FoundationS of 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 and the growing divide between people and nature. The former is increasingly obvious; the latter is so significant because people who are personally connected to nature make more informed and conscientious decisions regarding the environment. CEI focuses concurrently on both of these critical areas of work with an emphasis on community-level change. Our devotion to connecting people with nature is based on extensive research showing that the people who take active care of the environment: spend meaningful time in nature, have had role models for environmental stewardship, and have participated in an organization that provide the opportunity to have a direct positive impact on the environment. At CEI we:
- Locally demonstrate research-based best practices in Howard County, Maryland. We have an emphasis on civic ecology practices—community-based, environmental stewardship actions that simultaneously achieve social and ecological goals.
- Develop 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 nature-based opportunities to enhance community well-being.
- Provide 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.
OUr areas of work
We create engaging opportunities for people to develop meaningful connections with nearby nature to enhance personal, social, and ecological well-being.
We design community-based projects that benefit the local environment while helping people develop competence and confidence around caring for the world.
We foster awareness and opportunity around the direct relationship between ecosystem health and human health; when the environment is healthier, people are too.
We help communities harness local opportunities to become more resilient to the effects of climate change and to act strategically to reduce our climate impacts.