Welcome to the online home of the Environmental Educators of North Carolina!
Our organization grew from the desire of environmental educators across North Carolina to meet and share their experiences, aspirations, and tools. Since its inception in 1990, EENC has grown into something much greater. Our organization is a 501(c)3 non-profit, governed by bylaws that are voted on by our membership, and managed by an all-volunteer board of directors that is elected annually by the members. We represent a network of outstanding environmental educators, individuals, and organizations who work together to strengthen environmental education in our state.
EENC’s mission is to build connections, provide professional development, and promote excellence for North Carolina's community of environmental educators.
We do this by promoting and facilitating professional development, fostering networking opportunities, and demonstrating high quality environmental education programs and materials. EENC strives to be a leader in the field of environmental education within North Carolina, the southeast, and the nation.
EENC envisions a future in which:
Individuals across all NC communities are empowered by their knowledge, skills, convictions, and abilities to inspire a just and sustainable world.
Environmental education's substantial societal value is recognized and invested in widely by policymakers, funders, education institutions, and the general public through our advocacy work.
EENC is a national model, creating a stronger sense of belonging for educators from all walks of life where varied skills and experiences are celebrated.
We’re Stronger Together
Environmental Education is a community for everyone. Regardless of identity, environmental education is for you. We unite our industry through advocacy, access, equity, and sustainability.
Nature Connection is Essential
We believe that humans are rooted in their environment. Connection to nature is an essential human right that provides a sense of belonging, place, identity, and community.
Learning Lasts a Lifetime
We nurture a growth mindset and cultivate curiosity as teachers and learners. We invest in evaluation, growth, and responsive change to meet the needs of our expanding community.
Impact Drives Us
We may not have the answers, but together, we can find solutions. We center research and evaluation to guide data-based advancements and accountability in pursuit of excellence. We seek meaningful partnerships to foster success for our professions, our students, and the natural world.
EENC is committed to building authentic and mutual connections. EENC continually seeks new opportunities to work with people and organizations that intentionally represent and are champions for systemic justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. Just like nature’s ecosystems, each individual contribution may not be visible but together they uphold valuable knowledge and strength in our communities.
Environmental literacy and mutual respect are inherently linked with environmental and social justice.
Environmental education and resources should be accessible to all communities.
Biodiversity is critical to the success of natural spaces, and the diversity of humanity is what makes us stronger.
We are never done learning and growing as an organization and as individuals.
Looking for information about
Environmental Education Certification in North Carolina?
That program is administered by our partners at the North Carolina Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs.
Every three years, the Board of Directors defines our organizational priorities through a strategic plan to help guide our work. EENC's four main focus areas for 2021-2024 are:
Advocacy for the Field of Environmental Education
Partnerships for Building Capacity to Advance Environmental Education
Increase Recognition of EENC as a Go-To Resource for Environmental Educators
Build Internal Capacity of the Organization
The EENC President generates an annual report each year that describes the organization's activities and growth during their tenure. These reports are available to the membership. Click on a date below to view the report for that year:
Learn more about our operations and see how we've put previous support into action by reviewing our most recent 990.
Discover our History
In late 1987, Triangle area environmental and teaching professionals met often and regularly at various venues to engage in discussions around the environmental education movement in our state. Members of the focus group included UNC and NCSU professors, school teachers of diverse disciplines, museum curators and interpreters, County and State Parks rangers and naturalists, federal, state and county government agency officials, environmental researchers, electric utility professionals, and environmental policymakers.
Meetings were held "after school" and rooms were sometimes packed with professionals determined to spin a common thread in their efforts to increase environmental awareness and knowledge among the people of North Carolina. In time, interest grew beyond the Triangle, resulting in the creation of a state-wide, membership-driven, 501(c)3 education non-profit organization called Environmental Educators of North Carolina (EENC). The first board meeting was held at Museum of Life and Science in Durham in October 1990. It was then, and continues to be, the premier environmental education professional organization in our state which connects diverse professionals and organizations to each other through directories, news, regional events, an annual state conference and a coveted awards program.