History and Key Achievements
The Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education (ANJEE) is a private, non-profit, 501(c)(3) association, whose founding mission was to create, through education, an awareness, understanding and a concern for the quality of the environment and a conviction that human well-being is dependent upon a healthy environment.
ANJEE was founded in 1985, and incorporated in 1986, as a public/private partnership made up of representatives of governmental agencies, business and industry, colleges and universities, schools and school districts and other non-profit organizations with an interest in supporting environmental education. ANJEE has served as New Jersey's professional conservation or environmental association and advocate organization for the field of environmental education, working with a diverse group of educators to advance environmental education. Serving a wide variety of audiences including public agencies, teachers, naturalists, researchers, conservationists, outdoor educators, scientists, resource and environmental managers, environmentalists, foundations, corporations, and others who care about how education and engagement can help create a more environmentally informed, literate, committed, and active citizenry.
ANJEE is an organization whose purpose is to provide a structure for its members which facilitates the improvement of environmental education efforts. It is a neutral and objective source of information related to environmental education in New Jersey, and a voice for EE’s important role in the balance between societal needs and environmental quality. Its headquarters were established at the Scherman-Hoffmann Sanctuary in Bernardsville, part of the New Jersey Audubon Society, where it still resides today. ANJEE was established by volunteers and continues to be administered primarily by volunteers.
“It was a warm evening in April of 1985. Twenty environmental educators from around the state were in a basement room of the New Jersey Audubon center in Bernardsville. All agreed that as individuals they were doing a pretty decent job in classrooms, nature centers, zoos, museums, parks and camps, but on the whole, environmental education was still regarded as a minor issue and making very little impact on the behaviors of New Jersey citizens.
They wondered...What if we set up a system for networking the formal classroom teachers with the non-formal educators? What if we had special annual environmental education conferences where we could gather and share ideas through workshops and panel discussions? What if we worked together on some common goals for strengthening the impact of environmental education in New Jersey? What then? Would it make a difference?
That was the acorn planted in the spring of ’85 and the tree that sprouted was the Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education.”
Source: The Roots of the ANJEE Tree. *Pat Kane, President, ANJEE Annual Report, 1989-90. *Patricia (Pat) Kane was ANJEE's founder and volunteer Executive Director for several years.
Within the first two years ANJEE members adopted a constitution, elected officers, committee chairs and an advisory council, established an operating budget, held its first annual conference, and began the business of advancing environmental education in New Jersey.