Who we are: Environmental Living and Learning for Maine Students (ELLMS) is a collaboration of residential environmental learning centers working together with Maine schools and other partners to facilitate learning opportunities that empower students to create healthy, vibrant Maine communities.

Mission: Environmental Living and Learning for Maine Students (ELLMS) collaborates to promote best-in-class residential environmental learning in Maine for all students, create model community-based education partnerships, and contribute to statewide initiatives.

Vision: In twenty years there is a network of Residential Environmental Learning Centers that give all students in Maine access to wholistic environmental learning and facilitate community-based education innovation.

Nature Based Education Vision (statewide collaboration in which ELLMS is part): In twenty years, Maine is known as a place where our educational institutions are vibrant communities connected to the natural landscapes of Maine-the lands, waterways and ocean. Maine students understand the connection between their health and the health of the natural world. They are civically engaged members of their communities, towns and regions.

Our shared education model:

  • Use systems thinking, ecology, and sustainability integrated into our program models
  • Provide three-day or longer residential environmental learning programs
  • Couple outdoor and in-school experiences over multiple years
  • Foster teacher-driven professional development through ongoing collaboration
  • Have a robust social-emotional curriculum
  • Have a foundation in strong science and community-based/civics curriculum

To date, the ELLMS Project has allocated $1.3 million to support 9,497 students from Maine schools.

History: In January of 2010, Chewonki Outdoor Classroom for Schools, The Ecology School, UMaine 4-H Camp and Learning Center at Bryant Pond, and UMaine 4-H Camp and Learning Center at Tanglewood began work to create the ELLMS Project.  In 2012, the Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park joined as the fifth partner.

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