In 2015, the MAEE Strategic Planning Committee took a critical look at the current landscape of environmental education in Minnesota, compared it with MAEE’s current resource base, and created a plan for how MAEE can make the biggest, most unique impact as an all-volunteer organization going forward. We came up with a vision for the three pillars of MAEE, framing how we can best support the excellent EE work already being done throughout the state:
After soliciting feedback from conference goers, members, and contacts, we found that our strength lies in being an umbrella and supporting organization for the excellent EE providers in our state. We will highlight the good work already being done by other EE organizations and focus on offering more comprehensive scholarships to give EE professionals access to higher quality state, regional, and national professional development opportunities.
As a long-standing member-based organization, moving away from a membership-based organizational model is a big decision, but one that comes with great opportunity. There has been a growing trend among NAAEE state affiliate organizations to move away from a membership model. Membership funds make up a significant piece of our annual budget, but with a good annual fund, a focused fundraising event, and a robust Give to the Max Campaign, we can raise more money, better serve our constituents, and appeal to a broader range of EE professionals without limiting our resources only to dues paying members. In order to strengthen the field of EE in Minnesota, we need to reach a broader audience and provide relevant, meaningful opportunities to get involved. We will continue our advocacy work, strengthening the field of EE by working to make it more inclusive and equitable.
We are the ones who will be a voice for EE writ large; we are the ones who can advocate for EE at state, regional, and national levels from MN; and we will help connect EE educators to professional development opportunities and to each other. As a part of our third pillar we would like to start up a mentoring network to engage environmental educators in MN of all ages, stages, and locations throughout the state. By connecting those new to the field with seasoned professionals, learning and collaboration can happen in both directions, and we can help create a stronger and more innovative network of environmental educators across the state.Read the final Strategic Plan here to learn more about what's in store for the next five years of MAEE.