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

Kathleen Fitzgerald, Founder & Co-Director

Kathleen is passionate about sowing the seeds of environmental stewardship and a love of nature in the hearts of our youngest citizens. She is the catalyst for CELP and our most enthusiastic advocate. With years of experience in fundraising, communications, event/volunteer management, and public relations in the nonprofit world, she will help define, organize and grow our organization. When she's not spreading the word about CELP to potential stakeholders around Cambridge, she and her family can be found in their garden growing native plants to attract pollinators, forest walking, beach combing, or taking pictures of wild mushrooms they'll never be brave enough to eat.

Monica Velgos, Co-Director

Monica has been an active member of the Cambridge educational community for more than a decade, spearheading efforts at schools to fund and promote health-building outdoor activities for students, from garden-based learning, to a daily running club, and beyond. As a writer, fundraiser, and advocate, she has brought a wealth of resources to the city's children, all while raising her own two kids, both of whom are fierce environmentalists in their own right. When she isn't volunteering for CELP, you can often find her at critical city meetings, lectures about equity and the environment, or cooking delicious vegan meals with vegetables her son has grown in their urban garden.      

Joanne Dermody Mullan, Co-Director

A native of County Carlow, Ireland, Joanne has found a love of urban wild spaces since moving to Cambridge. In addition to her work with CELP, she serves as the Coordinator of Friends of Fresh Pond Reservation, where she has volunteered for several years leading children's educational programs, assisted with meadow preservation and invasives removal, and been a member of the organization's leadership. She is also active with Cambridge School Volunteers as both a reading tutor at one of the city's elementary schools and as a mentor in the "Art & Science in One" nature journaling program, which partners local 5th graders with trained leaders to observe, document, and analyze local flora and fauna. In her spare time, you can often find her sharing her love of nature with her family (and handsome dog Peadar!) in nearby green spaces like Alewife Brook Reservation, Arlington's Great Meadows, the Middlesex Fells, and Walden Pond.