The Nature Conservancy’s LEAF Creates Education Network

The Nature Conservancy, together with the Ecological Society of America, is launching the first-ever national network for environmentally themed high schools

NEW YORK, NY | September 13, 2010

The Nature Conservancy, together with the Ecological Society of America, is launching the first-ever national network for environmentally themed high schools.

This unique alliance will help break down socioeconomic boundaries that exist in conservation by sharing proven best practices and cutting-edge scientific resources among member schools. The Conservancy’s Leaders in Environmental Action for The Future (LEAF) Program will also offer students and teachers the opportunity to address common interests through online forums and professional development workshops.

LEAF, made possible through leading support from the Toyota USA Foundation, will provide access to the scientific resources of The Nature Conservancy and The Ecological Society of America; opportunities for peer mentoring and support networks amongst educators; and peer review of existing high school environmental curriculum by leading scientists in the field.

“The Nature Conservancy is committed to supporting the schools and educators who are spearheading a new movement of environmentally-themed high schools across the country,” said Brigitte Griswold, Director of Youth Programs, The Nature Conservancy. “As the green jobs sector continues to grow, it’s increasingly important that conservation groups become actively engaged in empowering the next generation of environmental educators and their students – who will be the green leaders of tomorrow.”

LEAF's environmental high school partners work to ensure students are engaged in environmental lessons and activities throughout the school year. The program helps students apply The Nature Conservancy's science-based approach and appreciation for natural areas to what they learn in the classroom. The experiential approach provides students with both a context for their environmental studies, as well as a web of mentors, alumni, and peers that is fundamental to successful youth development programs. Partner high schools currently include The High School for Environmental Studies, The Academy for Environmental Leadership, The Academy of Urban Planning, The New York Harbor School, The Brooklyn Academy of Science and the Environment, The Sound School Regional Vocational Aquaculture Center, Common Ground, the Academy of Conservation and the Environment, and The Green School, with more slated to join throughout the academic year.

Aimed at improving environmental literacy and engaging urban youth with nature, LEAF provides paid summer internships for high school students coupled with enriched environmental curriculum in high school classrooms. LEAF is made possible by The Nature Conservancy and leading support from the Toyota USA Foundation. The long term goal of LEAF is to support more than 30 environmental high schools across the country, ultimately serving over 20,000 students

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The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at

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Shawna Seldon
The Rosen Group
(212) 255-7541

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