About NEEF

The National Environmental Education Act of 1990 established the National Environmental Education and Training Foundation, operating as the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), as an independent non-profit organization complementary to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), extending its ability to foster environmental education for all ages and in all segments of the American public.

The NEEF Board of Directors is appointed by the EPA Administrator. NEEF's charter also allows for ex-officio board representation from other federal agencies with an interest in and/or experience in environmental education and training. The Act allows for NEEF to receive private funds to match public funds for environmental education efforts at the EPA.

Our Purpose

To secure a safer and healthier world for ourselves, our children, and for generations to come.

Our Vision

By 2022, 300 million Americans actively use environmental knowledge to ensure the wellbeing of the earth and its people.

Our Mission

Make the environment ever-present in the daily lives of Americans by delivering practical, accessible information they can use through the sources they know and trust.

To accomplish our vision, NEEF seeks to reach mainstream Americans who are receptive to environmental knowledge but only somewhat engaged. Our aim is to reach people where they are and inspire them to learn about their relationship to the environment and, in turn, increase their environmental engagement. With increased environmental involvement of individuals on a national scale, their actions, taken collectively, will have a tremendous environmental impact—and help bring about a cultural shift in attitudes and behaviors.

Our Connectors

Nature, weather, and health are gateways for increasing people’s understanding of how the environment impacts their lives. For example, 85% of Americans are very concerned about their personal health and the health of their family. And, 66% of Americans are in awe of the power of nature. 

Our Work

NEEF is reaching Americans where the environment intersects daily life:

Connecting People to Nature

  • National Public Lands Day: The nation’s largest single‐day volunteer effort for public lands, taking place this year on Saturday, September 22, 2018.
  • Rx for Outdoor Activity: NEEF trains health care providers to prescribe active time in nature to help prevent serious conditions like obesity and diabetes.

Engaging People Every Day

  • Engagement Campaigns: NEEF partners with sports leagues (such as the NBA and the NHL), museums, zoos, and aquaria to prompt fans and visitors to take environmental actions at home. These campaigns are grounded in behavioral science, engage Americans in "learning by doing," and demonstrate that collective actions can create large-scale impacts.
  • NEEF Weekly: Environmental and climate facts and tips for weathercasters and the public in English and Spanish.
  • SunWise: Delivering sun safety education and materials to our nation’s educators and the public.
  • Asthma: NEEF works with health care professionals to inform the public about environmental triggers and management of asthma.

Advancing the Field

  • Employee Engagement: NEEF convenes corporate thought leaders to assess best practices, conduct sustainability surveys, and create tools to measure the return on investment of engaging employees in environmental education and behaviors.
  • Grant making: NEEF offers a variety of grants and awards. In 2017, we provided nearly $600,000 to educational (both formal and informal) and public land partners across the country. Our longest running grant program builds the capacity and outreach of local nonprofit organizations to engage their communities with public lands.
  • Literacy Report: NEEF partnered with the U.S. Forest Service to publish Environmental Literacy in the United States: An Agenda for Leadership in the 21st Century.
  • Online Courses: In collaboration with Udemy, NEEF develops free, online courses to promote understanding about the relationships between extreme weather, climate, health, and the environment.

Preparing the Next Generation

  • Hands on the Land: The nation’s largest network of field classrooms on public lands.
  • Greening STEM: The outdoors facilitate real-world, project-based STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) learning. Our online Greening STEM Learning Center provides free materials and educator toolkits tied to standards.
  • National Environmental Education Week: A weeklong, nationwide celebration of environmental education, which took place April 23-29, 2018 this year.
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