Kids Planning Our Environment: Environmental Education as a Tool for Community Stewardship

Clarke, E.M.

Planners and educators have a unique opportunity to become part of a movement to incorporate children in environmental stewardship. By using environmental education to create a basis of knowledge about local issues and to provide a forum for children's participation, their ideas can be incorporated into planning. This paper discusses the importance of including children in environmental planning as well as how to use environmental education as an approach. The subsequent chapters introduce the field of environmental education and demonstrate ways it can be incorporated into school curricula exemplified through three case studies. The cases illustrate how programs in the United States are challenging youth to become active stewards of their local environments. Although environmental education can be utilized for children of all ages as well as adults, this paper focuses on grades four through nine. The final chapters include an examination of these programs based on an evaluative framework and provide a summary of the findings.

Delivery Area
  • school based
  • community education
Outcome Area
  • environmental knowledge, attitude and awareness
  • stewardship behavior
Participant Area
  • student
  • school
  • community
Age Area
  • elementary (6-11 years old)
  • middle school (12-14 years old)