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  • 7 May 2020 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    Fifty years ago, environmental activism on college campuses changed important environmental laws herein the United States, and later around the world. Today our Earth needs us more than ever. We face two emergencies today, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the destruction of Earth’s climate. We were unprepared for the novel coronavirus pandemic, but we have time to prepare and make changes for our climate. Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary is a great place to start.

    Rachel Carson published Silent Spring in 1962, this powerful book started the modern environmentalist movement by helping people think about our environment in new ways. In 1969 the Cuyahoga River in Ohio caught fire due to the massive amount of pollutants from industry. The huge Santa Barbara oil spill also occurred in 1969, spilling 80-100,000 barrels of crude oil in the water and all over beaches in southern California. These terrible and very visual devastating events sparked US Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin to call for teach-ins about the environment on college campuses across the United States.

    The 1970’s were a time of strong civil engagement, and college campuses were a hot bed of activity. Over 20 million Americans took to the streets in protest and participated in teach-ins on the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. This was before social media so you can imagine the passion driving this environmental movement.

    The success of the first Earth Day was seen quickly as the Environmental Protection Agency was formed by December 1970. Over the next few years, the modern environmental movement was strengthened by passage of landmark environmental laws: The Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act. Many other countries around the world followed suit and adopted similar laws.

    Photo from Vermont Youth Climate March - 2019

    Today more than 195 countries and more than 1 billion people around the world participate in Earth Day events. The 50th anniversary is your chance to participate in multiple events taking place all over the world virtually. Or plan your own Earth Day event anytime in 2020. Earth Day is the perfect time for people to rise together to make a difference for our climate just as we did in 1970.

    Click here to search and join virtual Earth Day events around the world and add your own events: https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-2020/


    Author: Rebecca Roy, Vermont State Parks 

  • 21 Mar 2020 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    My name is Caroline Blake. I was recently hired as the Administrative Coordinator for the Vermont Education and Environment Network (The Network). Over the course of the next year I will assist with increasing organizational capacity and support professional development opportunities across Vermont for educators and folks working in the environmental sector. 


    I want to share a little bit about myself and my path as an environmental educator. I have lived in various places both in the continental U.S. and overseas, but have called Vermont home on and off for the past 10 years. My career in environmental education (EE) informally began in 2013 when I volunteered my senior year at ECHO in Burlington, VT. After graduating from UVM in 2013 with a BA in Biology and Chemistry, I accepted a full-time, seasonal EE at an outdoor science school in Southern California. Between 2013 and 2017, I held multiple seasonal EE positions across the U.S. In 2017, I returned to school to complete a Master of Science in Natural Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where my thesis work focused on environmental knowledge and personal environmental education teaching efficacy of pre-service teachers in Wisconsin. Upon graduation, I was offered a position back in Vermont, at my alma mater, where my career in EE officially began.  

    Currently, I am a full-time employee with the Lake Champlain Sea Grant program, which is also affiliated with UVM Extension, the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, as well as NOAA (yes, it is a mouthful). I serve as their Watershed and Lake Education Program Assistant, where I support K-12 teachers and students as well as undergraduate interns who serve as Watershed Educators for our school programming.  

    I became affiliated with The Network, previously known as Vermont SWEEP, back in 2017 when I was invited by a previous supervisor to attend one of their gatherings before heading off to Wisconsin for graduate school. Upon my return to Vermont, I was eager to once again be connected with this wonderful organization. I became an independent contractor for them back in February. As the Administrative Coordinator, I will help The Network as they transition and grow this professional network and affiliated offerings including our new website and rebranding efforts. Additionally, my position will aid our volunteer Board Members regarding communication, member recruitment, event planning, and board member meetings and retreats. I look forward to working with you all and that our paths may cross in the not too distant future. Please do not hesitate to reach out at thenetworkvt@gmail.com.

    Author: Caroline Blake

  • 10 Jan 2020 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    The board is very excited to announce a new name for our network. Vermont State Wide Environmental Education Programs (SWEEP), will now be known as the Vermont Education & Environment Network (VEEN). Along with our name change we are also launching a new website with new member resources like, the ability for members to post events and job announcements and a clear way to stay up to date with events happening within the network. 

    With the turning of the calendars to a new year also means it is time to renew your membership, all online and accessible through our new website. Please renew today so you have access to our new resources and connect with your colleagues.

    Happy New Year,

    The VEEN Board

    Author: Beth Roy
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