The environmental concerns that face North Dakota demand that together we think deeply about how to maintain a future that is sustainable, healthy, prosperous, and equitable for this generation and generations to come. Developing and implementing solutions to these challenges requires an environmentally literate citizenry that has the skills to understand, think critically about, and address existing and future natural and cultural resource issues.
The creation of this Environmental Literacy Plan involves volunteers from across the state who care about North Dakota and our long-term efforts to sustain our state’s quality of life.
We live in an era of easy access to technology, where it is often simpler for students to stay indoors than to venture outdoors and discover how to learn from and engage with the natural world around them. Fostering stewards of all ages with environmental literacy skills is essential for meeting 21st Century needs, such as questioning, investigating, defining problems, analyzing, interpreting, reasoning, developing conclusions, and solving problems. Environmental education offers an engaging platform for gaining and applying knowledge and skills through project-based activities involving cooperative learning in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM).
To achieve our goals, we need the collaborative support and resources of a broad cross-section of the state, including educators and administrators from the formal education system; informal educators from agencies and organizations; parents and community members who understand the needs of their students; and leaders from higher education. We must all invest our very best efforts and people for the future of our children and for North Dakota’s prosperity, equity, and resource sustainability. Please join us!
The plan also provides inspiration and a means of measuring progress towards common goals. It encourages efforts by stake-holders to be mutually supportive and complementary of each other, rather than duplicative and competitive.
To be effective, any plan must be visionary enough to provide a strong foundation, but also flexible enough to change over time as circumstances change and opportunities arise. This plan is a "living document" and will be used: