Sonja Macys selected for national environmental education panel |

Sonja Macys selected for national environmental education panel

Teresa Ristow
Sonja Macys

— Yampatika leader Sonja Macys has been selected to join a national panel to advance the advocacy agenda for environmental education.

The North American Association of Environmental Education’s panel titled “Thought Leaders Working Group on Environmental Education Advocacy” will support the development of a national and state level advocacy agenda for 2015 and beyond, according to a release from Yampatika and the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education.

The panel is scheduled to meet June 15 in Washington, D.C.

“I think this meeting is the first step to setting a course for nationally advancing environmental literacy,” Macys said.

Macys said she’s been participating in a NAAEE advocacy committee for four or five years and has co-presented on environmental education with other committee members in the past, steps that likely led to her being tapped for the new panel.

“This is a very prestigious opportunity for Yampatika to be invited to participate,” Yampatika President Shari Fryer said in a release. “It speaks to the growth and recognition of Yampatika’s environmental education outreach, achieved under the leadership of our executive director, Sonja Macys.”

Macys said she’s hopeful the panel will work toward a goal of pulling together like-minded environmental organizations interested in education to create a national agenda for environmental education.

“We hope to identify the roles and responsibilities for each of us in addition to identifying the gaps and developing plans to address those gaps with other organizations, networks, leaders and audiences,” said Macys, who has served as executive director of Yampatika since 2008.

Established in 1992, nonprofit Yampatika works to inspire environmental stewardship through education. Yampatika programs reach kindergarten through fifth-grade students in all Routt County schools.

“Routt County has been a real leader in (environmental education), specifically, in helping to build a localized sense of connection to the bigger picture,” Kate Navin, executive director of the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education, said in a release. “Given Yampatika’s award-winning environmental literacy program has grown to such a level that (it) is now offered in 100 percent of elementary schools in Routt County, it is no surprise that Yampatika has been selected to join this national panel.”

More information about the NAAEE and the organization’s efforts to advance environmental education can be found on its website at

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

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