The Kentucky Environmental Education Council was created on July 13, 1990 when the Kentucky General Assembly passed a series of statutes that founded the agency and defined its mission. Kentucky Revised Statutes (Ky. Rev. Stat. or KRS) relevant to the Council's establishment, mission, and funding can be viewed below:
157.900 Statement of legislative purpose.
157.910 Kentucky Environmental Education Council.
157.915 Functions of council.
146.560 Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund Board.
224.10-250 Allocation of moneys collected as civil penalties.
224.43-505 Kentucky pride fund -- Distribution -- Grants to eliminate illegal open dumps -- Recycling and household hazardous waste grants program. -- Incentives and rewards -- Implementation costs.
224.10-620 Public education program on reducing and managing waste.
1980’s – Environmental Education consultant employed by the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE).
1989 – Environmental Education consultant position terminated during Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA) reorganization.
1990 – Kentucky Environmental Education Council (KEEC) formed by legislation; $150,000 allocated to the Education Cabinet budget. Executive Director Ann Seppenfield is hired.
1991 – Council funding suspended due to budget cuts; agency disbanded after only two months.
1994 – Council funding reinstated through the Heritage Land Trust Fund. The first $150,000 of environmental fines and penalties annually allocated to KEEC directly from the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet (EPPC).
1995 – Agency re-established. Executive Director Jane Eller hired.
1997 – Twenty-four resource schools established across the state; survey of university environmental coursework conducted.
1999 – First statewide survey of environmental knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors is conducted. First master plan, Land,
Legacy, and Learning I is published.
2002 – Passage of HB 174 granted to KEEC the interest on a $20 million dollar fund to clean up illegal dumps; the funds are legislatively earmarked to implement the higher education portion of the master plan.
2002 – The first KEEC Youth Environmental Summit is held.
2003 – Environmental Education Certification Task Force is formed. Program is designed around the NAAEE Guidelines for Environmental Educators.
2003 – Environmental Education Endorsement for teachers approved by the state Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB).
2004 – Second statewide survey of environmental knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors is conducted. Second master plan, Land, Legacy, and Learning II is published.
2004 – The Kentucky University Partnership for Environmental Education (KUPEE) is formed.
2005 – The first class of Kentucky Certified Environmental Educators graduates.
2006 – The Kentucky Green & Healthy Schools (KGHS) pilot program is launched.
2009 – Third statewide survey of environmental knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors is conducted. Third master plan, Land, Legacy, and Learning III is published.
2010 – Executive Director Jane Eller retires; Executive Director Elizabeth Schmitz is hired.
2011 – The Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) approves implementation of the Kentucky Environmental Literacy Plan (KELP).
2012 – Interagency Subcommittee on Environmental Education begins regular meetings to coordinate environmental education efforts of state agencies
2013 – KEEC and partners hold first Earth Day at the Capitol
2014 – Fourth statewide survey of environmental knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors is conducted.
2014 – KEEC partners with US Department of Education for Green Ribbon Schools tour in Kentucky
2015 – Fourth master plan, Land, Legacy, and Learning IV is published.
2015 – KEEC's Professional Environmental Educator Certification course becomes the third state-level program accredited by the North American Association for Environmental Education