Fourteenth DAEE Conference Recognizes Awardees and Sponsors

DAEE ConferenceImage via Delaware's Division of Community Affairs

DELAWARE — The Delaware Association for Environmental Education (DAEE) hosted the Fourteenth Annual DAEE Environmental Education Conference on Saturday, May 13, 2023, at Brandywine Springs Elementary, Wilmington, DE. This year’s conference theme, “Nature’s Best Hope, Our Role as Educators” showcased a full day of sessions intended to connect people with nature, integrate environmental education into the school day, and cultivate environmental leaders. The Conference explored environmental education opportunities, resources, and best practices to help increase our connection with nature for this and future generations. This conference is geared towards classroom teachers, environmental education providers, community organizations and members of the general public.

DAEE recognized the 2021 & 2022 Awards for Excellence recipients:

  • Exemplary Partnership:
    • 2021: David Pragoff, Delaware Nature Society
    • 2022: Delaware State Parks & Nemours Estate
  • Meaningful Impact Award:
    • 2021: Dee Durham, Plastic Free Delaware
    • 2022: Delaware Forest Service, Urban & Community Forestry Program
  • Healthy Innovation Award:
    • 2021: Del-Mar-Va Council, BSA
    • 2022: SNAC Garden Foundation
  • Outstanding Field Educator:
    • 2021: Dr. Gulnihal Ozbay, Delaware State University
    • 2022: Sonia Saunders, Brandywine Springs School
  • Lifetime Achievement:
    • 2023: Dr. Doug Tallamy
    • 2023: Jennifer Holmes (Exemplary Achievement in Environmental Education)

Sponsors of the DAEE Conference include:

  • Canopy Champion:
    • Delaware Department of Agriculture: Delaware Forest Service & Pesticides
  • Friend of the Forest:
    • Caesar Rodney School District
    • Carl Laron & Peter Compo
  • Sprout Supporter:
  • Acorn Advocate:
    • Delaware Interfaith Power & Light
    • DNREC Watershed Stewardship Program
    • Delaware State Parks
    • Brandywine Red Clay Alliance
    • Delaware Sea Grant
    • Gore & Associates

About 140 participants attended the Conference. Also present at the Conference were Senator Stephanie Hansen, New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer, and Brandywine Springs Elementary Principal Curtis Bedford.

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Ashley Melvin, Delaware Forest Service Trainer/Educator and DAEE Chair said, “Our Membership has not assembled in person since February 2020. In-person networking is an essential component for this type of work. As I walked down Exhibitor Hall and passed tables at lunch, the conversations reminded me of an active beehive. The DAEE Annual Conference is a special time when people who share a passion for environmental education come together to learn and share new ideas and return to their corner of our great first state, recharged and inspired. I would like to thank the DAEE Conference Sponsors, speakers, exhibitors and Conference Committee for making the 14th Annual DAEE Conference a smashing success.”

DAEE’s Annual Conference provides insight for community leaders, educators, and citizens on how to learn about the environment, conservation methods, best practices in environmental education, sustainability initiatives, and opportunities for individuals to make a difference in their communities.

The Delaware Association for Environmental Education (DAEE) is a volunteer led and run organization focusing on two main areas: engaging professionals in environmental education and engaging communities in nature. DAEE helps to ensure that every citizen in Delaware has the opportunity to become involved in meaningful outdoor experiences. DAEE provides resources for administrators, formal and non-formal educators, and concerned citizens on how and where to introduce students of all ages, to safe, educational, and life-changing outdoor experiences that will connect them to nature and instill the importance of conservation. Visit www.daeeonline.org to find out how you can get involved.

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