Building widespread environmental stewardship through equitable access to the outdoors and environmental programming takes time, expertise, and coordination. In 2023, the Minnesota Association for Environmental Education (MAEE), the Minnesota Children and Nature Connection (MnCNC) and Wilderness Inquiry are partnering together in coordination with the Gen:Thrive Program at EcoRise to dedicate that time, expertise, and coordination to conducting a landscape analysis of environmental education efforts in Minnesota.
Funded by EcoRise and Jeffers Foundation, the project will include a comprehensive study of the environmental education already happening on the ground, enabling the identification of gaps and barriers to access that prevent successful implementation statewide. The final report will also provide recommendations and next steps for increasing access to outdoor programs and environmental literacy efforts based on an inventory of model programs and initiatives happening nationwide.
The landscape analysis project will begin with a comprehensive state-wide survey of existing opportunities and a compilation of spatial data that is relevant to identifying gaps and barriers. The project will result in three tools: a field trends dashboard, a gaps, barriers, and opportunities map, and findings and recommendations.
The field trends dashboard will be an interactive tool that educators and stakeholders can use to identify environmental education providers and programs in their area.
The equity gaps and opportunities map will allow users to research the current programs available and who they are serving as well as the demographics of people served.
This analysis will equip the organizations with the resources they need to address gaps, allocate resources more effectively, and increase access to outdoor opportunities.
FOCUS GROUP: The Landscape Analysis Project will begin with a Focus Group in April of 2023 that will help direct the types of questions in the state-wide survey and the types of geographic information collected for the analysis. If you are interested in joining the Focus Group, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with "Landscape Analysis Project" in the subject line.
SURVEY: The survey for the Landscape Analysis Project will be launched in May. Please help us gather comprehensive information by taking the survey and sharing the survey link with as many organizations as possible.