Solano Environmental Educator‟s Meeting Minutes
February 4, 2011 from 9:00 am to Noon
Fairfield-Suisun Sewer District, Fairfield
Facilitators: Marianne Butler
Minutes: Beverly Morlock
Attendees: See table on last page
1. Welcome and Introductions
Members introduced themselves and the entity each represented. See back
page for attendees. A special THANK YOU to Rita Arwine from the Fairfield-
Suisun Sewer District for providing the groups with a meeting space and
2. Professional Development
Narcisa Untal, Integrated Waste Management Senior Planner, Department of
Resource Management presented a summary of Solano County‟s Climate
Action Plan to the group. Prior to the introduction of the Climate Action Plan,
the County adopted a written waste reduction plan to be in compliance with
AB939 passed in 1989. This State mandated legislation required each County
reduce 50% of the County‟s solid waste each year from the landfill. Solano
has an Integrated Waste Reduction Task Force whose job is to(1)develop a
written Integrated Waste Management Plan (2) implement the programs
designed to accomplish the 50% waste reduction plan. The Task Force
reports the County‟s progress and compliance to the AB939 to the State.
After an initial slow start, programs were begun to increase curbside recycling
efforts in the cities of Solano County. An additional benefit to the co-mingling
curbside recycling efforts is the production of „green‟ jobs to sort the recycled
material by hand at a collection facility.
In 2006, AB 32, the Climate Action Plan, was adopted. This bill requires each
County in the State to reduce its‟ annual greenhouse gas emissions by 15%.
The goal of this bill is that by the year 2020, all Counties in the state will be
back to the 1990 baseline in greenhouse gas emissions. The General Plan
that was adopted in 2008 by the Board of Supervisors stated that the
County‟s greenhouse emissions will be reduced by 20% annually rather than
the 15% mandated by the State.
All cities in Solano County have undertaken an inventory of greenhouse gas
emitters to determine compliance and emission reduction. The County
needs to demonstrate to the State that programs have been implemented
and supply measured results of reductions in greenhouse gas emission to
Both AB 939 and AB 32 are being addressed through the Solano County
Climate Action Plan. This written document is available for review online.
Because 2 – 3 % of greenhouse gases in Solano County are generated
through solid waste, there is a distinct advantage to address the solid waste
SEE Meeting 2/4/2011
reduction so that the greenhouse gas emission reduction of 20% can be
achieved. Solid waste in the landfills here in Solano County generate
methane gas which is a major contributor to an increase in greenhouse
Environmental Educators can assist to reach this reduction goal by providing
education to the public (children and adults)on conservation of resources.
By reducing the solid waste through recycling the overall reduction of
greenhouse gas emission can be achieved. As Environmental Educators, we
need to model this behavior by considering our own actions and reflect on
the life cycle of all of the products that we use in our homes, schools or work
places. By reusing materials, we can reduce the greenhouse gas produced
by 7%. This can also be achieved through agency adoption of „green‟
purchasing policies. By purchasing 100% recycled products and refillable
products we can help to initiate a culture change to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions. For more information on adopted County purchasing policies
contact Narcisa at firstname.lastname@example.org
Next, Anne Stephens, Education Program Consultant in the Math/Science
Leadership office from the California Department of Education gave an
update on the CREEC Network and the Environmental Education Initiative.
Both the Environment education program and the CREEC network is
administered within the state Board of Education. Also within the Board of
Education are other environmental education programs; CalServe, Service
Learning and CalSTEM. The Environmental Education Initiative (EEI) is actually
administered through the Environmental Education Protection Agency NOT
through the Board of Education.
There is an Environmental Education website at the California Board of
Education. This will give you legislation, current issues and will provide links to
other partnering agencies. However, the more active site is the CREEC site
www.creec.org. Currently, CREEC is funding 18 regional coordinators (Laura
Powell is the Bay Area Coordinator)to help network agencies and provide
information regarding Environmental Education programs to K-12 classrooms
and agency providers. The CREEC webpage has a lot of information;
funding opportunities, teacher projects, etc. This is a good resource for other
curriculum; Project WET, Project WILD, PLT is all available. If you have other
specific curriculum that you would like to have posted, contact Laura.
The CREEC Resource Directory will be updated soon to make it more user
friendly. A list of resource providers will be on resource page.
There are Four major agencies involved in Env Edu at the state level
- Dept of Ed
- Resources agency
- Dept of Food and agriculture
SEE Meeting 2/4/2011
Representatives from these groups meet monthly as a group called
CEEIN(California Env Ed Interagency Network). This group meets to discuss
issues regarding Env Ed and legislation. There are subcommittees to discuss
legislation & diversity issues. Also included within CEEIN are representatives
from the California Parks & Recreation commission.
Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI)
Legislation introduced in 2003/2005 and curriculum was designed for Env
Edu in CA schools. The initiative was correlated to State Science Standards
and will serve to replace science textbooks in certain Environmental areas.
The goal of the initiative is to increase environmental literacy. The EEI
Curriculum was approved by State Board of Ed in 2010. The curriculum
underwent a comprehensive development and review process and is
available free and has replacement units. It will be incorporated into the
next round of science textbook adoptions
The EEI curriculum is based on 5 principles and concepts. These were
detailed in a handout provided by Anne. An important component of the
curriculum is the focus on the interactions between humans and their
environment. It allows the connection between science and civic action
and social responsibility. However, there are many components of the
initiative that can only be addressed by local agencies which provide
Environmental education. The State Board of Education depends on non-
formal providers to assist in Environmental Education.
Anne use the example of the Intergrated Waste Management addressed
earlier and demonstrated how that information could be used to address the
various Science Subject area standards:
o Science K.3.a: The World Around Me
o Science 6.6.b: Energy and Material Resources: Renewable or Not
Main emphasis of EEI is on English Language acquisition in early grades,
and Science is being pushed to back burner. She reported that even
science partnership grants right now are mostly focused on math
education. The EEI provides a „hook‟ for teachers to address the ELA in
primary grades. The EEI also links to investigation and experiments. It also
gives information about incorporation of labs into the various units. The
curriculum provides vocabulary and rich source of maps. Currently there
is not a bilingual curriculum, but there are teaching strategies for EEL
Introduction of present day issues are an important component of EEI.
Anne suggested that educators have students view raw data; this will
reduce environmental emotional overload. By having students interpret
SEE Meeting 2/4/2011
the data themselves, will increase their engagement and empowerment
What‟s coming up?
o State Board of Education improved units in 2010
o Currently it is being used in 20 early adoption districts around state.
The goal is to outreach to all districts within the state within next 3
o Check with your district to encourage them to be in the next round
of adoption. You can get and download information at
- http://www.calepa.ca.gov/education/eei/ click on “Learn more”
link on left hand side of page
Anne discussed the various definitions. Common core standards refer to
Federal standards. Frameworks are suggestions to teachers to get kids to
that level of standards. The standards are what the students should know
at predetermined levels. These are the standards that students are tested
on. Current California science frameworks were written in 1993 and
reprinted in 2004. They were supposed to be revamped in 2008, but that
didn‟t happen. It was predicted that due to budget cuts that the science
frameworks will not be addressed soon, probably not until 2018.
During the 2008 budget crisis the State legislature asked State board of Ed
to align state standards with national standards. The two areas that were
aligned were math and ELA. Science and social standards were not
changed. She stated that EE providers were asked to correlate curriculum
to science standards as they currently stand and no big changes are
anticipated in the future. She recommended that the group‟s EE
providers investigate alignment of their curriculum with the Career
Technical Education framework in addition to the science framework.
There were questions regarding the EEI at Solano County Office of
Education. It was perceived that the SCOE is not really interested in
allowing outside environmental education into the classroom due to
testing issues. We are all hopeful that a change in the political climate will
bring about more emphasis on science education. Anne recommended
that agency personnel get enthusiastic teachers to go to administrations
and she emphasized that we publicize our efforts. She also
recommended that we contact businesses and other organizations to
help to increase public support for science education.
4. Solano Environmental Educator Group Discussion
Marianne reviewed the history of the Solano County Environmental
Education. In 1990s, Joyce Gutstein from UCDavis had put together a
booklet for Env ed providers for teachers. The booklet provided
information on Regional env ed providers. From that start, in 2008 – 2009,
SEE Meeting 2/4/2011
several meetings were sponsored by the Fairfield-Suisun Sewer district.
However, funding was lost and the group disbanded. Last May, the
Solano County Conservation District received funding from Solano County
Fish and Wildlife Propagation to put together a symposium for the group.
Many of the present attendees were in attendance at this event. We had
professional development in the morning and later we broke into a
strategy session. What came of that meeting were goals for the future of
Currently, with funding from the Potero Landfill we will be able to hold
three meetings this year. No time to update databases, but just agenda
and coordinate meetings for this year. Additionally, they are providing a
small amount to provide direction to the group. Additionally, they are
funding some money to support a graphic designer for the group.
Laura Powell from CREEC reported on what EE groups in other counties
are doing. Some groups have membership fees, others have an „in-kind‟
type of steering committees. One group, SEEC, out of San Francisco
originally had some funding and put together a huge brochure. However,
most of these groups have discontinued meeting due to lack of funding.
Mike McGraw shared that Napa County has a group that have produced
a booklet and also plan for Earth Day festivities for the other County
Environmental Education providers. Printing costs for the booklet was
funded by the Napa Water district and Public Works.
EPA applied for a $1.5 M NOA Environmental Literacy funding. Notice for
that funding will be announced in April and Yolo, Napa and Solano
Counties may be getting some funding for EEI and other programs. San
Francisco Unified School district has a Sustainability Coordinator that works
with non-formal Environmental Educator reaching the district. There is a
whole range of services to serve as models.
Where do we go from here? We reviewed the outcomes from the
- funded coordinator to pull the meetings together.
- Various tasks groups should be founded
- Speakers on professional development
- Grant writing
Grant writing group? Discussion on other grant opportunity. There
are some issues; location, not a non-profit, government agency.
What do we want to achieve? Events? Fundraising? Friends
groups? PG & E? Agencies? Foundation?
o Ideas and comments
SEE Meeting 2/4/2011
Esther Blanco – City of Fairfield working to try to
develop a group through Solid Waste funding to
provide Env Ed
Approach Solano Community Foundation for funding.
Check out Potero to see if they are willing to continue
Is money available for promotion
How can we access?
Who they are?
Proposal is important
o Funding available to put that together. We can use the
CREEC data base for agency input. Solano County Office
of Ed may provide funding. All cities have supporting
Fundation that we could approach. UCDavis?
Need to consider dispersal
School district contact person – TBD
Kathleen Robbins – a graphic artist that works with
Marianne presented two recommendation.
Two different tri-fold brochures
22 page env ed in Solano county booklet
o Other things to consider
Web page? Social networking?
Promotion? General? Or individual?
What is our general audience?
Mission, goals and Objectives
o List members
o What services
Professional development trainings
Improving expanding outreach to public schools
o After school programs – lot of $ available
Cynthia Farrell of VUSD– contact person 453-7574
o Charter school
o Home school
o Is target always schools? General public? County fairs –
booths. Programs that keep the water clean – public
awareness through enterprise funding.
o Multimedia displays that rotates through areas – mobile
What to do?
o Send funding/donation ideas to Jim Ball – Park and Recreation
o Send grants ideas to Jim Ball.
o Other donations? Vehicle, materials.
SEE Meeting 2/4/2011
o Share equipment/supplies with other agencies.
o Assessment and objectives statistics for evaluation for grant
o Logic model to aid in planning
o Evaluation tool developed
Seek out funding for field trips – outreach committee
o Sub coverage
o Community support
Professional development training
o Networking benefits suggested
o Idea of Short presentation w/ case studies was suggested
o Choose by Marianne?
o Present evaluation data for special events?
o Send bolded points for each program
o Laura will send out dated compilation to group as a
Originally a group was recruited to work on the directory,
but discussion changed the focus of that group to serve as a group to
explore Outreach based on information obtained from the CREEC web
site. Members of the group were: Dan Sykes, Mark Nichols, Karen Siran,
Marion Adams, Teri Luchini, Laura Powell, Bev Morlock, Marianne Butler
and Kathleen Robbins
There was a discussion regarding web site containing an online directory.
Factors to consider were:
o Oversight responsibility
o Tagged well within Solano County
o Events with photos
o Minutes from the group meeting
We also need to determine who our audience is? Whom do we serve?
o Business groups
o General public
o Youth groups; 4H, boy & girl scouts
Other criteria that were discussed pertaining to our requirements and their
costs. It was suggested that we:
o Develop a template – directory put together a template
o Laura to import information with categories to group to check so
we can look at what CREEC fields have in the data based.
o Group will look at where groups needs to expand.
SEE Meeting 2/4/2011
o Link to CDE so merge into partnership
o Advertising mechanism for funders
Laura to send group out a link to the CREEC web site- check your
Case Study interest – provide info to Marianne before next meeting
Update and Outreach group will develop a proposal for a framework for
Next meeting Wednesday, July 13, 2011 from 9 – noon at Fairfield-Suisun
5. Participant Updates
o Project WET – Teacher workshop on February 19 – News update: Ursula
Heffernon will be retiring at end of June.
o Kathy Coulter from the Air Quality District - Kids calendar available. Co-
sponsoring crisis communication workshop for public officials. Contact
Kathy for more information.
o Center for Land Based Learning – other programs available for groups
interested in env issues.
o Mike McGraw from Bureau of Reclamation programs available
o Earth Day City of Fairfield – April 30th booths available
o City of Vallejo Earth Day – contact Mark Nichols
o Upcoming Green Schools conference for teachers in San Jose – see on
CREEC web site for info.
o New Small amphitheater at Rockville Hills park available FREE of charge.
SEE Meeting 2/4/2011
SEE Attendees February 4, 2011
Marianne Butler Solano RCD
Bob Panerio City of Vacaville -
Frank Morris Solano Irrigation District
Rita LeRoy Loma Vista Farm
Susan Alfeld Benicia-Vallejo Water Education
Ursula Heffernon SWEP
Jennifer Kaiser VSFCD
Laura Powell Bay Area CREEC
Kathy Coulter Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District
Beverly Morlock Independent
Rita Arwine Fairfield-Suisun Sewer District
Esther Blanco City of Fairfield
Laurette Rogers STRAW
Teri Luchini COE
Mark Nichols Valcore Recycling
Sarah Ferner NERR/Rush Ranch
Mike McGraw Bureau of Reclaimation - Berryessa
Dan Sykes Solano County Parks
Jim Ball Park & Recreation Trust
Narcisa Untal Solano County
Karen Siran Center for Land Based Learning
Marion Adams Center for Land Based Learning
Anne Stephens CDE – Education Program Consultant
Kathleen Robins Solano RCD
SEE Meeting 2/4/2011