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Will Parish, left, founder and president of 10 Strands; and Anne Stephens, CEEF Advisory Board, present Plumas County Science Coordinator Rob Wade with the Excellence in Environmental Education Award on June 22 in Rancho Cordova. Photo submitted

Plumas County educator receives state recognition for excellence in environmental education

The California Environmental Education Foundation awarded Rob Wade, science and outdoor education coordinator for the Plumas County Office of Education, the Excellence in Environmental Education Award Thursday, June 22, in Rancho Cordova.

Wade oversees three environmental education programs for the Plumas County Office of Education and works with many community partners to support these programs, including the Feather River Land Trust, the Plumas Corporation and the U.S. Forest Service.

Each year he coordinates science classes for all of the teachers in Plumas County and provides school and field site support for teachers to take their students outdoors. He has developed a unique approach to environmental education that he calls “Outdoor Core,” using the local environment as a context for implementing the Common Core and Next Generation science standards.

He also developed the Watershed “Plumas to the Pacific” Program, where every sixth grader in the district takes a five-day field trip from the headwaters of the Feather River, tracing it through the Sacramento Delta and out through the Golden Gate.

Wade joined the Plumas County Office of Education in 1996 and has worked diligently over the years to develop the programs that exist today.

“I am proud of what two decades of constant effort and vision have led to. I am proud of every student loving where they live and caring for their Feather River homeland. Proud of all of the teachers who slowly, but surely have come to use our outdoor locale to teach. Proud of the private and public community partners who have chosen to support this place- based ambition,” said Wade upon receiving his award.

CEEF awards the Excellence in Environmental Education Awards to educators who have demonstrated excellence in the integration of environmental education into California classrooms. CEEF is a nonprofit foundation established in 2013 at the recommendation of a special California Department of Education task force on environmental education. Its mission is to promote environmental literacy and stewardship by identifying and coordinating efforts that support the highest standards of practice and by increasing the flow of focused resources to those efforts.

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