The National Environmental Education & Training Foundation (NEETF)
The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) provides knowledge to trusted professionals who, with their credibility, amplify messages to national audiences to solve everyday environmental problems. Together, we generate lasting positive change.
By 2022, 300 million Americans actively use environmental knowledge to ensure the wellbeing of the earth and its people.
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.
Environmental challenges facing the world today are increasingly complex. NEEF embraces the idea that environmental issues can only be solved if allAmericans understand how they play a role in addressing these 21st century problems and experience the benefits from doing so first-hand. It is our experience that most people want to do the right thing. Far too often they have not been included in environmental conversations or do not have access to relevant environmental knowledge. NEEF's aim is to reach Americans where they are with messages that resonate with them, in the context of everyday life.
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. Thus, our commitment to offer Knowledge to Live By to 300 million Americans by 2022.
Nature, weather + climate, and health create the strongest connections for people to understand how the environment impacts their lives. For example, extreme weather and climate change are the environmental topics that adults are most likely to hear about, and 60% of people keep up with news about how the environment impacts their health.
To accomplish our vision, NEEF seeks to reach mainstream Americans who are receptive to environmental knowledge but only somewhat engaged. We reach beyond traditional constituencies and create strong connections with Americans of all backgrounds and experiences. We offer programs that help people understand their relationship to the environment and, in turn, increase their environmental engagement.
Partners are core to achieving our vision. We work with people and organizations others trust and look up to, from the health care provider to the mom leading the PTA. Our partners represent large constituencies and come from government agencies, nonprofits, associations, and corporations.
Our programs are geared for people of all ages. We implement broad public awareness and engagement campaigns, which showcase how simple everyday actions based on sound environmental knowledge can lead to huge impacts. We base our campaigns on social and behavioral science research and measure our success through periodic national surveys. We also, through our Program Services Unit, implement model programs that demonstrate the value of environmental education, such as Greening STEM or connecting young people to nature through our Rx for Outdoor Activity initiative. Program Services delivers our major national events: National Public Lands Day and National Environmental Education Week. Our Research and Best Practices Unit pilots projects to test the potential for environmental education for new audiences that include businesses, weathercasters, and the Latino community. NEEF also offers a wide range of grants and awards, with a proven capacity in re-granting for foundations, corporations and federal agencies. All of our work is done with partners, who are essential to achieving our vision.