Solano Environmental Educator's Meeting Minutes

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					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
   wonderful snacks.

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
   achieve compliance.
   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

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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

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 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
   - CalEPA
   - Resources agency
   - Dept of Food and agriculture

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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
   within curriculum.

   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

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     the data themselves, will increase their engagement and empowerment
     over situation.

     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
                   - 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,

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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
the group.

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
symposium -
     - funded coordinator to pull the meetings together.
     - Various tasks groups should be founded
     - Speakers on professional development
     - Grant writing

Potential projects
    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

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                   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
                    to fund
                  Is money available for promotion
                         How can we access?
                         Who they are?
                         Proposal is important
   Directory/data base/brochure
          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
                  Electronic update?
                         CREEC update
                         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.

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             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 Transportation
                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 Volunteer?
                        o Planning?
                        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
                    starting point
               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 Counters
   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?
Suggestions included:
   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.

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          o   Link to CDE so merge into partnership
          o   Advertising mechanism for funders

     Next steps
    Laura to send group out a link to the CREEC web site- check your
     agency‟s information
    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
      Sewer District

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.

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SEE Attendees February 4, 2011

                   Name                            Agency
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

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