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Kansas City environmental education network: Strategic analysis and recommendations

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Kansas City Environmental Education Network
Strategic Analysis and Recommendations
BY
Copyright 2010
Holly E. Gibson
Submitted to the graduate degree program in the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass
Communications and the Graduate Faculty of the University of Kansas in partial
fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science
Chairperson: James K. Gentry
Signature: __________________________
Committee Member: Kelly Crane
Signature: __________________________
Committee Member: Tom Volek
Signature: __________________________
Date Defended: April 19, 2010
UMI Number: 1479310
All rights reserved
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a note will indicate the deletion.
UMI 1479310
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of the following thesis:
KANSAS CITY ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION NETWORK
Strategic Analysis and Recommendations
Committee:
______________________
Chairperson*
______________________
______________________
______________________
April 19, 2010
Date approved: ________________
KANSAS CITY ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION NETWORK
Strategic Analysis and Recommendations
Holly Gibson
University of Kansas
April 19, 2010
Photo credit: NASA, Apollo 8, 1968.
Submitted to the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass
Communications and the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Kansas
in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master’s of Science.
Copyright 2010
Holly Elaine Gibson
1
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I want to first and foremost thank Matt Riggs, Joan Leavens and all of the wonderful,
smart and talented people who make up Kansas City Environmental Education
Network. Your unfailing dedication to making the lives of everyone in Kansas City
better is a daily inspiration. The community is fortunate to have all of you as a
resource. I thank you for answering all of my questions and giving me a view into
your challenges and opportunities.
Thanks also to my tireless advisor, Kelly Crane, who read many versions of this and
provided constant encouragement. Thanks also to Annette Spates for telling me I
could do this, James Gentry for making this possible and Tom Voleck for challenging
graduate students to do great things.
Lastly, thanks to my mother, Helen Lee Gibson, who proofread several versions. As a
child, I did not appreciate having a mother who majored in English and got a law
degree. Her expertise on this project was invaluable. Finally she has my appreciation
in writing.
2
ABSTRACT
The Kansas City Environmental Education Network (KCEEN) is housed within the
Mid-America Regional Council (MARC). Its goal is to serve as a network within the
nine-county Kansas City metro area serving pre-K through 12 educators. KCEEN’s
original vision was the outcome of a roundtable in 2003. Now, KCEEN is
approaching the need to envision its next phase. This marketing plan is designed to:

Review and analyze the current situation in environmental educational
communications nationwide with an emphasis on the sustainable school
model.

Review and analyze the current internal services, partnerships and
communications at KCEEN.

Create a SWOT analysis on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and
threats to KCEEN.

Provide marketing recommendations that give obtainable objectives,
strategies and tactics for KCEEN.
This marketing plan that will take KCEEN into its next phase—the phase in which
KCEEN moves towards the goal of sustainable education.
3
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ..........................................................................................2
ABSTRACT ...................................................................................................................3
TABLE OF CONTENTS...............................................................................................4
SITUATION ANALYSIS .............................................................................................6
EXTERNAL REVIEW ....................................................................................................... 10
Research overview............................................................................................................ 10
An Environmental Wake-Up Call .............................................................................. 12
Environmental Activism ............................................................................................. 13
A Common Future ................................................................................................16
The Move to Sustainability ........................................................................................ 17
Sustainability in Schools ................................................................................................. 19
Oregon ........................................................................................................................... 20
Vermont ......................................................................................................................... 21
INTERNAL REVIEW......................................................................................................... 24
KCEEN Review ................................................................................................................. 24
A Little History............................................................................................................. 24
Organization & Locations ........................................................................................... 26
Revenues ....................................................................................................................... 27
Customer Philosophy ................................................................................................... 27
Mission Statement ....................................................................................................... 29
Short- and Long-Term Goals ..................................................................................... 29
Product and Service Review ........................................................................................... 30
Current Services ........................................................................................................... 30
Distribution Strategies ................................................................................................. 34
4
Communications Review ................................................................................................. 34
Communications Objectives and Strategies ............................................................. 35
Marketing Communications Tactics .......................................................................... 35
Marketing Metrics ........................................................................................................ 36
Brand Strategy .............................................................................................................. 37
SWOT ANALYSIS
.......................................................................................................... 38
Strengths ............................................................................................................................ 38
Weaknesses ........................................................................................................................ 39
Opportunities ..................................................................................................................... 41
Threats ............................................................................................................................... 42
STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATIONS ........................................................................... 44
Objectives .......................................................................................................................... 44
Strategies ........................................................................................................................... 44
Tactics ................................................................................................................................ 44
JUSTIFICATIONS FOR STRATEGIES AND TACTICS ............................................ 53
REFERENCES .................................................................................................................... 55
5
SITUATION ANALYSIS
The Kansas City Environmental Education Network (KCEEN) is a network within
the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) Solid Waste Management District. Its
goal is to improve and expand environmental education throughout the Kansas City
metro area. It arose from a need to create more formal information and opportunity
sharing among the organizations in the Kansas City metro area serving environmental
education needs. Its creation was in keeping with the overall MARC philosophy.1
―Some issues reach across the boundaries of individual communities. Often they can
only be addressed by working together,‖ the MARC site explained. ―The MidAmerica Regional Council promotes regional cooperation and develops innovative
solutions. We help create a community people are proud to call home.‖2
MARC focuses its regional agenda on:

Enhanced response by helping cities in the region coordinate and meet needs.

Concerned communities by working with schools, social services agencies
and health organizations.

Efficient transportation by working on how people move through the cities on
cars, planes, trains, bicycles and on foot.

Healthy environment by examining the impacts of air quality, solid waste,
green space and environmental education.

Effective government through working with area governments and
governmental officials to provide training and cooperation.3
6
KCEEN fits into the MARC agenda by working across the governmental and private
organizations toward a more environmentally aware metro region. Today, KCEEN
encompasses thirteen planning committee members meet monthly. It is approaching a
crossroads in which KCEEN has created a strong network among its planning
committee members and achieved its initial awareness goals but needs to focus on the
next stage of its development.
KCEEN is primarily an information source and facilitator for educators who need or
want to include environmental information in their teaching or programming. To
achieve this goal, KCEEN provides the following resources, events and partnerships:

Environmental Education Resource Guide.

KCEEN Brochure.

Presence on MARC Web site.

TESA, a teaching award.

Environmental Education Provider Networking Event.

Teacher Appreciation Day.

Teacher Resource Day

GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment)
program.

Grant Writing Workshop.4
7
KCEEN operates under the umbrella of MARC and is a project of the MARC Solid
Waste Management District. It operates on an annual budget of approximately
$3,000. Matt Riggs, the MARC Solid Waste Management District outreach
coordinator, leads and coordinates the group’s efforts, working with members who
volunteer their time to attend monthly meetings and implement projects.5 KCEEN
gives the annual Teaching Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA), the annual
environmental educator award. One of the challenges to maintaining a cohesive
network is that each member has different fundraising and programming needs. In
these difficult economic times, member organizations compete for limited funding
and face increasing needs. The close working relationship of these groups despite
these challenges is a tribute to the dedication and leadership of the volunteer
members. It is also one of KCEEN’s key strengths.6 Almost all of the organizations
would benefit from larger economic support to achieve their programming requests.
The bi-state nature of KCEEN is not only what makes it uniquely beneficial to the
region but also creates challenges. One of the reasons MARC makes so much sense in
the Kansas City area is that the metro area uses so many resources that do not stop at
state lines. Having a body that negotiates researches, administers and recommends
programs and policies that benefit all city and county partners can short-circuit statebased arguments. For example, the Blue River flows through both Kansas and
Missouri, offering recreation and environmental habitat that benefit both states.
Keeping the area environmentally viable must be a priority on both sides of the state
8
line because one affects the other. Other areas of the country have adopted the
regional approach. Tahoe Area Regional Planning (TARP) in the Lake Tahoe area is
an example.
One of the challenges of a bi-state organization is that there are constant obstacles to
funding initiatives. MARC is funded by federal, state and private grants as well as
contributions and earned income. Sometimes one state more heavily funds some areas
and sometimes funds must be tracked based on state expenditure. One of the critical
needs for KCEEN going to the next phase will be to secure base funding for a fulltime staff person and basic communication functions.
The goal of this project is to give KCEEN a marketing plan it can use to help the
organization through the next two years as it moves from its initial founding goals
into the next phase. The External Review will provide a historic overview of
environmental education in the country, focusing on trends. The Internal Review will
outline the history of KCEEN, its current offerings and communications strategies.
The SWOT analysis will evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
facing KCEEN. Finally, the Strategic Recommendations will present the plan based
on the findings.
9
I.
EXTERNAL REVIEW
The creation of KCEEN was a forward-thinking move by MARC in
recognizing the direction environmental issues would move within the United
States and the world. When KCEEN began, the country was just starting to
see growing evidence that the world needed to move from consumption to
sustainability. It was fortuitous that KCEEN was able to draw upon
experience and learnings knowledge from Kansas City area organizations and
communities that have been on the leading edge of environmental
sustainability education.

Research Overview
The environmental movement is the most popular movement in America,
according to David Walls, professor emeritus at Sonoma State University.
He has studied the environmental movement for almost 40 years, and has
documented the transformation from the youth-driven movement that
brought about the first Earth Day in 1970 to a worldwide recognition of
global warming and the need for sustainable development that crosses
global and socioeconomic lines.7
The first environmentalists began speaking out at the turn of the 20th
century. The industrial revolution had allowed humans to make use of a
10
wealth of land and resources as never before. The early environmentalists
feared humans might deplete the Earth’s resources. They generally
favored either the pragmatic approach or the preservationist belief system.
Gifford Pinchot, the first head of the U.S. Forest Service, viewed public
lands as a resource that needed to be well-managed for the good of the
public. The pragmatic viewpoint was exemplified by the organizations
created by the New Deal in the 1940s—The Tennessee Valley Authority,
the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Reclamation. The National
Wildlife Federation, which was founded in 1935, also followed this
philosophy. 8
The father of the preservationist movement, John Muir, was a romantic
who thought nature needed to be ―saved‖ from people who would exploit
or destroy it. Muir was one of the organizers of the Sierra Club, which
began in 1892. The National Audubon Society, started in 1905, the
Wilderness Society, founded in 1935, and the National Parks (now
Conservation) Association, begun in 1919, all had preservation traditions.
These burgeoning organizations worked with the more pragmatic
government and private groups on the task of setting aside land in a
growing America while encouraging people to enjoy the outdoors. 9
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) represented one of America’s
best ideas. In March of 1933, almost 25 percent of the US population was
11
out of work. The country’s national parks and public lands had fallen into
disrepair, needed help with maintenance and erosion control. The CCC
became the solution to both problems, and more than three million men
went to work for the government earning wage to support themselves and
their families while helping to preserve America’s open spaces. ―The CCC
is recognized as the single greatest conservation program in America and
it served as a catalyst to develop the very tenets of modern conservation,‖
according to the Civilian Conservation Corps Legacy Web site.10 In his
documentary, ―The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,‖ filmmaker Ken
Burns tells how the men who built and renovated the stone walls, fire
towers, roads and projects in the National Parks would often returned with
their families after they had moved on with their lives. What began as a
way to give men jobs ended up building generations of pride in America’s
open lands.11
An Environmental Wake-Up Call.
The economic prosperity that came in the post-World War II era brought
with it rapid growth in manufacturing and chemical use. The advances
from wartime quickly became commercialized for peacetime with little
thought to the long-term implications. ―Silent Spring,‖ a book written by
Rachael Carson in 1962, was the seminal environmental wake-up call.12 A
12
wildlife biologist, Carlson wrote hauntingly of the destruction of wildlife
and nature being brought about by rapid industrial expansion and
chemicals such as DDT.13 ―I truly believe we in this generation must come
to terms with nature, and I think we are challenged as mankind has never
been challenged before to prove our maturity and mastery, not of nature
but of ourselves,‖ Carson told investigative reporter Eric Sevareid in a
CBS special on ―Silent Spring‖ that aired in 1963.14
Carson was the first to evoke the ―fear factor‖ in calling for attention to
the environment. Her passionate call was echoed a year later by Stewart
Udall’s more pragmatic book, ―The Quiet Crisis.‖15 Udall was a former
Congressman and Secretary of the Interior for Presidents John Kennedy
and Lyndon Johnson, and his book set forth the challenge to preserve
outdoor spaces.16
Environmental Activism
The New Left of the 1960s embraced both the anti-Vietnam protest as well
as the environmental movement. Youth was at the heart of both
movements, although the environment had its supporters across the
demographic spectrum. Earth Day, which began in 1970, was to be the
bridge across the generations to a peaceful expression of the importance of
the Earth and preserving it.
13
The environmental movement became home to both the mainstream as
well as the New Left. This was the emotional legacy of ―Silent Spring.‖ It
inspired pride in the abundance of the United States–a pride which went to
the heart of what it meant to be an American.
Radical thinkers, such as Paul R. Ehrlich, wrote The Population Bomb,
which was published in 1971. He predicted that worldwide famine and
pollution would overcome the world by the 1990s.17 The publication of
nature writer Edward Abbey’s book, ―The Monkey Wrench Gang,‖ in
1978 inspired a new breed of ―eco-terrorists.‖ Environmental Life Force
(ELF), a precursor to the Earth Liberation Front, became the first ―ecoterrorism‖ group.18 Dave Foreman, then an employee of the Wilderness
Society, decided there should be a more radical side to the traditional
environmental groups. That resulted in the founding of Earth First! ―We
thought it would have been useful to have a group to take a tougher
position than the Sierra Club and the Wilderness Society,‖ Foreman said
in Smithsonian Magazine in April 1990. ―It could be sort of secretly
controlled by the mainstream and trotted out at hearings to make the Sierra
Club or Wilderness Society look moderate.‖19
14
Developing parallel to the radical side of the environmental movement
was a more intellectual faction. As Foreman said looking back, there was a
need to have people see the reasonable, practical and realistic face of the
environmental movement for long-term success. One of the most
recognized authors was Barry Commoner. Commoner, a Harvardeducated professor at Washington University, wrote what became one of
the most quoted works on ecology, ―The Closing Circle: Nature, Man, and
Technology.‖ It advocated four key principles:
•
Everything is connected to everything else.
•
Everything must go somewhere.
•
Nature knows best.
•
There is no such thing as a free lunch.
In his day, Commoner was lauded for his writings but also criticized for
their simplicity. Yet, this was the foundation of what was to become
sustainability. ―Everything is connected to everything else,‖ he wrote.
When policy makers see that food, energy, transportation, education, jobs,
housing and social harmony are all intertwined, then we can make the
world a better place for everyone.‖20
15
A Common Future
It has been said that people around the world were first inspired to save the
environment when they saw the Earth from space. In 1968, Apollo 8 sent
back the now-famous ―Earth Rise‖ photo taken against the background of
a bare lunar surface. ―From space, we see a small and fragile ball
dominated not by human activity and edifice but by a pattern of clouds,
oceans, greenery, and soils,‖ stated The Brundtland Report to the United
Nations in June 1987. ―Humanity's inability to fit its activities into that
pattern is changing planetary systems, fundamentally. Many such changes
are accompanied by life-threatening hazards. This new reality, from which
there is no escape, must be recognized—and managed.‖21
The 400-plus page Brundtland Report espoused the view that ―it is
impossible to separate economic development issues from environment
issues.‖ It crystallized the debate that had raged for decades about the
interconnection of global poverty, the burning of fossil fuels by developed
countries and the rapid development of the third world. Global warming
was called out as an issue that needed global attention. The Brundtland
Report did not seek to dictate, but rather to call for worldwide dialog that
would result in cooperation to save the planet.22
16
At the twentieth Earth Day celebration in 1990, the environment was one
of the most popular causes, according to Walls. The challenge to the
Western world was becoming what sacrifices people would be willing to
make to be more sustainable.23 The U.N. Conference on Environment and
Development (UNCED) conducted what was known as the Earth Summit
in June 1992 in Rio de Janeiro. It brought to a head the growing tensions
between the world’s economic powers and the developing world. The
U.N. had worked for several years with leading scientists to investigate the
issues in global sustainability. The result became known as Agenda 21.
―Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally,
nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System,
Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on
the environment.‖24
The Move to Sustainability
Agenda 21 slowly became a rallying cry for environmental action in
enclaves around the globe. The 1990s was a turbulent era marked by a
growing debate about the environment, and sustainability was the most
discussed concept. Sustainability in its simplest terms means meeting
current needs without taking away the ability of future generations to
meet their needs.25 Radical actions continued on behalf of the Earth by
some groups, but the tone of the environmental debate moved into an
17
educational mode. The critical scientific evidence convinced the key
players that it would be important to gain global consensus. 26
Al Gore, then Senator from Tennessee, emerged as one of the champions
on the left. His first book published in 1992, ―Earth in the Balance:
Ecology and the Human Spirit,‖ called for a look at addressing the
potentially catastrophic affects of global warming.27 His follow-up book,
―An Inconvenient Truth,‖ became an Academy-Award-winning
documentary that shaped the face of the ―new‖ environmental
movement—a movement that preached sustainability locally and globally.
―The climate crisis also offers us the chance to experience what very few
generations in history have had the privilege of knowing: a generational
mission.; the exhilaration of a compelling moral purpose; a shared and
unifying cause; the thrill of being forced by circumstances to put aside the
pettiness and conflict that so often stifle the restless human need for
transcendence; the opportunity to rise,‖ Gore wrote in ―An Inconvenient
Truth.‖28
That generational mission has spread from businesses to individuals. The turn of
the 21st century saw the environmental question move from an activist platform to
sustainable goals for cities, counties, states and organizations across the United
18
States and the world. The schools have long been key players in the infusion of
society-changing messages into generational thinking. Therefore, many
communities in America, including Kansas City, are utilizing the schools to
communicate the need for a sustainable society to students and parents.

Sustainability in Schools
The growing network of environmental educators is looking holistically at
the best practices and materials available to help teach the next generation.
There is an excitement in the belief that environmental education of
students and the community leads to a population both more able to
participate in environmental decision-making and more able to think
globally about solutions. ―Clear evidence exists that when people think in
an interdisciplinary way, innovation increases. Likewise, environmental
education is a proven interdisciplinary vehicle to change the way people
think,‖ wrote Brian Day, the executive director of the North American
Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE).29
The NAAEE has a membership of more than 150 organizations
representing more than 50 million people in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Its goal is the steeped in learner-centered learning that exposes students to
new ideas and ways of thinking. It adopts the UN’s Belgrade Charter from
1976 and says, ―The goal of environmental education is to develop a
19
world population that is aware of and concerned about, the environment
and its associated problems, and which has the knowledge, skills,
attitudes, motivations, and commitment to work individually and
collectively toward solutions of current problems and the prevention of
new ones.‖30
Environmental learning need not change existing academic standards but
rather it conforms to many states’ current standards for science, math,
history and English. Many of the more forward-thinking schools in the
country have adopted a ―train-the-trainer‖ model to gain experience for a
group of teachers or schools and then adapted and shared the best practices
within the district. A handful of states are early adopters—Colorado,
Connecticut, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. The following two
states—Oregon and Vermont—have had good success with this model.
o
Oregon. Oregon was one of four states in 2009 to sign the U.S.
Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development (USPESD)
resolution for a sustainable education week. Support for sustainable
schools in Oregon comes from the top—Governor Ted Kulongoski—
through the citizens of the state. ―Our schools play a critical role in our
society as we work toward creating a greener, more sustainable future.
That's why I want our schools to do everything they can to prepare
20
students for the challenges they will face and to nurture their
commitment and creativity as they grow up to become the stewards of
our planet,‖ said Susan Castillo, Superintendent of Public Instruction
for the Oregon Department of Education.31 Teaching is based on the
triple bottom line principle that all costs need to be considered in
sustainability—social equity, environmental health and economic
prosperity.
The Sustainable Oregon Schools Initiative has been working since
2003, and it is operated out of the Zero Waste Alliance. So far it is a
voluntary initiative that provides resources and partnerships to help
Oregon public and private schools become more sustainable. The
concept of sustainability permeates includes not only what is taught,
but also the school building, the food served, how the school uses
energy and what opportunities it offers. The state believes it is critical
for its young people to learn the scope of sustainability, and to be
prepared to participate in green industry jobs that will be available
when they graduate. The initiative reaches out to many school districts
and not-for-profits to include the community in planning for more
sustainable schools.32
o
Vermont. Vermont schools are working on sustainability through the
Vermont Sustainable Schools Project (SSP), a grant from Shelbourne
21
Farms, an historic dairy farm that has been transformed into an
environmental teaching facility to spread the word about
sustainability.33 There are two pilot elementary schools—Champlain
Elementary and Lawrence Barnes Elementary. Both are located in
poorer areas of Burlington, Vt., having high percentages of students
receiving free or reduced price lunches.34 Part of the program’s goal is
to help students feel pride and responsibility for their local community.
―Our goal was to make the school a center of this community where
it’s a friendly place to meet and that’s really happening,‖ said an
elementary school teacher at Champlain.35 The schools have partnered
with different organizations to take the sustainability teaching beyond
the classroom into student lives. One school has a grant for afterschool
care that works with the children by setting project goals for
community service. The projects have ranged from bird feeders to
community clean-up days. One educator commented that she thought
the concept of sustainability worked so well with students because
they did not attach a lot of politics to it. Instead, they focused on how
things were connected or should be connected.
Much of the success of the SSP is its ability to work with a network of
community organizations with common goals. Sarah Judd, a lawyer
with the Vermont Forum on Sprawl is one of the developers of the
22
Healthy Kids, Healthy Neighborhoods Program. That program works
with kids in low-income areas to help them be part of making their
community better. ―I think it makes sense to continue doing these
projects, getting teachers connected to community partners they can
continue to work with over the years. It enhances their curriculum and
gets kids connected to real-world community issues. Because the
teacher is engaged, the kids get engaged,‖ said Judd. ―And eventually,
these kids may grow up to become the adults that serve their
communities in these organizations.‖
The Vermont Guide to Education for Sustainability is a 122-page
booklet that can be downloaded at www.sustainableschoolsproject.org.
It presents curriculum guides, ideas, examples for all grade levels and
organizations so others wanting to move toward sustainability have a
path to follow.
23
II.
INTERNAL REVIEW
About KCEEN
KCEEN as a network brings together both governmental and nongovernmental (NGOs) organizations to work toward the common goal of
helping to educate people in the Kansas City metro area and raise the
environmental literacy of the region. The issues addressed range from solid
waste and water quality to habitat conservation to energy use. KCEEN’s
strength is the ability of the diverse groups to find common values. These
values allow them to support each other in achieving regional objectives while
being able to move independently toward their own internal missions. MARC
reaches nine counties and 120 cities in the Kansas City metro area, and
KCEEN matches its reach.36
The following is a review of how KCEEN’s evolution.

A Little History. KCEEN was born a few years after a Metro Outlook
Public Survey that MARC conducted in November and December of
2000. The survey showed that area residents believed the most important
component to quality of life was a clean and healthy environment, and
eighty-two percent said that education was a top issue. In June 2003, a
KCEEN steering committee was formed at MARC to investigate what the
24
issues, opportunities, challenges and problems in furthering increased
environmental education in Kansas City area schools. The steering
committee reached out to educators and stakeholders throughout the ninecounty area and convened a roundtable discussion in June 2003 to produce
recommendations. In all, they talked with 43 educators in Kansas and
Missouri. One of the key findings of this roundtable was that the term
―environmental education‖ tended to hinder the acceptance of materials
due to political considerations.37
Overall, the group found a significant amount of high-quality
environmental education materials in the region but they discovered those
materials have relatively low awareness. The group also found a need to
help teachers see how modern environmental education fits into the
classroom. Finally, there was a need for additional funding for
environmental education. The recommendations were:
o
Compile and provide information on funding opportunities to
teachers and other environmental education professionals.
o
Establish a clearinghouse of local/regional EE information and
resources.
o
Strengthen communication with teachers and build awareness
about environmental education.
25
o Facilitate development of networking and training opportunities
within the parameters of teacher and district schedules.
o
Package environmental education resources and services to
demonstrate how they meet state standards and teacher
certification requirement.38
The KCEEN planning committee attracted about a dozen area
organizations. That core has changed by a few organizations, but about a
dozen organizations have continued the monthly commitment to KCEEN
since 2003.39

Organization and Location. KCEEN is physically located within MARC
offices in downtown Kansas City, Mo. It meets monthly, rotating around
to different member locations. Matt Riggs, Outreach Coordinator, is the
staff member in charge. Other MARC staff members are brought in by
Riggs when needed for expertise.
26
The planning committee members of KCEEN are: 40
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o

Blue River Watershed Association
Center For Equitable Education
F.L. Schlagle Library
Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education
(KACEE)
Kansas City Zoo
Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Prairie Center
Lakeside Nature Center
Little Blue River Watershed Coalition
Mid-America Regional Council
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Missouri Department of Conservation
Missouri Environmental Education Association (MEEA)
NASA
One Health Kansas - K-State
Science Pioneers
Wyandotte County Soil and Water Conservation District
Funding. KCEEN operates under the umbrella of MARC with each of the
member organizations volunteering time to attend meetings and participate
in events and activities. Its limited $3,000 budget comes from the Missouri
Solid Waste Management District, which serves the Kansas City metro
area. Matt Riggs leads and coordinates the group’s efforts on behalf of
MARC but credits the member organizations for donating time and
services to help achieve KCEEN’s goals.41

KCEEN Philosophy. KCEEN serves environmental educators ―serving
pre-K through 12 educators in the Kansas City region.‖42 The philosophy
of KCEEN is to work with its member organizations rather than
duplicating or overshadowing their work. ―KCEEN member organizations
27
serve various constituencies in Kansas and Missouri through programs
designed to promote critical thinking and responsible decision making.
These skills are essential for Kansas City-area students to become more
aware of and empowered to address regional environmental issues.
Because environmental issues cross political boundaries and the borders of
our cities, counties and school districts, KCEEN partnerships strengthen
environmental education programs and resources across the Kansas City
area.‖43
The bi-state, multi-city and county approach not only makes KCEEN
unique but also makes allows it to be particularly effective in tackling
sustainability and other environmental issues. Because it has a ―neutral‖
overseeing organization in MARC, the member organizations are free to
work across state lines. A big part of KCEEN’s role is coordinating
resources to enable educators. KCEEN also is unique because it works
with both rural and urban areas. The Kansas City region has managed to
protect large sections of its open space despite growth pressures.
Therefore, rural schools can benefit from urban environmental education
and urban schools can experience rural issues. This is a unique advantage
for KCEEN.44
28
o Mission Statement. KCEEN’s mission statement is clearly stated on the
Web site, ―To provide an open forum for the exchange of ideas and
information regarding environmental education.‖45
o Short- and Long-Term Goals. KCEEN has had the advantage of
academically sound and thorough research going into its launch. The
research established a blueprint for the organization’s early work and its
call to action—expand and improve environmental education throughout
the Kansas City metro area. It was a call the KCEEN member
organizations easily rallied around. Its short-term goals were to:
o Bring together a wide variety of local organizations that share a
common goal of increasing uptake of environmental materials in
schools. Member organizations report that the act of working together
for many years has allowed them to develop trust among what had
been a competitive arena. There is a finite pool of dollars available,
and many of the KCEEN member organizations look for some of the
same funding. It is to the credit of these groups that they have
discovered the benefits to sharing ideas and solutions for the
betterment of the both their organizations and the region.
o
Develop strong working relationships with the Kansas and
Missouri environmental education organizations and multiple
cities and counties in the KC metro area. The success of MARC
29
with KCEEN has been the ability to transcend territorial issues and to
find the common ground that allows rural, suburban and urban areas to
thrive. The focus has been on making the materials available, neither
dictating how they were used, nor how the messages would be
shaped.46
o
Focus on teachers and other educators so as to increase public
knowledge. Research indicated that teachers and other educators
formed the best group on which to focus initially. By informing
teachers and other educators of available resources and their
application, the group would provide a conduit to parents,
grandparents and school volunteers. This in turn would increase
uptake in the community.
Product and Service Review
The mission and goals of KCEEN were inspired by the 2004 Roundtable,
which analyzed the needs and barriers to greater environmental education in
the Kansas City area. The recommendations that came out of these initial
roundtables became the first actions of the network.47 This review looks at the
current KCEEN services and its distribution strategies.

Current Services. KCEEN meets most months of the year to plan events,
assist educators, and to share ideas, information and project updates. Many
30
of the member organizations have small staffs, so the information and idea
sharing help spur both creativity and collaboration. The goal is to crease
sustaining energy that bolsters the individual members and increases the
environmental education of the overall community. KCEEN provides the
following resources, events and partnerships:
o Environmental Education Resource Guide. The guide is an
overview of more than 90 environmental educational programs in the
region and contains contact information for the offering
organizations. It has been published online and in hard copy with
updates every few years, and an updated version will be released in
May 2010.48
o Grant Workshop. Each year, KCEEN partners with Science
Pioneers to host a grant writing workshop targeting environmental
educators. (The most recent one was in February 2010.) It provides a
comprehensive list of organizations locally, regionally and nationally
that have expressed a willingness to fund environmental education.
KCEEN follows up with workshop participants afterwards to help
ensure their success in applying for funds.
o KCEEN Web site. The KCEEN Web site is embedded in the
MARC Web site. It appears to contain metatags to ensure search
engine optimization. The site is easy to navigate so as to locate the
31
educational resources. Most materials can be downloaded through
the Web site.
o Teaching Environmental Stewardship Award (TESA). KCEEN
sponsors this annual award that gives a $500 prize to the teacher who
displays outstanding efforts in environmental education for students
in the Kansas City area. It is awarded during the Greater Kansas City
Science and Engineering Fair, which is conducted by the Science
Pioneers.49
o Environmental Education Provider Networking Event. This
event occurs in the late summer, and it provides environmental
education provider organizations to share resources and ideas.
o Teacher Appreciation Day. This takes place in September, just
after the school year has begun. It is a partnership between KCEEN
and the Kansas City Zoo. It is intended to provide resources and
programs for teachers and educators. One of the most successful
aspects of KCEEN has been its ability to find involved teachers in
the Kansas City Region and to connect them with others interested in
similar environmental areas. When teachers are provided with
networking opportunities, they are energized and inspired to develop
additional ideas and support.50
o Teacher Resource Day. This annual event is a partnership between
KCEEN and Science Pioneers. This event allows Kansas City Metro
32
area science education organizations to share opportunities they
provide for teachers and students throughout the school year and
metro area.
o Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment
(GLOBE). KCEEN works with its member organizations to provide
training to teachers so they can become certified to conduct GLOBE
projects. GLOBE is a worldwide, hands-on primary and secondary
school-based science and education program. Its vision is to help
teachers educate their students how to make inquiry-based
investigations of the environment. Students then have the chance to
upload their findings to a global scientific database populated by
students around the world. GLOBE works in partnership with NASA
and NSF Earth System Science Projects (ESSP).51
o State Initiatives for Kansas and Missouri. Matt Riggs, MARC
outreach coordinator, serves as the conduit for communicating
environmental education associations in Kansas and Missouri. This
is critical because one of the challenge multi-state regions face is
how to simplify access to resources so as to makes crossing state
lines easy. If working across stateliness is difficult, individuals and
companies won’t do it.
33

Distribution Strategies. KCEEN is a network, and therefore focuses on
bringing together environmental education associations across the region.
The materials and programs are almost exclusively planned to implement
the work of the member organizations. This is the strength of KCEEN—it
makes each organization stronger. It is presented with a distribution
challenge, however, because the organizations serve both school districts
and teachers, but there is not always a distribution grid beyond science
teachers. The main barrier is funding. Matt Riggs reaches out to leadership
in the schools as his limited funds allow.52 There is agreement among
members that better communication at all levels would aid increased
uptake of materials.53
Communications Review
Although KCEEN established formal goals from the outset, it did not
prescribe an external communications strategy. As a network, KCEEN
wanted to respect the member organizations because its strength was
going to come from the group. This strategy has been extremely effective
in allowing diverse groups of environmental providers to work
cooperatively and develop trust even though they frequently compete for
the same audience and funding. The downside is that few people outside
of the science educator community are aware of KCEEN.
34

Communications Objectives and Strategies. Apart from an annual
planning session, there have not been formal long-term objectives and
strategies because there has never been a formal plan. The primary
strategy has been to work through the member organizations to
provide information about KCEEN information and networking
opportunities.

Marketing Communications Tactics. Budget constrains most of the
KCEEN’s tactics, limiting it to what can be done electronically or
through member organizations. A handful of outreach tactics each year
raises its profile among teachers, educators and the community. These
are truly tactical and information-oriented.
o KCEEN Web site. It is located within the environmental section of
the MARC Web site. It is difficult to find within MARC but fairly
simple to find by using search engines. The current content does not
do justice to the great work KCEEN has accomplished since it
began. There have been many great examples of the group’s
collaboration that deserve attention and recognition.
o KCEEN Brochure. The tri-fold brochure outlines what KCEEN is
and how to access its information. The decision for any
environmental organization is whether or not to create paper, but the
brochure is accessed at information fairs and other outreach venues.
It is also available on the Web site. KCEEN will probably
35
discontinue the brochure and fold its content into the Environmental
Education Resource Guide.
o Environmental Education Resource Guide. This is a printed
booklet and an online downloadable resource. The 2010 version will
feature more than 90 organizations.
o Grant Workshop. Attendance has been dwindling at this annual
event. Anecdotal evidence leads KCEEN to believe that the No
Child Left Behind law has reduced available classroom time so that
fewer teachers are able to add additional programming. There is
discussion about whether limited funding or the way in which
environmental education fits into the standards is the most pressing
issue.
o Environmental Educators Provider Networking Event. This
event happens in the late summer and provides an opportunity for
environmental education provider organizations to share resources
and ideas.

Marketing Metrics. There are not systems in place to measure the
tactics beyond counting attendance or number of materials distributed.
It is also hard to develop metrics when so much of the distribution is
through member organizations. Because KCEEN encourages members
to claim credit for their accomplishments, even though KCEEN has
36
been involved, and because of a lack of funding, firm measurement
has been difficult.

Brand Strategy. The overall brand strategy has been to position
KCEEN as a network resource that strengthens member organizations
and brings positive awareness that member organizations could not
achieve alone.
37
III.
SWOT ANALYSIS
A traditional SWOT analysis looks at an organization’s strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities and threats. This document incorporates both a limited analysis
done by the Sustainable Schools Discussion Group on January 26, 2010 as
well as this researcher’s analysis.54
 Strengths.
o Strong Network with KCEEN Members. Since the beginning of
KCEEN, about a dozen organizations have attended the planning
meetings. They have developed into a tight-knit group that works well
across state, county and city lines. That is quite an accomplishment.
o Roster of Teacher Early Adopters. Many educators who are early
adopters of environmental learning have become vocal advocates in
their schools and often their communities as well. These individuals
are curious, innovative and share the respect and admiration of their
students. They are a tremendous asset to KCEEN.
o Success Stories of School-Community Partnerships. In tough
financial times, schools need support. KCEEN has numerous success
stories of teachers and schools partnering with local businesses and
not-for-profits to increase student learning and enthusiasm for the
environment. Many of these stories have tremendous power.
o EE Resource Guide. The guide is a powerful resource for the
education community. The number of organizations it contains speaks
38
to the strength of the area’s commitment to create a strong community
that respects its natural resources. It helps unify allied education
professions in the childcare and faith communities and brings
environmental knowledge to parents and grandparents. Its wealth of
information can infuse 360-degree learning so environmental concepts
can become part of everyday learning.
o GLOBE Project. The world today’s children inherit will require
highly literate professionals who understand sustainability and who
can tackle the challenges of the world’s growing population. From
grade school onward, the GLOBE project connects young people with
global scientific research from grade-school age. KCEEN has just
begun to capitalize on the environmental information GLOBE can
bring to the community and the youth.
o Passionate Core Group. The member organizations and MARC staff
have donated countless hours to make KCEEN what it is today. This
group cares about its mission.
 Weaknesses.
o Lack of Funding. Almost all roads lead to this weakness. With a
budget of $3,000, KCEEN has accomplished what many cities do with
many times that amount. Solid, annual, dependable funding which will
provide a base of operations will be critical. It will be impossible to
move beyond the current situation without additional funding.
39
o Limited Citywide Awareness. Although it is estimated that some area
science teachers have baseline awareness of KCEEN, the organization
is not known in other circles. To be more effective, KCEEN needs
generally to be better known and valued as a community resource.
There needs to be a KCEEN ―elevator speech.‖
o The Name. KCEEN has the word ―Environmental‖ in it.
Unfortunately, environmental has become a polarizing word. It carries
a ―Democrat‖ image because of the work done by Al Gore and other
Democrats. As KCEEN moves to the next phase, there should be
thought given to a less polarizing name.
o Lack of Communication. In today’s message-cluttered world, single
communications get lost. Outside of the core group, there insufficient
communication and dialogue.
o Time Shortages. This is a critical problem for everyone giving time
and energy to KCEEN.
o Lack of Leadership Support (connected to awareness). Kansas City
still is a small town in many ways, and the leadership can determine
whether an initiative succeeds or fails. In KCEEN’s case, it is not even
on the radar screen. It could be time to showcase KCEEN’s successes
to gain support and funding.
40
 Opportunities.
o No Child Left Inside Act. This movement began about 2007 when it
became evident that one of the casualties of the landmark No Child
Left Behind Act in 2001 was that children increasingly were giving up
physical education, recess and afterschool free play outdoors. The
language in this act is wrapped into the Elementary and Secondary
Schools Act (ESEA). The No Child Left Inside Act promotes
opportunities to provide schools with outdoor activities that both
address the health and welfare of children and also teach them about
the environment. This is the social justice side of the environmental
education area that includes reducing childhood obesity and increasing
overall wellness. This approach also opens up new funding avenues.
o Growth of Green Industry. The Green Industry is just beginning to
create jobs that will become the mainstays of this century. For
example, Pew Internet Trust studies estimate that clean energy jobs are
growing two-and-one half times as fast as traditional jobs.55 Other
states are positioning themselves and their workforces to become
major players in these new industries. According to Pew, Kansas and
Missouri are developing small companies already.
o Solid Base Can Attract National Funders. The work done by
KCEEN can give confidence to foundations or organizations that
KCEEN can deliver results.
41
o Undertold Story. The successes of the dedicated founding members
of KCEEN and of the motivated teachers provide great stories.
Especially in today’s world, Kansas City needs great stories of local
success.
o Strong Organization Ready for Growth. Every organization has its
moment when it is ready to move to the next phase. The next two
years will be critical because KCEEN needs to grow.
 Threats.
o Cutbacks in School Funding. The federal government will reduce
spending about 18.5 percent over the next three years, according to a
USA Today article from February 2009.56 This means less money for
schools, which could impact spending on innovative programming,
such as environmental education.
o Cutbacks in Kansas and Missouri Funding. Funding cuts will
impact both Kansas and Missouri schools. It is estimated there will be
a $107.5 million reduction in Missouri57 and $36 million reduction for
Kansas K-12 school funding.58
o No Child Left Behind. In 2001, the No Child Left Behind Act was
passed by Congress with the goal of making sure schools effectively
taught all students. ―If nothing else, the law’s first five years have
proved the maxim, ―What gets tested gets taught,‖ reported USA
Today in 2007.59 Many teachers report the same today, and economic
42
pressures at schools now make it truer than ever. This has created
challenges in getting anything other than basic skills taught.
o Polarization of Global Warming and Environmental Debate.
Despite scientific data, the percentage of Americans who believe
global warming is occurring has fallen from 80 percent to 72 percent,
according to a 2009 Washington Post-ABC News poll. Ironically, a
majority of Americans still support a cap on greenhouse gas emissions.
This points to the political polarization of the climate debate. The poll
suggested that the change in opinion was driven by GOP sentiment
that former vice president Al Gore and the Democrats were the
moving forces behind the publicity on global warming.60 KCEEN
needs to be as apolitical as possible to attract broad support in the
Kansas City region. This shift in political opinion points to the need to
consider how to name the organization should KCEEN decide to
rename itself.
o Sustainability and Environment Are Not on State Tests. For the
foreseeable future, teachers will not be teaching things that are not on
standardized tests. That is economic reality. KCEEN members believe
their information could all be encompassed in standards. Antidotal
teacher comments indicate there may need to be a better understanding
as to how teachers can incorporate environmental materials in
standardized teaching.
43
IV. STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATIONS
 Objectives.
o Increase awareness of KCEEN.
o Increase sustainability education in the Kansas City Metro
Area.
 Strategies.
o Leverage success of early adopters and network.
o Increase support for the mission among broader leadership in
Kansas City.
o Position KCEEN for showcasing Green Job Growth in Kansas
City.

Tactics.
o Consider changing KCEEN name to reflect sustainability
focus. The word, ―environmental‖ has some baggage as a name,
and that could hold the network back. This is a great time to
consider a change that could incorporate the word, ―sustainable‖
in the name because that is the favored word in government
nationally and internationally.
The core group should be involved in making the change because
its support will be critical moving forward. Consider bringing in a
moderator for a name-change meeting. The group has emotion
44
vested in the current name, and there will need to be a forum to
process this as a part of becoming the new organization. After the
name-change meeting, circulate the group’s findings and
discussion for review and comment. At the following meeting,
announce internally the new name and the timeline for changing
it.
The organization’s name should not only reflect the current
situation but also should be broad enough to encompass all of the
stakeholders needed and anticipated. One suggestion would be,
―Kansas City Sustainable Education Project.‖ By using
―education‖ instead of school, it is inclusive of adult and faithbased organizations as well as traditional schools. By calling it a
―project,‖ the tone is set that it will continue to evolve. The
Sustainable Schools group has been exploring the options. This
suggestion will need to be considered in the scope of MARC’s
overall structure and covenants.
o Update to Web site to make it work harder for KCEEN. The
great work done by KCEEN to date is hard to find on the current
Web site. Oregon (http://sustainableschools.org/) does a great job
in showcasing its work in a way that invites stakeholders and
45
educators to discover more. There are case studies, great pictures,
links to background information on the roots of sustainability,
how-to information and philosophic approaches. It also maps out
some of the public-private partnerships that are at the core of the
project. The site was created for Oregon by a Portland State
University class and augmented by the work of one of the
students who took on the cause of completing the Web site. It is
possible that some of the work in populating the site could be
accomplished with help from University of Kansas strategic
communications students or similar volunteers in lieu of funding
the work.
To move the Web site redesign to the next step will take a
significant funding push as well as a vision of where KCEEN will
be going. The Oregon model is applicable because it wraps the
school sustainable piece with education and action for the
community. For this reason, the suggested format would be:
 The Sustainability Opportunity.
 What’s Working.
 Resources.
 About KCEEN.
46
The reader could click through for more information if it is
desired but would not be overwhelmed. For that reason, using lots
of pictures and illustrations will increase uptake of the
information and make the site more appealing. One of the
strengths of both the Vermont and Oregon sustainable schools
sections was the focus on teacher involvement in directing this
growth area. The ―teacher-led‖ approach should gain much
acceptance in the Kansas City region, and it is in keeping with
President Obama’s directive on ESEA. Telling the story of
sustainability through people and projects will gain the most
support in the shortest amount of time. KCEEN has great stories,
and they should be told.
o Launch the updated Web site and new Environmental
Education Resource Guide with information campaign. The
caveat to this tactic is that KCEEN needs to decide if it will do a
name change. If so, then the name change should roll out at the
same time as the updated Web site to avoid confusion. The new
EE Resource Guide is a significant area-wide resource that can
generate support from a broad section of the community. Ideally,
this can launch in the fall to take advantage of the fall weather and
back-to-school.
47
The partnership aspect of the network dictates that the steering
committee organizations should have the opportunity to announce
the availability of the EE Resource Guide at the same time
KCEEN makes it available. Hot links would be the preferred
format, and it would be ideal if KCEEN could have a web
designer create two hot link graphic ―buttons.‖ One deluxe button
could be embedded on steering committee member Web sites, and
the less elaborate graphic link could be available to school
districts, teachers, allied organizations and the public. The reason
for the distinction is to honor the service of the steering
committee members. These hot links will be a critical element in
expanding the reach of KCEEN materials.
The announcement should happen first by the KCEEN members
and KCEEN. This announcement will be press announcements to
the Kansas City media and emails and phone calls to key school
stakeholders. A KCEEN spokesperson should give interviews and
offer conversations with a successful teacher. The follow-up
campaign is based in social media. Member organizations will ask
supporters to spread the word and consumer link to their followers
on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and other social media outlets.
The best social media programs include opportunities for
48
dialogue, so there should be an avenue for those taking an active
role to report back to the KCEEN team on what their publics think
about the new website and the direction of KCEEN. This is an
opportunity, but it will require being open to a broader
involvement than the group has experienced in the past. Also, if
KCEEN opens itself up to a dialogue, then there needs to be
funding to respond in real time to avoid public relations issues.
o Conduct a Leadership Briefing. Sustainability will be a major
factor in the next economic boom, and Kansas City leaders will
want to know just where Kansas City is now. This will require
delicate political soundings in advance with MARC leadership as
well as broad support from the KCEEN committee base. One of
the strengths of KCEEN has been ability of member organizations
to grow together as a network that supports and raises the
environmental stewardship in this region. Few single state regions
can do this, and it is a major accomplishment for a bi-state region.
As Kansas City positions itself to be part of the Green Growth
Era, there are many roles KCEEN can and should play. The
meeting should be timed when it is politically appropriate and
when KCEEN is adequately staffed to handle the interest. It could
well be presented after the Web site launch as that will pre-sell
49
KCEEN and its broad appeal.
The briefing should be an invitation-only event for C-level
players. Enlist planning committee members in identifying key
leaders and influencers in the community. Plan to invite three
times as many people as you think will attend but scale the
presentation facility so that it will look full regardless of the
turnout. The following is a suggested overview of the event:
 Invite a sustainability speaker that transcends political
parties and knows business.
 Have a KCEEN speaker open with a multi-media look at
the accomplishments of KCEEN and its member
organizations since 2004. (Maybe KCPL can donate the
costs of a video that could also be shortened to go on the
new Web site.)
 Follow with an opportunity talk from top MARC
official. This should focus on the bi-state opportunity and
business case for positioning Kansas City companies and
training Kansas Citians for the new green economy.
 Close with a call for support. It should not be a public
meeting, if that can be avoided.
50
This is an excitement generator. It works best when early adopters
are woven into the target community to follow up by spurring
involvement. There should be a growing bandwagon of support
emerging from this kind of meeting. There will need to be a place
to put people who are moved to action, so be sure to be staffed to
handle success.
o Develop a Summer Institute in 2011. This is already a plan in
the works. It will be styled after the Writer’s Workshop that aided
teachers in the Kansas City region. Consider taking advantage of
the lobby and break areas to put up posters showcasing KCEEN
successes with credit to the teachers and organizations involved. It
could also be a public relations opportunity. Ideally the workshop
could also include time for some focus groups and intercept
surveys, which would provide better understanding as to how to
reach teachers and determine their needs.
It is possible there could be funding in the federal 2011 budget,
marking the first time environmental funding for education has
specifically been earmarked. The budget bill contains the
following language: ―A Well-Rounded Education: $265 million,
an increase of $38.9 million, or 17 percent, to consolidate seven
51
current authorities and expand support for the subjects important
to a complete curriculum, including history, the arts, foreign
languages, environmental literacy, and economic and financial
literacy.‖61 This and the environmental education money that is
indicated in the language for the reauthorization of the
Elementary and Secondary Schools Act (ESEA) offer
opportunities for states.62 The KCEEN team would be the ideal
bi-state organization to develop and disseminate materials to
achieve this objective.
o Sustainable Schools Conference. This tactic would be best
targeted when you have early adopter schools in a couple of
districts on each side of the state line. The Conference would need
to be educational and visionary because educators are in very
different places on understanding sustainability.
Ideally there would be presentations targeting leadership, teachers
and the community. The topics should include both an
introduction to sustainability, current success stories and
structures for implementing sustainability in schools. As the
organization moves toward sustainability, there will be a few
areas that will emerge to determine how to prioritize activities.
52
V.
ECONOMIC FEASIBILITY OF RECOMMENDATIONS.
These recommendations require mostly time, except for the Leadership
Briefing and Summer Institute. Both of those tactics will require a location,
equipment and displays and catering. This has been by design because of the
tremendous budget constraints that will follow Kansas and Missouri in the
next few years at least.
To date, KCEEN has not used social network and limited its electronic
footprint. Increasing the use of these strategies provides a possible solution to
making these recommendations economically feasible. One of the challenges
in the Sustainability space is how to manage the paper flow. On one hand
there is a need to make sure people get the messages while on the other hand
organizations advocating sustainability must also demonstrate it. For this
reason, it would be good if KCEEN could develop some electronic databases
of materials that can easily email to people. These emails should be visually
rich. People are increasingly visual learners.
Using electronic communication only will get KCEEN part of the way there to
implementing these ideas. There will need to be some additional funding. In
several of the examples, there are references to how other organizations
53
managed to fund these types of initiatives. Many had funding from
foundations or major companies in the area as well as national grants. The
challenge is to do what is done well and in as politically neutral a manner as
possible. Matching grants are a possible solution. This plan gives general
recommendations that can scale up if funding is available or become pilot
projects if money is tight.
KCEEN is an opportunity for the Kansas City region, and moving KCEEN to
the next level will position the region to be a greater player in the emerging
green economy. It behooves Kansas City to move now to leverage its early
mover advantage.
54
REFERENCES
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Summary.‖ Retrieved January 20, 2010 from
http://www.marc.org/Environment/KCEEN/roundtablesummary2003.ht
m
2. ―About MARC,‖ http://www.marc.org/aboutmarc.htm, Retrieved April 2, 2010.
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4. Mid-America Regional Council (2010). ―About KCEEN.‖ Retrieved January
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Interviews February and March 2010.
6. Leavens, Joan (2010), Integration and Outreach Leader, Kansas State University,
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