Greening of Detroit uses education to spread environmental awareness


Two missions collide! The Greening of Detroit, this quarter’s Natural World beneficiary, integrates two of Foundation Beyond Belief’s goals: promotion of environmentalism and education. They have several programs aimed toward environmental education, an extremely important objective for any environmental organization. A firm public understanding of the natural world is instrumental to our society’s progress, and educating future citizens on these topics in early years is important to effect the change that we wish to see in environmental practices.

Recently, The Greening has been selected by the Detroit Public Schools’ Office of School Nutrition to further develop and manage the Detroit School Garden Collaborative, which is made up of 51 participating schools. The students aid in farming fruits and vegetables, which are used in the school’s cafeterias, making the source of produce more local and sustainable. During the gardening experience, The Greening is providing garden support and “incorporating components of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) with outdoor lessons.” While inside the classroom, the organization is providing nutrition education curriculum, in-class support, and teacher training.

Additionally, the LAND (Learn, Admire, Nurture, Dream) and Camp Greening programs allow children growing up in an urban setting to learn about and experience the natural world—many of these children have not had the opportunity to experience the great outdoors. They compose a classroom curriculum, guide hands-on outdoor field trips, and conduct a mobile nature camp for children, all in order to enhance the students’ connections with nature and the environment.

Incorporating this environmental education approach is of utmost importance to everyone’s future. If an appreciation for the natural world and its connections to humanity’s resources is not established at a young age, then it is likely that it may never be established, which could lead to ecophobia.