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GLSI Board of Directors Expansion and Invitation to Apply

Submitted by Caleb Carlton, GLSI Executive Director

The Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (GLSI) Board of Directors is pleased to announce an expansion of the Board and national search for our next cohort of directors! This opportunity comes during an exciting time of growth for the organization as GLSI scales its reach and impact throughout the Great Lakes region, and beyond, through innovative new educational programs and services. The Board has been deeply engaged in planning for GLSI’s next chapter, and has committed to strategically expanding its capacity to match the organization’s increasing impacts on teaching and learning, the environment, and community health through place-based stewardship education!

The Board guides and supports GLSI’s mission to develop knowledgeable and active stewards of the Great Lakes and their ecosystems through place-based education in local communities. The initiative’s approach to teaching and learning results in vibrant, hands-on experiences that increase student achievement and guide youth to become lifelong stewards of the environment.

GLSI works toward its goals through six regional hubs located throughout Michigan and a central leadership team. This team provides support and guidance to hubs, organizes the National Place-Based Education Conference, and delivers training, resources, and network development for educators, school districts, community partners, and organizations throughout the Great Lakes region (and beyond). GLSI also hosts The Place Space, a national program delivery platform and networking hub for anyone connected to place-based education, and coordinates the Michigan Children & Nature Coalition.

GLSI Hubs transform the educational experiences available to teachers, students, and community partners in their region by offering sustained educator professional development, coaching, and program support in PBSE for K–16 teachers and community partners. Hubs also create and sustain regional ecosystems of school-community partnerships, generate funding opportunities, and support PBSE projects with teachers and students.

The GLSI Board of Directors includes independent directors and directors that represent each of the six GLSI Hubs. Together, this team is currently focused on, and considering new directors in alignment with, the following priority areas of the organization and hub network:

  • Oversight and Governance: Continually strengthening and growing the organization’s business strategies, strengthening financial health, refining operational systems and protocols, and expanding staff capacity and support.
  • Hub Network Development and Sustainability: Assessing and supporting the growth, effectiveness, and sustainability of the network of GLSI Hubs, and supporting the development of new hubs in Michigan (and possibly beyond).
  • Fundraising: Developing and sustaining connections and relationships with prospective donors and supporters, championing the GLSI mission in a variety of settings, and helping to lead board-level fundraising campaigns, strategies, and events.
  • Board Development: Strengthening relevant board member skills and knowledge, increasing diversity and representation on the board, cultivating the next generation of board leaders, and sustaining mentorship for new board members.

GLSI is currently accepting inquiries and applications from prospective new board members to serve an initial 2-year term, with the potential for further terms of service. GLSI anticipates appointing and onboarding new members between June and August of 2024. To learn more and apply, please see the Board Member Application. The application window will close on May 21st, and GLSI will follow up with applicants shortly thereafter. Please direct all questions and inquiries to Caleb Carlton, GLSI Executive Director (caleb@greatlakesstewardship.org). 

Take the Michigan Children & Nature Coalition Survey

The Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative is conducting landscape analysis survey as a first step in launching the Michigan Children & Nature Coalition.

The goals of the survey are to: 

1) Build a list of Michigan organizations that want to be aware of and/or involved in the effort

2) Get a sense of how YOU would like to be involved in defining goals and strategies to gets kids outside

3) Gather exemplars from Michigan organizations to demonstrate strong strategies, programs, and policies for increasing access to nature for kids at school, kids in childcare, kids in out-of-school settings, and kids and families at home. 

We will use the results of this survey to map and share programs, resources, organizations, funding opportunities, and other relevant information related to efforts throughout Michigan to connect children and nature. We will also be highlighting exemplars from across the state, and developing webinars and discussions around cases of success, best practices, and policies that are increasing access to youth engagement with nature!

We invite you to complete the survey by clicking on the button below.

The GLSI Launches the Michigan Children & Nature Coalition

The Michigan Children & Nature Coalition


Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (GLSI), in partnership with the Children and Nature Network (C&NN), is developing and implementing a sustained initiative to increase youth access to, and engagement with, nature and related programming throughout Michigan. This multi-year initiative will lead to increased funding and supportive state-level policies conducive to thriving, equitable children and nature connections at school, in the community, and beyond.  The initiative will also increase statewide collaboration and engagement around critical practices, programs, and infrastructure that support sustained youth access to nature, such as through green schoolyards, Pre-K-12 teaching and learning pathways, other formal and nonformal learning structures and program, early childhood learning, nature-based play, outdoor recreation, and more.


  1. Develop and regularly convene a statewide network of relevant parties to increase peer learning, resource exchange, and collaborative action around issues of connecting children and nature (green schoolyards, green stormwater infrastructure, Pre-K-16 learning pathways, nature-based play, etc.). The network will engage with and benefit diverse entities throughout the state associated with connecting children and nature, to include statewide and regional organizations, schools and districts, early learning and childcare centers, tribal leaders, state agency leaders, and community partners.
  2. Develop and coordinate a statewide coalition of invested parties to accelerate systemic change in Michigan that advances youth access to, and engagement with, nature. The primary functions of the coalition will be to identify and develop relevant policy priorities and/or advocacy opportunities, especially at the state level, and to guide member participation and collective action.

Initial Coalition Goals for 2024-25

  • Develop diverse and representative teams to collaboratively inform and lead the efforts of the network and coalition
  • Increase equitable access to resources, funding, training, and support related to youth engagement with nature
  • Ensure youth voice and choice informs the work of the coalition and related statewide policy, funding, and other support measures
  • Offer monthly peer learning and networking touchpoints (virtual and in-person)
  • Convene stakeholders for an in-person gathering in summer 2024
  • Increase real-world relevance and impacts of K-12 teaching and learning by connecting to nature-based issues, such as climate resilience, environmental justice, place-based stewardship education, and healthy lifestyles
  • Develop and adopt an initial state legislative agenda for the 2025 session
  • Generate awareness, engagement, and action leading up to and throughout the 2025 session related to the coalition’s agenda

Some other statewide children & nature policy-focused work and outcome examples

NAAEE’s State Environmental Literacy Plans Guide

NCEL Youth Outdoor Policy Playbook

NCEL Outdoor Engagement Guide / Map

Texas Children in Nature Network

Oregon Statewide Outdoor School Program


Georgia Outdoor Learning Study Committee Report


To get involved, please email coalition@greatlakesstewardship.org, and join the coalition’s online community hub here.

The Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative Is Expanding Services

With support from the Pisces Foundation and other generous donors and contributors, the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (GLSI) is developing a new set of services to support and expand the practice of place-based stewardship education in Michigan’s K-12 schools and communities.

Download the description of this exciting expansion and share your thoughts and reactions by coming to a meeting or completing our feedback form.

Meetings are scheduled for Friday October 21 at 4:00 p.m. and Tuesday October 25 at 12:00 p.m. Registration is not required. Details are in the attached .pdf document.

Share Your Ideas: Take Our Survey

In response to growing interest in place-based stewardship education (PBSE), we’re making plans to expand the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative—with a goal of providing services and support for PBSE to schools and communities that are not currently served by a GLSI hub. 

To inform our planning, we’re seeking input from K-12 educators, administrators, community partners, and other organizations that serve K-12 education.  If you work in one of these roles, please take a few minutes and share your thoughts and ideas by taking a short survey. 

STEM + Place-Based Education = Student Success

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) literacy is a powerful tool in today’s world, and a critical focus in many classrooms. Many of the projects that students undertake through the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative involve one or more of the STEM subjects. Recently, the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative was named as one of only four Michigan-based organizations that provide exemplary STEM programs for Michigan’s K­–12 schools. The designation came from Change the Equation/STEMWorks, a national organization that conducts rigorous reviews of STEM programs across the country.