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- Environmental Education Advisory Task Force Minutes - 2009 - April
Environmental Education Advisory Task Force
April 2, 2009
Tracy Fredin, Nate Meyer, Lynne Markus, Lee Ann Landstrom, Dawn Flinn, Lisa Koch, Pete Cleary, Tom Moffatt, David Weinand, Jeff Ledermann
Patty Born Selly, Amy Markle, Nalani McCutcheon, Tony Bormann
David Benke, Rick Patraw, John Ikeda, Mike Kennedy, Denise Stromme, Su Beran, Colleen Schoenecker
Chairman, Pete Cleary, called the meeting to order at 1:05 p.m.
Meeting scheduled 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. this month due to the presentation by Dr. Tony Murphy.
Approval of the agenda
Added Climate Change Education Strategy update with Nate Meyer.
Motion: Lee Ann Landstrom moved to approve the agenda with the addition of the Climate Change Education Strategy update; Lisa Koch seconded the motion; motion passed 9-0-0.
Approval of the minutes
The meeting minutes from March and from April will be approved at the May meeting. Meeting minutes will be sent out to the entire task force earlier for future meetings to allow more time for review.
Director's Report - David Benke
The budget discussions will become more detailed in the next couple of weeks. The draft budget will be done by the 15th. The stimulus funding that is coming through has created a different dynamic and interesting discussions. The real interest is making sure that the state receives as much stimulus funding as possible. The next deadline is next week before the Legislature adjourns. This will be getting the policy bills in order. We do not know at this time what shape the Clean Water Legacy Act will take. In the policy and budget discussions a lot is being laid over for possible consideration. The agency fiscal year 2009 is basically complete. The ELM funding has been executed. If you have any questions, please let David know and he will try to answer as best as possible.
Pete Cleary introduced and welcomed Lynne Markus, Minnesota Department of Health, and everyone introduced themselves.
Environmental Education Advisory Board (EEAB) Language Discussion - Mike Kennedy
Handout: "EEAB Historical Snapshot"
This information on the history of the board was requested at the last meeting. It is to help the task force see where they have been to help decide where they want to go. The EEAB has changed over the years in that the staffing has changed, the agency that houses it has changed, membership has changed, and meeting locations have changed. Duties always have been the same on paper, but have had different interpretations. The meeting times have always been around three hours. A dedicated seat on the board requires a Legislative change. The process used for choosing members is transparent and open to all.
The change of membership requires Legislative action and is chosen by the professional attributes a person has. Members of the board needed to live in the district that they were representing. Now the Commissioner approves membership of the task force.
The budget increases with meeting place because you have to consider how far people need to travel. Traveling increases the budget, but it gets exposure of places that would not have otherwise been seen.
The task force discussed possible membership opportunity changes.
The task force also would like to discuss the role of the board. Mike reminded the task force that that is a different legislative piece. We need to keep track of the parts of the Minn. Stat. ? 115A.072 that applies.
Mike recommended having a small group discussion with a facilitator. This would help the group to get all the ideas out in the open, and then narrow things down to come to a decision. It was recommended that the role be clear before membership is composed. It was also recommended to keep the process simple so that it will be easier to implement. The task force needs to make sure the deliverables are met first, and the second priority should be the membership.
Pete Cleary said his opinion is that the role of implementing the GreenPrint should stay as is. The role is solid the way it is. Mike added that the role at this time is not expired. Only the membership language expired.
David Benke suggested the task force look at the pros and cons and the successes when trying to decided between being a task force or a board. The Legislature values the deliverables. They want to know what is going to be done and how. This task force was created to avoid losing the momentum of the board that expired. The Commissioner seems very much in approval of environmental education and this group moving forward. The membership can expand or contract, but the deliverables need to be met.
Denise Stromme questioned that maybe the board should be a Governor's Board instead of Commissioner's board. As a Governor's board is had greater connection between the agencies that were seated. This option should also be looked into. David Benke added that the timing is right to be considering this and discussing it. As they are preparing for policy recommendations, this needs to be known because of budget implications.
Lee Ann asked that everyone on the task force consider the pros and cons of being a task force, a Commissioner's board, or a Governor's board. Not everyone is present and we need all of the input.
The membership for the board is decided by how the language is stated. Congressional district membership may give you more political power because Congress wants to see equal representation from all the districts.
David Benke added that the purpose of the board is what really decides where it should be. It depends on what level of funding is needed. The "who" comes after the "what".
Denise Stromme was asked to share some things about her experience as staff working with the Governor's board in the past. She shared that is was very autonomous, more powerful than it is now, they had the ear of the Governor's office and influenced policy. If they needed a vote with the Commissioners, they all came. The budget was $250,000, with two dedicated half-time staff people. The members were politically connected.
Nate Meyer questioned if there would be any way that both a Commissioner's board and a Governor's board could both exist. David Benke answered that the concept of the task force is more task and timeframe focused. The board is more of a long-term position. It would be difficult for them to exist at the same time because it could create some disconnection.
The task force should continue considering which direction they should go as far as Commissioner's board or task force, or Governor's board. The due date for this decision is August 1, which will allow time for a memo to be done.
New Member Update - Mike Kennedy
Mike reported that there is not a replacement at this time. He is still waiting for more information on possibilities.
Climate Change Education Strategy - Nate Meyer
Handout: "Task Force Update: Statewide Climate Change Education Strategy, April 2009"
Nate reported that this project needs to be shifted from the task force thinking stage to the stage of partnering with staff to get things to happen due to some budgetary deadlines. The climate change committee was charged with developing a comprehensive strategy for climate change education for all audience sectors in the state plan for environmental education.
At the last meeting, the committee met with Milt Thomas, MPCA Facilitation Specialist, to develop a strategy that involves bringing together 7-10 representative stakeholders. They have decided to have a two day retreat in May/June. The participants will be invited in April/May. The virtual work will take place in June/August.
The plan of action with the facilitated meeting process is to start with a shared fund of knowledge. Then they will identify the dissatisfaction with the current state of climate literacy and develop a shared vision. Lastly, the participants will be encouraged to have involvement in the process. The focus will be teambuilding, developing shared knowledge, vision, and starting the strategic process. The retreat will end with a half day wrap-up and celebration of accomplishments.
The committee will provide reports to the EEATF and to the MPCA Commissioner as requested.
The budget is $2500 which has come from the operations portion of the task force budget.
It will be possible to have the framework ready by September.
It was recommended by Lynne Markus to show the environmental health impacts. If there is a personal stake with people, the point gets across better.
Denise Stromme suggested making sure there is an educational expert there.
Lee Ann Landstrom recommended having someone from the Climate Change Advisory Group there. Nate and Mike shared that, yes, they will be there. There was also an economist added.
Motion: Tom Moffatt moved to approve going forward with the Statewide Climate Change Education Strategy Committee proposal as written and discussed; seconded by Tracy Fredin; motion passed unanimously.
Committee break out
Check-in with Full Task Force - Pete Cleary
GreenPrint Committee - Tom Moffatt
Tom reported that during the next month or so they will write scripts to do testing. They will also be working with some social networking sites to create interest and identifying individuals to deliver testimonials.
Denise Stromme added that there will be video clips for the Web site also. Communications staff of the MPCA will also be able to help with this. Nate Meyer offered the use of two camera kits.
WE3 Committee - Dawn Flinn
The WE3 committee is in the quality testing stage with teachers. They still need a few more teachers to be interviewed after they review the bridging documents. When the interviews are done, Theresa Gaffey will reformat the documents and they will begin publicizing.
ELM Committee - Lee Ann Landstrom
The ELM committee had a conference call conversation with two MAEE representatives. They are presuming that most of the money has been spent and they are still looking at funding sources. They will be reviewing the application materials. Mike added that the second payment to MAEE has been sent out (two payments of four are out).
Information Sharing - All
Mike Kennedy thanked everyone who worked so hard on the GreenPrint. The budget is in such a flux right now that we really have not gotten any answers yet. Mike will keep trying to get answers. Thank you and sorry for the delay.
Mike also said the membership contact list will be updated and e-mailed to the task force. He will type a synopsis of what is happening on the task force and send it to Lynne Markus.
Dawn Flinn shared that there are new publications out from the Department of Natural Resources. MAEE is having the environmental education workshop in June. The DNR is applying to LCCMR for school forest (outdoor classroom expansion, digital bridge to nature, outdoor education and MinnAqua grants). Environmental Education Week will be April 12-18.
Mike also shared that the one million dollar LCCMR grant application that he was going to submit on behalf of the ELM subcommittee he included outdoor education as an RFP funding category.
Lee Ann Landstrom shared that Three Rivers Park District is working on reducing their carbon footprint.
Tom Moffatt shared that Three Rivers Park District has been concentrating on the 18-34 year old market through cell phone use, and text messaging paths.
Lynne Markus shared that she has been dealing with incident command for the floods with the Department of Health. The Department Operations Center and the Emergency Operations Center have been running. She is an emergency operations planner in food, beverage and lodging. She has been involved with writing fact sheets to help people through the floods and cleanup. Her role is assistance before and after the flood and not necessarily during the flood.
Nate Meyer shared that he and Mike were asked by MAEE to host a discussion at their conference on preparing leaders in environmental education on how to operate in the future. He would like to get input from the task force on their ideas. They want to call attention to trends.
Su Beran shared that the Living Green Expo is May 2-3. The event is free at the state fairgrounds, and is family friendly.
Tom Moffatt shared that the Annual Raptor release on May 2.
Denise Stromme asked that after your LCCMR proposals go through your agencies, please let the task force know so they can support it.
Motion: Nate Meyer motioned to adjourn at 3:25 p.m.; David Weinand seconded the motion; motion passed unanimously.
- For more information, contact:
Environmental Education Advisory Task Force
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
- Posted: 5/12/09
- Revised: 6/9/09
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