commitment of and to the environment
  • Provide opportunities for collaborative activity to improve the environment
  • Demonstrate that participants display an increased readiness to take action to protect and care for the environment
  • Show personal relevance and connections to the environment
Potential program partnerships:
  • Environmental organizations
  • Health organizations (e.g. lung, heart, and diabetes associations)
  • Public and private K-12 schools
  • Residential education programs
  • Universities
  • Community centers
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Aging Initiative website

Sustainable Communities Review, 2005 – “Intergenerational Approaches to Environmental Education and Action” by: Matthew Kaplan, Shih-Tsen Liu, and Sheri Steinig
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