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Mayor Vincent C. Gray Announces Release of Draft D.C. Environmental Literacy Plan for Public Comment

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mayor Vincent C. Gray Announces Release of Draft D.C. Environmental Literacy Plan for Public Comment

Plan Outlines Measures and Strategies to Engage Students in Environmental Activities

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced today that the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) has released a draft of the DC Environmental Literacy Plan (ELP) for District-wide implementation and integration of environmental education throughout the K-12 curriculum.

The draft plan, published in today’s DC Register, Volume 59/29, describes relevant teaching and learning standards adopted by the State Board of Education and necessary professional development opportunities for teachers.  It also identifies governmental and non-governmental entities able to assist schools with integrating environmental education in teaching, as well as recommendations on implementation and evaluative measures.

“Educating the next generation about the environment is a critical part of my vision for a Sustainable DC,” said Mayor Gray. “Therefore, it is important that we get input from the community on this crucial strategy for integrating environmental education into our schools’ curriculum.” 

The Mayor added that he is willing and ready to work with Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh to ensure that the plan, once completed, is implemented.

Environmental literacy is defined as the development of knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to make informed decisions concerning the relationships among natural and urban systems.  In the District, an environmentally literate person will be able to discuss and describe ecological and environmental systems and human impacts on these systems; engage in hands-on, outdoor learning experiences that involve discovery, inquiry, and problem solving; formulate questions and analyze information pertaining to his or her environment; and understand how to take actions that respect, restore, protect and sustain the health and well-being of human communities and environmental systems.
“I am very pleased that we have reached this milestone and have created a framework for environmental standards, achievement, assessment and leadership for our students,” said DDOE Director Christophe A.G. Tulou.  “With this draft plan on the table for discussion, we can now come together and put a coordinated strategy in place to ensure that our youth develop into environmentally literate adults.”

DDOE collaborated with the DC State Board of Education, Office of the State Superintendent of Education, DC Public Schools, Public Charter School Board, Department of Parks and Recreation, and the University of the District of Columbia to develop the plan.  Non-profit organizations, such as the DC Environmental Education Consortium, played an integral part in the development of the plan.

For more information, please see the DC Environmental Literacy Plan.