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Register by Sept. 27th for “Nonformal Environmental Education” workshop

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The Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program (CHNEP) is hosting the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) workshop Building Environmental Literacy Through Nonformal Environmental Education Programs. Since its beginning in 1971, NAAEE has served as the professional association, champion and backbone organization for the field of environmental education, working with a diverse group of educators.

The workshop will be held Friday, November 4, 2016, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Polk Nature Discovery Center at Circle B Bar Reserve (4399 Winter Lake Rd, Lakeland). Thanks to Polk County Parks and Natural Resources Division, an optional guided tram tour will be offered at 8:30 a.m.

Participants will be introduced to the nonformal environmental education program development cycle, including needs assessment, program design and delivery and evaluation. This workshop was designed for nonformal educators, rangers, interpreters and guides, education designers as well as those who work with schools and school districts.

This workshop introduces participants to Nonformal Environmental Education Programs: Guidelines for Excellence. These guidelines comprise a set of recommendations for developing and administering high quality nonformal environmental education programs. These recommendations provide a tool that can be used to ensure a firm foundation for new programs or to trigger improvements in existing ones. The overall goal of these guidelines is to facilitate a superior educational process leading to the environmental quality that people desire. Each participant will receive a copy of these guidelines.

The term "environmental education program" is used in these guidelines to mean an integrated sequence of planned educational experiences and materials intended to reach a particular set of objectives. Programs, taken together, are the methods by which an organization's education goals are accomplished. The program can be small or large and can range from short-term, one-time events to long-term, community capacity-building efforts.

Workshop Objectives:

  • Participants identify the key characteristics of high quality environmental education programs.
  • Participants will use the K-12 environmental education framework to map environmental literacy in their programs.
  • Participants discuss the relationship between program design and program evaluation.
  • Participants will begin the process of developing a CHNEP literacy plan.
  • The CHNEP and the Friends of Charlotte Harbor Estuary, Inc. (aka CHNEP Friends) are underwriting the cost of this course. NAAEE will facilitate this workshop. Polk County Parks and Natural Resources Division is providing the facility and tram tour. Lunch will be provided but your time, travel and any other expenses incurred will not be covered.

    This is a two-step registration process. The first step is to complete the registration form for this event at The CHNEP will review requests received by Sept. 27 and then again on Oct. 27. Space is limited for this facilitated workshop and the CHNEP has a desire to update its plan and develop a literacy plan so the CHNEP will review details of those who register. Those accepted will receive an email message from (after Sept. 27 and Oct. 27) with guidance to confirm their participation. It is CHNEP's hope that the 40 places available will be taken by those who will commit to participating in the update of the CCMP and who will help develop an environmental literacy plan for the CHNEP.

    Remember, by completing the first step you are letting CHNEP know of your interest in attending this training. If accepted, you will be required to follow guidance received from CHNEP for step 2. Requests will be reviewed within a few days of Sept. 27 and Oct. 27.

    Additional Contact Information

    Maran Hilgendorf

    Communications Manager,, Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program

    326 West Marion Avenue
    Punta Gorda, FL - 33950

    (941) 575-3374