Pine Jog Environmental Education Center | UL Innovative Education Award
Grand Prize Winner

Pine Jog Environmental Education Center

Florida Atlantic University
West Palm Beach, Florida

Pine Jog Environmental Education Center, a self-funded organization under the College of Education at Florida Atlantic University, was established in 1960, making it one of the first environmental education centers in Florida and one of the oldest in the country. FAU Pine Jog is dedicated to developing, researching, and disseminating highly effective educational programs and services for Pre-K through post-secondary students that cultivate environmentally literate and engaged citizens. FAU Pine Jog offers a cadre of 14 programs that emphasizes strong academic learning, creates lasting social relationships and moves students of all ages along a progressive continuum toward E-STEM literacy.

Judges Comment

The Florida Atlantic University Pine Jog Environmental Education Center receives our highest 2019 award for their resourceful long-term growth and impact strategy. Pine Jog has been offering multi-year programs for pre-K to college students for the past 60 years and have created an extremely comprehensive program, with a sound and solid structure. As one of oldest environmental programs in the country, the organization offers diverse programs that incorporate place-based activities. We particularly appreciated Pine Jog’s investment in civic engagement, bringing together scientists, public agencies, and students in working toward solutions to local environmental problems. Our award recognizes the organization’s long-running commitment to E-STEM learning, scaffolding learners of all ages over time. We know that long-term engagement often leads to success with a range of learners. We were especially impressed by their community-based social marketing endeavors, emphasis on social-giving, and micro-grants. Their model is strongly aligned with the UL’s focus on the intersection of environmental health and human safety. The judging panel was impressed the continuous learning model and process for supporting innovation, built on a resilient foundation. While the program has been in development for years, the application demonstrated that a commitment to continuous learning can keep improving on tried-and-true practices. In this case, innovation was found in taking a well-established place-based program and experimenting with broad expansion into large scale service that retains quality and also puts new tools to work.