Antioch’s most community-intensive environmental education program has won the 2006 Maria Pirie Environmental Program Award. The New England Environmental Educators Alliance (NEEEA) presented the award to CO-SEED, a project of the Antioch New England Institute’s Center for Place-based Education.
In locations throughout Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, CO-SEED sets up three-year collaborations with schools and communities to use their natural and cultural environment as a setting for learning. These commitments also allow students to be involved in hands-on service that addresses community needs. “CO-SEED makes environmental education relevant anywhere, to anyone, because local people shape it to respond to their needs,” said Paula Coughlin of NEEEA.
The Pirie award recognizes outstanding environmental education programs such as CO-SEED for their innovation and creativity. Award-winning programs must also be easy to replicate in other regions, sustainable, have a strong evaluative component and achieve results in demonstrated action by participants.
Maria Pirie had a distinguished career with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). She was EPA New England’s first champion of environmental education, passionately committed to incorporating science and the environment into school curriculums. It was her hope that children who learn to respect the environment would become life-long stewards of its protection.