The California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC) Network is a program of the California Department of Education to support environmental literacy of California’s students by providing teachers with access to high-quality environmental education resources.
The CREEC Network fosters regional partnerships throughout the state of California to promote environmental education and is currently sponsored by the California Department of Education, the California Department of Water Resources, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction’s Environmental Literacy Steering Committee, and Ten Strands.
LA County’s Environmental Leadership
Since 1996, TreePeople has been a major part of the network and now our Director of Environmental Education, Candice Russell is the Regional Coordinator for Region 11 which encompasses all of Los Angeles County. This places TreePeople at the center of environmental education for the county by providing professional development and resources to educators as well as fostering communication among schools and organizations interested in supporting environmental literacy of California’s teachers and students.
California’s Blueprint for Environmental Literacy
In 2014, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson appointed an Environmental Literacy Task Force to develop A Blueprint for Environmental Literacy. The Blueprint is a call to action for all administrators, teachers, and program providers serving K–12 students—both in school and beyond, indoors and outdoors—to infuse environment- and standards-based learning opportunities into their instruction.
TreePeople is proud to partner with Ten Strands and the other members of the Task Force to ensure that every student develops the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to make sound informed decisions about environmental issues facing their communities and society.
Blueprint Steering Committee
In 2016, Superintendent Torlakson appointed an Environmental Literacy Steering Committee, composed of six Work Teams comprised of 30 prominent educational leaders, including TreePeople’s Candice Russell, and nonprofit stakeholders, to create and lead an implementation plan for the Blueprint.
The main goal of this Committee is to achieve environmental literacy for all of California’s 6.2 million K–12 students.
To achieve this goal we are:
Identifying ways to enhance the cultural relevance of environmental literacy while ensuring equity and inclusion in program initiatives
Ensuring the State’s Environmental Principles and Concepts are fully represented in new instructional materials, professional learning programs, and assessments
Scaling the California Regional Environmental Education Community Network to forge meaningful connections between program providers, community-based organizations, schools, and school districts
Working with select districts around the state to model how to identify strategies and resources to weave environmental literacy work into standards-based coursework linked to Local Control Accountability Plans and other local funding sources
Communicating success stories and best practices to establish support for environmental literacy as a driver for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education, career technical education, and the Governor’s climate action goals
Continuing to raise private money and secure public money to drive implementation priorities
TreePeople Leading LA’s Schools
Further explain the pilot the program to help schools meet their new goals when it comes to environmental teaching
Going to different districts and showing teachers and admins how to create environmental plans that meet their new science goals.
Emphasis on how this helps lead to environmentally literate kids who are better consumers and citizens