Innovative Environmental Education Program Award

Recognizes outstanding and innovative EE programs, projects, curriculum, etc. in both formal and nonformal settings. Successful new programs can apply. Self-nominations or peer nominations are accepted.

  • Nonformal programs can be implemented by non-profits, parks, agencies, community groups, zoos, museums, families, etc. 
  • Formal programs can be implemented by teachers, administrators, schools, student groups, districts, higher education, etc.  Please note that formal programs should be mainly implemented by schools/formal education entities.  An associated nonformal organization can be listed as a partner.

Nomination Criteria

Outstanding Leadership, Quality & Effectiveness: Program serves as a model for demonstrating outstanding action, contribution and leadership in environmental education and/or literacy. Program models exemplary quality and effective EE.

Innovative Approach: Program approach is innovative, unique, creative, inclusive, relevant and action oriented. The program will inspire others to adopt their innovative approaches.

Impact: The program's contributions and impact on its audience/community is noteworthy and the program can demonstrate evidence of impact. Nominee’s work could be replicated by others.

Commitment to Environmental Education: The program is future-minded and committed to continuing and expanding its work to advance environmental education and/or literacy.

Click here for the awards criteria scoring form used by reviewers

Nomination Materials

Step 1: Online Nomination Form

Complete and Submit Online 

(click here to preview the form)

Step 2: Nomination Narrative

Please submit a Word document via email (no PDF) that is no longer than 2 pages with 11 point font that includes the following items. These are specific instructions for the Innovative Environmental Education Program Award category. In the top right corner of each page, please type the following: Your Program Name (please keep this short)-Your award category (i.e. Nonformal Program Award or Formal Program Award).  Address each of the following items and include specific examples.  

  • How does the program model quality, effective and inclusive EE that is impactful and demonstrates results?
  • How has the program demonstrated innovation and creativity in EE?
  • How has the audience/learners/community benefited from the program? What impact has the program had on other's understanding of environmental issues, stewardship, conservation and/or outdoor leadership?

Step 3: Program Photographs

Please submit three high-resolution photographs depicting the program (required). 300 dpi or higher- JPEG, GIF, PNG format). Images embedded in a PDF or Word document will not be accepted.

Step 4: Organization Logo

Submit a high resolution logo for your organization and equal partners (if applicable) (required). (300 dpi or higher- JPEG, GIF, PNG format).  Images embedded in a PDF or Word document will not be accepted. If you have an equal partner organization, an organizational partner that has equally been involved with program implementation and should be included in award recognition, please send their logo as well. 

Step 5: Digital Support (Optional)

Provide one of the following: a 3-minute video/audio clip, 5 PowerPoint slides (please save as a PDF and send), an article, OR a digital slideshow with no more than 10 photos highlighting the program. Digital item is supplemental and should NOT be a substitute for required nomination information. (encouraged, but not required)

Due to the size of photos, logos and digital support, please share these items through a file sharing program such as Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. in the case that the file size is larger than 10MB. Sharing settings should be set to allow CAEE to share materials with reviewers.

Submitting Your Nomination


The nomination will be evaluated on the information you provide and its completeness, legibility, and clarity.

In the email subject line, please type your program name and the award you are nominating for. 
Please name each material with your information as follows: Your Program Name (please keep this short)-Your award category (i.e. Nonformal Program Award or Formal Program Award)-Material Type (materials type examples: Narrative; Photo 1; Logo, Digital Support, etc.)

Photo Release: Any photos or other digital media submitted may be edited, copied, published, and distributed in CAEE communications and publications. Therefore you should have photo releases on file for any children pictured and permission to share those photos.