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O.C. Dept. of Education honored by state

The agency’s Inside the Outdoors program is recognized with the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award

by Caitlin AdamsPublished: December 15, 2011 10:15 AM

© Inside the Outdoors Foundation
The Orange County Dept. of Education’s ‘Inside the Outdoors’ environmental education program has been awarded the 2011 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA). This is the second time that the program has received this honor; the first occasion was in 2008.

“Inside the Outdoors is committed to protecting our natural resources and the environment for generations to come,” said Orange County Superintendent of Schools William M. Habermehl. “The hands-on programs provide opportunities to interact with nature in a way that fosters a love of science and builds the foundation for environmental stewardship in the leaders of tomorrow.”

Gov. Jerry Brown announced the award yesterday, recognizing the program for its commitment to environmental education and sustained work as a leader in the economy. GEELA, the state’s most prestigious environmental honor, recognizes organizations, businesses and individuals who have made significant voluntary contributions to California’s conservation, preservation of natural resources, protecting the natural environment and building partnerships in the public and private sectors.

“Inside the Outdoors is a true leader,” said Secretary for Environmental Protection Matt Rodriquez. “[Program coordinators] prove that you can support and promote environmental values without sacrificing your business objectives. They understand that going green can be a successful economic strategy that can also lead to sustainable growth and development.”

Established in 1974, Inside the Outdoors is the O.C. Dept. of Education’s hands-on environmental education program for students in Orange County schools. Each year, the program introduces 140,000 students to the environmental science of Southern California’s beaches, forests and mountains through field trips and outdoor classroom sessions. More than 60 percent of the students participating in these programs come from underserved communities, often making these trips their first opportunity to visit some of these locales.

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