Our Work:  In 2013 the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Gina McCarthy, declared that the two most pressing environmental issues are climate change & the growing divide between people & nature. The former is increasingly obvious; the latter is so significant because people who are personally connected to nature make more knowledgeable & conscientious decisions regarding the environment. CEI is unique in focusing concurrently on both of these critical areas of work with a focus on community-level change.  At CEI we: 

  • have an emphasis on civic ecology practices—community-based, environmental stewardship actions taken to enhance green infrastructure, biodiversity, ecosystem services, & human well-being—to achieve socio-ecological goals.  ​
  • are curating a suite of evidence-based resources for communities (e.g., counties, cities, towns) and community-based organizations (e.g., school systems, civic groups, etc.) to effectively engage the people they represent in environmentally beneficial actions. 
  • locally demonstrate our recommended practices & create replicable, customizable resources communities can utilize to achieve their own benefits.  
    • Our Columbia Families in Nature program has served over 500 distinct & diverse families over the course of 160 free nature-based events offered since 2014. 
  • are in the process of developing complementary advisory services to help communities design comprehensive approaches to creating socio-ecologically healthy communities with an emphasis on climate change mitigation and adaptation projects.​ ​​

Mission: The Community Ecology Institute (CEI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to enhance community health and well-being by fostering diverse connections between people and the natural world. 

Vision:  Human and Natural Communities Thriving Together

Our Partners:  CEI is committed to working in collaborative partnership with other organizations.  We have a strong record of both supporting and receiving support from a variety of organizations and are deeply grateful for these partnerships.

Our BoardMembers of our Board of Directors are committed individuals who have a passion for our mission and vision and the expertise needed to work toward its achievement. We are proud to have the energy, time, and dedication from each of them. 

Fostering Healthy Communities 

through Connection with Nature