Office of Environmental Education

Increasing Environmental Awareness and Understanding of Natural Systems

The Office of Environmental Education is committed to increasing the public’s understanding of natural systems and the environmental consequences of our individual and collective actions.  Environmental Education is essential to environmental sustainability.

  • The Office of Environmental Education manages a Statewide Adult Environmental Education Program that encourages North Carolina citizens to learn more about their connection to natural systems and the consequences of their individual actions.  Environmental Education is the foundation for understanding and integrating environmental sustainability into our daily lives.
  • The Office of Environmental Education provides environmental education workshops, materials and resources to state government employees and their families in order to increase employees’ awareness and understanding of ecological concepts and natural systems.  There are currently 251 DENR employees enrolled in the Environmental Education Certification Program.  Several Divisions including the Division of Parks and Recreation, the Division of Forest Resources and the NC Aquariums use the Environmental Education Certification as a criteria for hiring and promotions.

Discover Your Ecological Address

Adult Environmental Education Program


To increase public awareness and understanding of natural systems and how humans affect those systems


Develop and implement the Discover Your Ecological Address curriculum, a 5 year program reaching all 8 million citizens of North Carolina


A unique partnership between NCDENR and NCDOT helps travelers discover which river basin they live in and how our individual actions influence the water quality of the river basin in which we live and work.

River Basin Highway Signs

  • 38 Neuse River Basin Signs installed in 12 counties, 1996

  • 64 Cape Fear River Basin Signs installed in 23 counties, 1998

River Basin Boundaries on the 2000 State Transportation Map

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Environmental Sustainability Partnerships

The Office of Environmental Education has worked in partnership with several agencies to implement sustainability initiatives that increase state employees and the public’s environmental awareness. 

  • Initiatives include a partnership with the General Manager of the Sheraton Imperial Hotel at Research Triangle Park to redesign existing and implement new environmental sustainability practices into the hotel’s operations. 
  • The Office of Environmental Education worked with the Archdale Building Snack Bar and the Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance to begin sustainable practices such as providing non-disposable drink mugs and participating in a waste reduction program.  The Office of Environmental Education helped to create an educational campaign in the Snack Bar to inform employees’ that they have choices as consumers. 
  • Most recently, the Office of Environmental Education worked with several government agencies including the Department of Administration and the Department of Correction to transform surplus wooden shipping pallets from Surplus Property Office into precut boards for bluebird nest boxes, keeping waste from pallets out of landfills.  The bluebird nest boxes were included in kits for the Office of Environmental Education and International Paper partnership in the Love A Tree program which provides 6,500 environmental education kits to 195,000 elementary school students.

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Building blue bird boxes at Timber Drive Elementary School Love a Tree Program

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Archdale Building Snack Bar's
"Bring Your Own Mug - BYOM" Program
Evelyn Robertson, Snack Bar Manager
Libby Wilcox, Office of Environmental Education

State Government Employees

  • The Office of Environmental Education has implemented Environmental Education Workshops for state government employees to increase employee awareness of environmental concepts and to provide resources for learning more about environmental education programs in DENR.  The workshops focus on educating DENR employees about educational resources to teach about ecological concepts and natural systems which establishes the foundation for understanding the importance of environmental sustainability.
  • In 1999 the office held 10 Environmental Education Workshops in the DENR Library with over 120 employees attending from 15 DENR Divisions.  DENR employees representing 10 DENR programs hosted the workshops that served as an introduction to environmental education resources and programs offered throughout DENR. 
  • In conjunction with the Environmental Education Workshops the office has worked in partnership with other state agencies to create an Environmental Education Garden on the state government mall.

The office uses the Environmental Education Garden as a tool for educating DENR employees about ecological concepts and systems that set the foundation for understanding the importance of environmental sustainability.

The office promotes environmental education opportunities throughout DENR and works with Divisions to incorporate environmental education into existing programs.  DENR employees receive credits from the Environmental Education Workshops that count towards Environmental Education Certification Program.  The Office of Environmental Education encourages all DENR employees to become enrolled in the certification program.


Environmental Education is the foundation for environmental sustainability … 

There is one single action all of us can take – state agencies, business and industry, and as individual citizens.  We can all educate ourselves and our children through the environmental education programs in North Carolina.  Environmental Education programs, resources and facilities are currently available through: 

  • 150 Environmental Education Centers statewide
  • Environmental Education Certification Program for educators
  • Environmental Education Library Grants for schools, Environmental Education Centers and public libraries
  • More than 36 teacher-training workshops provided by state agencies and private organizations

It is through this sound infrastructure of environmental knowledge and understanding that we will each learn to make the personal connection understanding why our daily actions make a difference in achieving a sustainable North Carolina.  Our children will learn at an early age the tools to contribute to environmental sustainability – and adults will learn the tools to implement actions that make a real lasting contribution.

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