We are saddened to share the news of the passing of a creative, exuberant spirit who graced EENC with her enthusiasm for environmental education. Elizabeth Burke passed away in her sleep on January 30, 2023. Elizabeth was a feature of EENC in the early 2000s. She served on the EENC board as Communications Chair/Co-Chair from 2007-2012. Elizabeth received the Outstanding Newcomer Award 2006 and the Melva Fager Okun Life Achievement Award in 2012.
As one of the first individuals to become a Certified Environmental Educator in North Carolina, it is easy to understand Elizabeth’s dedication to environmental education. She founded Mud Pie Planet in the late 1990s and taught in the Triangle until she moved to Virginia in 2003. Even after moving out of North Carolina, she continued to serve on the EENC Board as Communications Chair. She led the change from periodic print newsletters to more environmentally sound digital newsletter, oversaw the development of EENC’s early web presence, and continued to be at the center of EENC communications while we hosted the NAAEE conference in 2011.
When she received the Melva Fager Okun Life Achievement award, she shared that throughout her career she never lost sight of her expressed goal, “To know nature, it’s critical to hold it in your hand. To fully understand the interdependence of organisms, there’s no substitute for seeing it in action.”
If you worked with Elizabeth, you can share your memories and pictures here.