Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education
15260 S. Golden Road
Golden, CO 80401
Ph. 303-273-9527
Fax 303-273-5780 



For Immediate Release

January 10, 2012 

Effective and Inclusive Colorado Programs Receive Awards for
Excellence in Environmental Education

The Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education (CAEE) is recognizing effective and inclusive environmental education programs and individuals who are setting a new standard for learning in their communities.  Nine organizations and 2 individuals are being acknowledged for their outstanding work in helping learners, in formal and non-formal settings, understand their role in the environment with an Award for Excellence in Environmental Education.  The recipients of the 2011 Awards for Excellence in Environmental Education will be honored at an evening banquet hosted by CAEE on March 2, 2012, at the Denver Renaissance Hotel. 

Each year an individual receives the Enos Mills Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding, individual, long-term accomplishments in environmental education.  This award is named in honor of Enos Mills, whose writings, photography and passion for education and environmental protection are largely responsible for the establishment of Rocky Mountain National Park.  This year, Marcella Wells of Wells Resources, Inc. in Fort Collins, Colorado, is receiving this prestigious award.  During her academic role as assistant professor at Colorado State University, Marcella created the first environmental education course at the university and purposefully shared her planning, coaching and evaluation tools with countless students and professionals inspiring everyone who works with her to improve personal skills and plan for success on a program-wide scale.  In recent years, Marcella has been lending her expertise as a private consultant to over 50 projects with nearly 3 dozen clients.  She has worked with numerous national, state and local parks; natural areas; open spaces; as well as a variety of programs assisting them in planning education and/or to exploring its impacts.  In all her work, Marcella is always an advocate for learners. 

Nine unique organizations from across Colorado are being honored for leadership in developing inclusive, effective, cooperative and cross-sector environmental education programs.  The award recipients represent a wide array of innovative and needs-based educational programs reaching out to a diversity of audiences, often through compelling partnerships, to increase environmental and conservation awareness among their participants.  The environmental education program award recipients for 2011 include these successful and inspirational programs:  

Best New Program Award
The Greenway River Ranger Program, The Greenway Foundation, Denver, CO

Agriculture Award
Farmhands Education Program, Guidestone, Salida, CO

Citizen/Community Award
Denver Youth Naturally, Environmental Learning for Kids, Denver, CO

Government Award
Girl Scout Water Badge Day; Aurora Parks, Recreation and Open Space; Aurora, CO

Nonprofit Awards

The Bioregion in Your Backyard, Yampatika, Steamboat Springs, CO
Wings of Wonder, Wild Wings Environmental Education, Centennial, CO 

PreK-Elementary Education Award
Discover the Wetlands; El Paso County Parks, Fountain Creek Nature Center; Fountain, CO 

Secondary Education Awards

Earth Task Force, Cottonwood Institute, Denver, CO
Estes Valley Environmental Studies Science & Research Program, Park School District R-3, Estes Park, CO 

The CAEE Board of Directors will honor Dean Winstanley with the 2011 President’s Award in recognition of his exceptional leadership and ongoing support for environmental education during his 20-year career with Colorado State Parks. 

Katie Navin, CAEE Executive Director, said “The environment is where we live and the decisions we make about the environment impact our economy, our communities and our homes. All across the state, from Steamboat to Denver, these inclusive and innovative environmental educators and programs are helping create informed and responsible decision makers.”

All recipients will be showcased at CAEE’s Fourteenth Annual Awards Celebration being held on Friday, March 2, 2012, at 6:00 p.m. at the Renaissance Denver Hotel.  The banquet is open to the public, but tickets must be purchased by February 24, 2012.  For information and tickets, please contact CAEE at 303-273-9527 or visit

CAEE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and supporting quality and inclusive environmental education by facilitating communication, coordination and professional development among the varied environmental education programs in the state.  A comprehensive electronic information clearinghouse and resource directory for environmental education is available on the organization's web site,