Two high school girls working in a greenhouse.Founding Statutes

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.

157.905 Definitions.

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.


Council Timeline

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).
Original KEEC logo1995 – 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,
Land, Legacy and Learning coverLegacy, 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.
Environmental Educator Certification logo2003 – 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.
Original KGHS logo2004 – 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.
EEinKentucky.org logo2007EEinKentucky.org website is adopted.
2009 – Third statewide survey of environmental knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors is conducted.  Third master plan, Land, Legacy, and Learning III is published.
Current KEEC logo2010
– Executive Director Jane Eller retires; Executive Director Elizabeth Schmitz is hired.
2010 – First KEEC/KGHS newsletter is published.
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