Campus naturalist receives William B. Stapp Award for environmental education

November 27, 2007

In this file photo, Dorothy McLeer works with children as part of the Urban Environmental Outreach Program.

DEARBORN / Nov. 27, 2007 --- Dorothy McLeer, program coordinator for the Environmental Interpretive Center at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, recently received the William B. Stapp Award from the Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) at the group’s annual fall conference in Roscommon, Mich.

The award recognizes an educator who “exemplifies the best in the field of environmental education,” and has made outstanding contributions to the field. Stapp, who died in 2001, was professor emeritus at U-M’s School of Natural Resources and founder of the Global Rivers Environmental Education Network (GREEN). Stapp is regarded internationally by many as the father of environmental education.

“A chance meeting with Bill and his wife, Gloria, many, many years ago is why I entered this field and wound up working with his good friend and colleague, Orin Gelderloos,” according to McLeer.

McLeer was honored for her work in educating the numerous schoolchildren who visit the EIC each year to learn about the natural world. In particular, MAEOE recognized her for her work with the Urban Environmental Outreach Program.

The program annually brings 1,300 schoolchildren from underserved schools and environmentally challenged neighborhoods in Detroit and western Wayne County to the EIC to learn more about the natural world and their own neighborhood environment. The effort is supported by a $200,000 grant from the McGregor Fund, a Detroit-based private foundation, and $75,000 from the Ford Motor Company Fund. At least 12 schools and 55 different classes each year are included in the program, which was launched in 2005 and will continue through 2008.

“Bill Stapp would be pleased to have his award honor Dorothy and the work that she does,” according to Gelderloos. “Bill was not only the lead spokesperson for hands-on environmental education, but also a champion for those who had limited access to natural environments and for getting people from diverse communities to work together to solve problems.”

 

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