NAAEE recognizes Sam Little with 30 Under 30 Award


NAAEE recognizes Sam Little for his work in transforming environmental education!


MADISON,WI, December 5, 2016 — Thirty young people under the age of 30 were recently recognized by the US Fish & Wildlife Service and the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), a leader in environmental education, as part of a first of its kind recognition program for young leaders using education to help protect the environment.

Sam Little, Parks & People’s Environmental Education Manager was one of the 30 Under 30 award honorees. The EE 30 Under 30 program recognizes the critical role that young people are playing in helping to address environmental and social challenges and build healthier and more sustainable communities. With a focus on highlighting the work of young professionals, coming from a variety of backgrounds, ethnicities, race, genders, and communities, NAAEE hopes to shine a spotlight on the incredible work taking place around North America by young people, and motivate others to get involved.

“Sam is a driving force behind all of Parks & People’s innovative environmental education programs – he is determined to improve environmental literacy in Baltimore and connect as many urban youth as possible to local parks and green spaces. This recognition is well deserved and we are so proud of Sam’s accomplishments,” expressed Lisa Schroeder, Parks & People’s President & CEO.  

"For more than four decades, NAAEE has worked with its affiliates, members, and partners to promote excellence in environmental education and advance environmental literacy and civic engagement. The work of these outstanding and committed young people is helping us build a stronger and more inclusive movement," said Judy Braus, Executive Director. “Their stories, perspectives, and passion show us all that age is not a barrier to creating a more just and sustainable society – in fact, their energy, ideas, and drive show that future leadership will be in great hands. NAAEE looks forward to supporting the continuing efforts of these exceptional young EE leaders."

During NAAEE’s 45th Annual Conference in Madison, Wis., four of the 30 young people, Garrett Blad, CJ Goulding, Kelsey Leonard, and Madison Vorva, participated in a panel discussion moderated by Danni Washington, founder of The Big Blue & You, and the host of TV series Xploration Station - Nature Knows Best. The panelists spoke about their work, their perspectives on the present state of the field of EE, and hopes for the future. The event was broadcasted on Facebook Live, and is available on the NAAEE YouTube channel. For more information about the 2016 EE 30 Under 30, including eligibility requirements and a full list of honorees, visit


The North American Association for Environmental Education is a pioneering membership organization dedicated to accelerating environmental literacy and civic engagement through the power of education. NAAEE supports a network of more than 20,000 educators, researchers, and organizational members working in environmental education in more than 30 countries through direct membership and 53 regional affiliate organizations. Through community networks, publications, signature programs, eeNEWS and eeJOBS, NAAEE provides programming and resources for professionals working in all areas of the field. NAAEE’s annual conference, now in its 45th year, convenes leaders from private and public sectors to advance the field of environmental education. For more information, visit and

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