GEELA AwardThe Wildwoods Foundation has been named recipient of the 2012 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA) in the category of Environmental Education in recognition of the accomplishments of their innovative Full Circle program and its positive impact on students’ science test scores at the schools it serves.

The Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award is California’s highest environmental honor. The program recognizes individuals, organizations, and businesses that have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made notable, voluntary contributions in conserving California’s precious resources, protecting and enhancing our environment, building public-private partnerships and strengthening the State’s economy. All California individuals, businesses, state agencies and trade associations, as well as community and non-profit organizations like the Wildwoods Foundation are eligible for the award competition.

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At a January 22 ceremony held at the Sacramento offices of the California Environmental Protection Agency, Board Vice Chair Jocelyn Thompson and Executive Director Dwain Wilson received the award from California Secretary for Environmental Protection Matthew Rodriquez and representatives from Governor Brown’s office.

“It’s a tremendous honor for Governor Brown to formally recognize the Wildwoods Foundation for the deep-reaching impact our game-changing blend of outdoor science education and community awareness brings to students here in Los Angeles,” said Curt Jacobsen, Chair of the Wildwoods Foundation Board of Directors and Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

“I am extremely proud of the Foundation staff for this extraordinary accomplishment, and we look forward to continuing our tradition of partnership with local schools so we can impact even more young lives.”

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“The Wildwoods Foundation is proud to be recognized by the Governor and the California EPA for Full Circle, one of our most innovative programs,” said Dwain Wilson, founder and Executive Director of the Wildwoods Foundation. “We share this honor with the exceptional program instructors, students and classroom teachers that have made contributions to the Full Circle curriculum over the past decade. Their input keeps Full Circle relevant to students’ everyday lives and ensures that the young people of today will be engaged in environmental issues for years to come.”

Full Circle, an 8-week program for elementary and middle school classes, is an innovative blend of natural science and social science different from more traditional environmental education. Full Circle uses ecology as a springboard to help students understand that the interdependence and diversity that are essential components for a healthy ecosystem are also vital to the social fabric of our communities.

The Wildwoods Foundation’s model of success, now recognized by the Governor’s Award, will continue to be implemented with programs at schools throughout the Los Angeles area.