History of Greater Cincinnati Environmental Educators
Greater Cincinnati Environmental Educators (GCEE) was established in 1999 to facilitate interaction and collaboration among environmental education professionals in Greater Cincinnati; and promote environmental education training, outreach and resources to formal educators and the general public throughout Greater Cincinnati.
It all began with “the garbage lady,” “the plant lady,” “the bird man,” “the worm lady,” and “parks lady.” Local environmental educators would run into each other in the halls of various schools, between classroom presentations. You can always tell us by our logo embroidered polo shirts, and our faces buried behind a cart full of stuff. That “stuff” is whatever magical props or pieces of nature we use to bring the natural and scientific world to life in a classroom.
We became curious to know what the others were doing, how they were reaching students in the Greater Cincinnati area. We started to try to reach each other beyond the school walls, to compare notes. Once we realized there was a good deal of interest in this, we started to meet in person.
Once we started to really talk to each other, we saw a ton of potential! We could teach each other more about each other’s specialties. We could share best practices. We could collaborate on programs. Wait a minute… we could hold a big event for local educators, like a mini conference that is all EE, all the time! Thus, the GCEE Environmental Education Symposium was born. In 1999, in June, on the second floor of Washington Park Elementary.
As a collective, GCEE agency representatives have come up with some local gems of EE programing such as:
GCEE Ulitmate Educator’s Expo
Great Outdoor Weekend
Paddlefest Kid’s Expo
Earth Day OTR
GCEE members have realized over the years that we are much stronger together. Together, we have improved each other’s programming, learned from each other’s subject base, and helped each other grow within our own agencies’ missions.