Designing for the Margins | Reflecting on CAELI’s Equity Journey

Looking back now, it’s hard to believe that CAELI’s focus on equity was not always inevitable. When CAELI emerged as a statewide project rooted in a 2015 Blueprint for Environmental Literacy, equity was not a core tenant. In a recent interview, Candice Dickens-Russell, currently the CEO of Friends of the Los Angeles River, reflected on … READ MORE

Getting Off the Concrete: Sacramento Splash Connects Kids to Nature

What was your formative memory of nature when you were a child? For Mackenzie Wieser, CEO of Sacramento Splash, a camping road trip to Bodie, California with her great aunt and uncle was all it took for her to know the transformative power of nature. “I remember being in a tent and enjoying exploring as … READ MORE

Scaling Our Work | An Update on CAELI’s Working Groups

The 2023-24 CAELI season got off to a strong start with the first annual CAELI Executive Committee coming together in June 2023 to connect around our shared sense of purpose and to assess and further evolve CAELI’s collective action model. The retreat also marked the change in leadership between former co-chair Craig Strang and new … READ MORE

Announcing Our First Statewide School Survey

What is your experience with environmental-based learning? Does your school have a garden where your students can feel the touch of the dirt and watch the life cycle of living things in real-time? Have you organized school trips that shifted how students view the world around them? Is your school using sustainable resources to electrify … READ MORE

Awards, Meet-Ups & Solidarity for CAELI’s District Innovation Hub

There is good news! A growing number of school districts from every corner and context in California are developing environmental literacy and sustainability plans to ensure that every student has access to high-quality environment-based learning and climate-ready school campuses. Even better news, leaders in many districts are moving toward a whole systems approach by including … READ MORE

Justice and Education Converge in Imperial County: Comite Civico Del Valle Takes the Lead Toward Change

People living in Imperial County have some of the highest rates of asthma in the country, and airborne pollutants from the nearby Salton Sea are a big part of the problem. The majority-Hispanic agricultural community, which already contends with low-paid farm labor, low adult education levels, and high unemployment, also must deal with the externalities … READ MORE

The Nature Conservancy Launches a Wild Classroom at the Dangermond Preserve

Students visiting the Jack and Laura Dangermond Preserve embark on a transformative journey as they experience one of the last places along the California coast that hasn’t been disrupted by commercial development. Along the way, they are greeted by the watchful eye of an osprey soaring overhead, a sentinel of this untouched wilderness. In 2017, … READ MORE

Walden West Outdoor School & Summer Camp is Creating Change Through Environmental Education: An Interview with Marie Bobias

For today’s young people, sustainability and climate are a top priority. For students, the environment holds the key to their futures, although schools are often ill-equipped to cultivate that connection. Environmental education and fostering a meaningful connection with nature are crucial pieces of preparing the next generation of young people for a resilient future. Marie … READ MORE

A Renewed Perspective for Environmental Literacy: A Q&A With Estrella Risinger & Juanita Chan-Roden

Change and transition are integral parts of growth and progress, offering initiatives an opportunity to welcome fresh ideas, perspectives, and innovation. For CAELI, change is a catalyst for renewed purpose and additional impact. In the wake of a recent executive committee retreat, the newly elected co-chair, Estrella Risinger (she/her), and current co-chair Juanita Chan-Roden (she/her), … READ MORE

CAELI Thanks Departing Co-Chair, Craig Strang & Words of Reflection

Craig Strang, lifelong environmental educator and activist, is stepping down as CAELI’s co-chair after nearly eight years of service. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Craig for his exceptional leadership, visionary thinking, unwavering dedication, and remarkable contributions to CAELI. Although he will be stepping down as co-chair at the end of June 2023, Craig will … READ MORE