2014 Annual Report

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2014 Annual Report Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education KACEE 2610 Claflin Manhattan KS 66502 www.kacee.org and www.kansasgreenschools.org Promoting and providing quality non-biased and science-based conservation and environmental education for all Kansans

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2014 Highlights Letter from the President Jeff Severin with his wife Loretta and daughter Ellorie hiking on the prairie. Dear Friends of Environmental Education in Kansas First and foremost thanks to all of you who offered your time your energy and your support in 2014 to help us in advancing our mission of promoting and providing high quality non-biased and science-based conservation and environmental education in Kansas. Your support helped us to overcome challenges we faced and accomplish so much As many of you know some of our traditional support from state agencies for our key environmental education programs were reduced or cut in the last couple of years as our state agencies received cuts to their budgets. At the same time that happened we were fortunate to receive new support from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Bureaus of Air and Water and continued support from the Kansas Forest Service and the Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism. And they weren’t the only folks who stepped up to keep the important work of KACEE going— our volunteers stepped up to host and facilitate environmental education professional development and individuals made donations that totaled nearly 20000 in support. We cannot thank you enough and it is only because of you that KACEE remains one of the strongest and most respected environmental organizations in the nation. In 2014 KACEE continued to lead the way for environmental education hosting our annual conference for educators recognizing excellence at our Awards Celebration providing professional development in EE for more than 665 educators in 2014 we grew our network of schools across the state participating in the Kansas Green Schools program to more than 485 schools and were even featured on Sunflower Journeys If you missed it you can view the episode by clicking here: Be sure to find us on Facebook search for Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education to find our group and we’ll continue to send you news resources and opportunities through our KACEe-News 2015 is shaping up to be an exciting year—so stay tuned Best Regards Jeff Severin KACEE Board President 2013-2015 KACEE Board of Directors President: Jeff Severin KU Center for Sustainability President-Elect: Jared Bixby Sunset Zoo Secretary: Mike Hotz Wyandotte High School Treasurer: Tonya Bronleewe City of Wichita Air Quality Past President: Kathy Sexson Lee Richardson Zoo At Large Members: Schanee Anderson Sedgwick County Zoo Libby Albers The WATER Center Marty Birrell Prairie Park Nature Center Mary Clark Dillion Nature Center Pat Lehman KS Assn of Conservation Districts Bill McGowan Ernie Miller Nature Center Gina Penzig Westar Energy Ken Perdue Staples Inc. Dr. Kent Thomas Wichita State University Steve Woolf USD 101 Ex-Officio Members: Kim Bomberger KS Forest Service Diane Knowles KS Water Office Travis Sieve KS Dept of Health and Environment Matt Krehbiel KS State Department of Education Mike Rader KS Dept of Wildlife Parks Tourism Kathleen Waters KS Dept of Health and Environment Janet Waugh KS State Board of Education

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About KACEE: 501c3 non-profit organization established in 1969 as a public/private partnership Mission: Promoting and providing quality non-biased and science-based conservation and environmental education for all Kansans Statewide partnership network comprised of more than:  250 organizational members 350 individual members and 475 K-12 schools across the state One of the first and largest conservation and environmental education organizations in the nation Our education programs develop critical thinking and problem-solving citizenship and community service and learning Led the development of the Kansans for Children in Nature Plan Since 1970 KACEE has delivered conservation education workshops to over 21000 educators statewide impacting over 350000 Kansas students Created the Kansas Green Schools program a network of more than 475 Kansas schools. Advancing Environmental Literacy in Kansas Providing Professional Development Environmental Education by the Numbers: In 2014 our volunteers and staff delivered environmental education to 655 educators across the state. Here are a sample of the EE offerings in 2014: • Using the outdoors as a learning lab for early childhood programs • Adding EE to teacher education programs • Green Schools and connecting kids to investigating energy water waste school health and outdoor learning • Preparing the next generation of parks and nature center employees • Water as a focus for engaging students in STEM Science Technology Engineering and Math Thanks to our sponsors of these programs: Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Bureaus of Air and Water and the Kansas Forest Service Engaging Students in Schools: Kansas Green Schools Program With more than 485 schools now participating in the network the Kansas Green Schools program has grown to one of the nation’s largest state-based green schools programs. By partnering with the Project Learning Tree GreenSchools program and the Eco-School’s program KACEE is uniquely position to offer schools in Kansas simultaneous recognition at the state and national level. Students in green schools are engaged in investigating how their schools use energy water what happens with waste how healthy the school environment is and how outdoor spaces can be used for learning. Thanks to our sponsors at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for making this program available to our Kansas schools “Through the networking with other people in the state from KACEE I have been able to get innovative ideas to teach students in different ways. I have a renewed excitement to teach science this year and in the next several years. I learned of many resources for teachers and have taken over the Kansas Green Schools project in our school. The staff at KACEE have helped me get it all started.” - Chelle Gaede Teacher in Newton KS Map of 2014 Kansas Green Schools

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2014 Topeka Water Festival: A Model Water Education Day Since 1999 KACEE in collaboration with the Shawnee County Conservation District and the City of Topeka have hosted a day-long learning celebration for 4 th graders from the Topeka area. The Topeka Water Festival continues to serve as a model replicated by other communities for educating youth families and community members about water and water issues in their communities. This year we had more than 1000 fourth grade students and more than 100 volunteers participate on September 18 th at Garfield Park in Topeka. The hands-on learning is invaluable to teachers and students and you can see a video highlighting the Topeka Water Festival by clicking here: Our sponsors make this event possible and we wish to thank: Office of Utilities and Transportation--City of Topeka Public Works Shawnee County Conservation District Shawnee County Farm Bureau Scott W. Holloman CPA Jackson Count Conservation District and the Pottawatomie County Conservation District. Advancing Environmental Literacy in Kansas Connecting Environmental Education to the Kansas College and Career Ready Science Standards for K-12 Through a grant from Project Learning Tree the KACEE staff with consultation from our state science coordinator at the Kansas State Department of Education are working on clustering EE activities to serve as “model units” for implementing components of the Kansas College and Career Ready Standards for Science. These units are slated to be completed this year and we will follow up with our volunteer workshop facilitators to share the units and how to integrate the KCCRSS in their professional development offerings.

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Leading the Way for Environmental Education in Kansas Celebrating Excellence in Conservation and Environmental Education Environmental education involves people from all walks of life and each year we’re pleased to be able to honor those who are doing amazing things in environmental education across the state. In 2014 we honored educators working in nature centers coordinating watershed protection as well as elementary and high schools and higher education teachers. We also honored our outstanding Kansas Green Schools and had lots of opportunity to network celebrate and share. Congratulations to our outstanding educators: Marlene Bosworth Delia Lister Barbara Hardy Dennis Dinwiddie Pam Martin our President’s Awardee Peg Livingood our Kansas Green Schools of the year Chase County Elementary and Eisenhower High School and our life-time achievement awardee Paula Henderson from Starside Elementary in Desoto. Small Grants to Advance Environmental Literacy KACEE was fortunate to receive a grant from the US EPA Office of Environmental Education to provide small grants in Kansas Missouri Nebraska and Iowa to advance components in each states’ environmental literacy plans. Twenty small grants of up to 5000 were awarded for projects that ranged from engaging students in prairie restoration and education educating preservice teachers integrating EE into summer camp programs preparing non-formal educators to connect EE programs to the new science standards to developing a school-based camping program. We were pleased to work with the EE associations in our partner states to run this grant program and the amazing outcomes from the small grants in advancing environmental literacy in our states Building Capacity with Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies Groups Through a partnership from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Bureau of Water/ Watershed Management Section KACEE coordinates a yearly meeting with local WRAPS coordinators and local stakeholders to build skills that will strengthen the underlying capacity of these organizations to successfully work toward their watershed visions in their communities. This year focused on developing an effective message for your audience and WRAPS participants had the opportunity to practice their message delivery with leadership from the Governor’s 50 Year Vision for Water from the Kansas Water Office and the Kansas Department of Agriculture. Getting National Recognition: Green Ribbon Schools KACEE has continued to work with the Kansas State Department of Education to sponsor the US Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools recognition. This national recognition is awarded to schools demonstrating excellence in having environmentally responsible and healthy schools which engage students in learning about the environment. We look forward to the announcement in April of 2015 Students scattering prairie seed.

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Relevant Engagement to Strengthen Environmental Education in Kansas Celebrating Our Strength Facebook Event KACEE piloted an online gathering hosted on Facebook this fall More than 60 people joined us for this half hour event which highlighted our programs and asked members to share their stories and ideas. If you missed it you can find the event by clicking on the icon below and join in the conversation 2014 Kansas Environmental Education and Green Schools Conference Educators from around the state joined us in Wichita at the Sedgwick County Zoo for two days of learning networking and sharing. Our keynote speaker Mary Ford from National Geographic shared some of NG’s latest citizen science efforts and talked about the key elements for a successful citizen science program the impacts of engaging citizens and some of the innovative ideas related to environment. Participants also went to sessions that fell into three strands: Model EE Lessons and Activities Models for School/Community Partnerships and Creating a Community Vision/Partnership for STEM or STEAgM. We wish to thank our sponsors who invested in this engagement opportunity for environmental educators: The Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism the Sedgwick County Zoo Kansas Department of Health Environment Bureau of Air Kansas Department of Health Environment Bureau of Water Watershed Management Section Kansas Farm Bureau Kansas Forest Service Midwest Energy Inc. Acorn Naturalists Kansas Water Office Kansas Grassfed Beef Co Geary County Conservation District Morris County Conservation District Pottawatomie County Conservation District US Green Building Council Central Plains Chapter and the Wilson County Conservation District. Keynote Speaker Mary Ford National Geographic Building Capacity for Environmental Education in Kansas Thanks to the generous support from the Shummaker Family Foundation we have been hard at work in implementing our new strategic plan and engaging new audiences. In the fall of 2013 KACEE hosted it’s first breakfast meeting in Wichita designed to engage new audiences in environmental education in Kansas. The breakfast meetings allow those who are not familiar with the work of the organization to hear first hand from members and Kansas Green Schools about the importance of our work. Additional support from the Shummaker Family Foundation will allow board members to gather and develop an annual work plan for implementation of our strategic initiatives to advance environmental education in Kansas. Lawrence Breakfast participants engaging in an environmental education activity. Cross-Country Collaboration The staff and board members from the Kentucky and Utah EE organizations came to Kansas to meet with KACEE staff and board members for a 3-day gathering. The purpose of this gathering was to explore opportunities for cross-country collaborations. Several opportunities for collaboration were identified and include: early childhood green schools programs shared development of marketing materials and online EE delivery. This work was supported by a grant from Project Learning Tree and the American Forest Foundation.

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Financial Statement for 2014 EXPENSES BY PROGRAM Operations 48430.00 Project WET 17239.00 Project Learning Tree and Secondary 46720.00 Project WILD 44834.00 Leopold Education Project 910.00 Special Projects 126382.00 TOTAL EXPENSES BY PROGRAM 284515.00 EXPENSES BY FUNCTION Salaries and Wages 149676.00 Operating and Contractual 134839.00 TOTAL EXPENSES BY FUNCTION 284515.00 INCOME Membership Dues Donations Misc Income 73178.00 Interest 84.00 Administrative Indirect Income 4026.00 Oxy Chemical 1000.00 Awards Celebration 6596.00 PLT KS Forest Service 7000.00 PLT KS Dept of Health and Environment 6750.00 Project WILD KS Dept of Wildlife Parks Tourism 33000.00 KDHE Bureau of Water PLT and WET 9000.00 Workshop Income 9511.00 KS EE Conference-Sponsors Registration 10935.00 Water Festival Funding-Sponsors 5800.00 EPA 319/KDHE WRAPS Capacity Building 15225.00 KDHE Green Schools Program 21397.00 Supplemental Env. Projects Green Schools 18500.00 Finnup Foundation 4200.00 EPA Assessing Env Literacy 1000.00 EPA Subgrant Project 27124.00 Staples Foundation 5000.00 Pioneer 5000.00 Project Learning Tree Model Programs 15000.00 Shumaker Foundation Grant 7000.00 BALANCE FORWARD NEXT CALENDAR YEAR 7716.00 TOTALS 284515.00 A conservative estimate of in-kind donations including donations of time by volunteers resources materials and space for 2014 is 227600. Volunteer environmental education workshop facilitator training in Winfield KS

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2014 Financial Supporters AGENCY/ORGANIZATIONAL/BUSINESS CONTRIBUTORS Acorn Naturalists Ashgrove Cement Company Bartlett and West Butler County Conservation District Capital Electric Construction Company Inc CertainTeed Corporation Coco Bolos Cromwell Solar Geary County Conservation District Jackson County Conservation District Jon Murdock Inc Kansas Department of Health and Environment Bureau of Air Kansas Department of Health and Environment Bureau of Water/WSM Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism Kansas Farm Bureau Kansas Forest Service Kansas Grassfed Beef Co. Kansas Water Office MDU Resources Foundation Miami County Conservaition District Midwest Energy Inc. Morris County Conservation District Occidental Chemical Corporation Office of Utilities and Transportation--City of Topeka Public Works Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. Pottawatomie County Conservation District Scott Holloman CPA Sedgwick County Zoo Shawnee County Conservation District Shawnee County Farm Bureau Sunset Zoo The Finnup Foundation The Merc The Shummaker Family Foundation The Staples Foundation US Environmental Protection Agency Office of Environmental Ed. US Green Building Council Central Plains Chapter Waste Corporation of Kansas Wilson County Conservation District Libby Albers Jolene Amtower Nolen Anderson Brett Anderson Schanee Anderson Melissa Arthur Terry and Ginny Arthur Sharon Ashworth Drs Paul Ruthann Atchley Marty Birrell Jared Bixby Kim Bomberger Tonya Bronlewee Charles Bryan Joe Carpenter Barb Downey Elizabeth Carreno Colby Carter Sandy Chandler Mary Clark Kim Courtney-Decker Jennifer Craig Gibran Suleiman Danielle Tarner Martha Devine Laura Downey Chuck and Nancy Downey Joe Sherry Downey Jennifer Dreiling Clark Duffy Susan Dunaway Kai Englert Tom and Harriet Englert Larry Erickson Hank Eileen Ernst Cindy Ford Joshua Foster Allan Foster marci francisco Julia Gaughan Ruth Gennrich George Griffith Robert Hagen Marcel Harnon Keri Harris Wren Hartwich Cody Hartwich Char Henton Sarah Hill-Nelson Mary Jo Hobbs Betty Hochheiser Eileen Horn Dr. Mike Hotz Kaydee Johannsen Robert and Marilyn Johnson Catherine Johnson Orion Carole Jordan Mandy Kern Olga Khakova Tim and Cindy Kite Linda Klinker Mary Ann Kniebel Diane Knowles Matt Krehbiel Ralph Maureen Krumins Susan Lee Karen S. Lewis Peg Dave Livingood Karen McCulloh Katherine McCulloh Bill Jo McGowan Katie Miller Carol Morgan Kevin Murdock Rachel Wade Willa Myslivy Uma Outka Ken Perdue Linda Phipps David S. Pierson in honor of his father David W. Pierson Mike Rader Cassi Reimer Carrie Ridley Bill and Erma Riley Dan Sabatini Sandra Sanders Margaret L. Saunders Dominique Saunders Michael Schindler Denise Scribner Charlie Sedlock Jeff and Loretta Severin John and Karen Severin Kathy Sexson Jackie Shufelberger Dianne Shumaker Pat Silovsky Tina Stamos John and Joan Strickler Renee Strnad Nancy Thimmesch Dr. Kent Thomas Patricia Thomblison Margaret Townsend Kathleen Waters Janet Waugh Janice White Teresa Woods Steve Woolf Judy Wright Herb and Sarah Wyrick INDIVIDUAL DONORS Our sincere gratitude to all those who supported us in 2014

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KACEE’s Future Laura Downey with fellow staff member Melissa Arthur hiking the Konza In 2014 I had the privilege of seeing our friends volunteers and supporters step up and help us get through a very challenging year. As we received cut after cut in our core environmental education programs our volunteers stepped up to help staff deliver programs and individuals businesses organizations and agencies stepped up to financially support KACEE. That signals a strength within the organization that leaves us confident that the future of KACEE is bright. In 2015 we’ll continue to deliver our high quality programs across the state with partners which include the Kansas Department of Health and Environment the Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism the Kansas Forest Service the Hillsdale Area Water Cooperative the Finnup Foundation the Shumaker Family Foundation the Staples Foundation and the many sponsors and donors who support events like the Excellence in Conservation and Environmental Education Awards Celebration the Kansas Environmental Education and Green Schools Conference and the Topeka Water Festival. We’re excited this year to continue to offer water education across the state a priority identified by citizens and groups across the state in the Governor’s 50-Year Vision for Water in Kansas. These environmental education programs are key to continuing to expand environmental education offerings across the state by formal educators in classrooms and outdoor learning spaces and non-formal educators in zoos parks nature centers camps and outreach programs impacting literally hundreds of thousands of Kansans each year. In addition to our core programs of Project Learning Tree Project WILD and Project WET for K-12 in 2015 we’ll explore offering early childhood environmental education online through a trusted professional development provider Kansas Child Care Training Opportunities Inc. KACEE will also continue to provide professional development to our Kansas Green Schools Program and will finalize materials that directly connect our environmental education programs to the Kansas College and Career Ready Standards for Science. By connecting to the new standards we can demonstrate how ideally environmental education supports science learning in the classroom while integrating reading writing math and social studies. With the strong partnership from the Kansas State Department of Education KACEE will continue to explore ways to connect environmental education in K-12 classrooms across Kansas. We’re excited to continue to do regional breakfast meetings in 2015 and will be heading to the Kansas City area for our next meeting and hope you will join us there and hear more about the amazing things environmental educators are doing in Kansas. I want to take this opportunity to thank those Jeff mentioned in the introduction and give a special thanks the Kansas Forest Service who has continued to support us with a great deal of space for our workshop materials supplies and books as well as support with our technology. This donation of space and support allow us to focus our limited funding on our programming. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our dedicated board members volunteers and staff. Our staff is second to none and the amazing work they do with engaging with our volunteers with educators across the state and with each other produces results that far exceed what a staff of our size ought to be able to accomplish. We look forward to seeing you in 2015—when people ask me what my favorite part of my job is I always tell them “the people I get to work with.” You all are truly inspiring and we appreciate all you do to help advance environmental literacy in Kansas. Check out our thank you here: Best Regards to You All Laura Downey Executive Director

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