Who we are
What is Environmental Literacy?
As defined by the Massachusetts Environmental Education Society (MEES), "environmental literacy" has four main components:
1. Understand ecosystems and how they function
2. Appreciate natural phenomena and biodiversity through observation and direct experiences in natural settings
3. Think critically about how human actions effect ecological functioning and subsequent concerns/problems that arise
4. Participate in action planning for themselves and their community to address environmental issues
As parents raising our children in an urban area, our four founding members met while trying to give our children a taste of what we'd experienced ourselves growing up: the wonder - and power - of being able to name and observe things up close in nature, and a fluency and comfort with natural landscapes.
But we noticed something critical as we began talking. While our city's diversity was a critical part of why we wanted to raise our children in and around Cambridge, we didn't see that diversity reflected equally in the use of the green spaces themselves, or in the educational programs taking place there.
The Cambridge Environmental Literacy Project (CELP) was born out of this disparity. We would like to make nature exploration available and possible for all of the children in Cambridge, to promote access to and educational programs designed for our urban green spaces, to remove cultural, racial, economic, gender-based or structural barriers to their shared use, and to engage a truly diverse group of leaders to help us achieve these goals.