Awarded Outstanding EE Program in 2021 by AAEE & Educator of the Yr in 2022 by AZGFD.
Environmental stewardship: The responsible use and protection of the natural environment through conservation and sustainable practices to enhance ecosystem resilience and human well-being.
ECO feels very strongly that children should develop a strong sense of place and that they should become stewards of the natural places we explore.
We accomplish this goal in a variety of ways. This page is where we will post updates on the various projects the ECO Crew is taking part in.
Steward Kathy is a Keep Nature Wild Ambassador and Mentor. Keep Nature Wild is an organization committed to keeping our wild places beautiful. Their promise is to physically pick up one pound of trash for every product sold on their website. Since 2016, they have enlisted tens of thousands of volunteers to help the collective mission to keep nature wild.
Like Keep Nature Wild, ECO has a a mission to educate children about Leave No Trace Principles and to help them become stewards in their community. Picking up litter at our outdoor classroom locations is such a simple stewardship act that helps children become an, "agent of change." Since January 2020 our ECO Crew has collected over 100 lbs of litter!
Litter that ends up in the environment can harm or kill wildlife, while also damaging and degrading habitats. While some items that end up as waste could have once played a critical role in keeping people safe and healthy, like medical or protective equipment, litter can threaten navigational safety, economies, and human health. Marine debris—any human-made item, commonly made of plastic, which makes its way to the ocean—is one of the most pervasive global threats to the health of the ocean. Scientists estimate that 80 percent of marine debris comes from land-based sources. To really understand this problem, we need data not only on the coast but also upstream in the communities where much of the problem starts.
The large Debris Tracker dataset needed for research would be impossible to collect without help from citizen scientists like you. Information you contribute can help researchers develop data-driven solutions to plastic pollution threats. Your community can also use the data to help drive positive changes locally.
Our Nerdy For Birdies and ECO Crew created a video about Tres Rios Wetlands for World Migratory Bird Day to help raise awareness about migratory flyways and wetlands.