The Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education (ANJEE) is a private, non-profit, statewide membership organization that was founded in 1985 and incorporated in 1986. Its headquarters was established at the Scherman-Hoffmann Sanctuaries in Bernardsville, part of the New Jersey Audubon Society, where it still resides today. ANJEE was established by volunteers and continues to be administered primarily by volunteers. _
“It was a warm evening in April of 1985. Twenty environmental educators from around the state were in a basement room of the New Jersey Audubon center in Bernardsville. All agreed that as individuals they were doing a pretty decent job in classrooms, nature centers, zoos, museums, parks and camps, but on the whole, environmental education was still regarded as a minor issue and making very little impact on the behaviors of New Jersey citizens.
They wondered...What if we set up a system for networking the formal classroom teachers with the non-formal educators? What if we had special annual environmental education conferences where we could gather and share ideas through workshops and panel discussions? What if we worked together on some common goals for strengthening the impact of environmental education in New Jersey? What then? Would it make a difference?
That was the acorn planted in the spring of ’85 and the tree that sprouted was the Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education.”
(Source: The Roots of the ANJEE Tree. *Pat Kane, President, ANJEE Annual Report, 1989-90.)
*Patricia (Pat) Kane was ANJEE's founder and volunteer Executive Director for several years.
DEFINING ANJEE AS AN ORGANIZATION
ANJEE was often considered by the public as well as some of its members to be a conservation or environmental organization. It was often approached to advocate for or support certain positions on issues or actions to be taken regarding environmental or natural resource protection. The organizations' founders and leaders however, were educators and not lobbyists and declined the pursuit of those invitations. Today...
ANJEE is an organization whose purpose is "to provide a structure for its members which facilitates the improvement of environemental education efforts." -ANJEE Annual Retreat, 1997
The founding mission of the Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education (ANJEE) was “to create, through education, an awareness, understanding and a concern for the quality of the environment and a conviction that human well-being is dependent upon a healthy environment.”
Within the first two years ANJEE members adopted a constitution, elected officers, committee chairs and an advisory council, established an operating budget, held its first annual conference, and began the business of advancing environmental education in New Jersey.
- ANJEE’s policy handbook was developed and maintained, beginning in the mid-1990s
- ANJEE’s strategic plan was developed beginning in 1996 and later adopted by the full membership in 1998
- Affiliate group status was established in 1997 and three groups were added to
- ANJEE’s operations: the Coalition for Schoolyard Habitats, the New Jersey Natural Resource Education Cooperative, and the Watershed Partnership for New Jersey
- The state was divided into three smaller geographic regions in 1998.
- In 2005 ANJEE’s executive board and advisory council began to redesign the organization’s board structure and rewrite the bylaws, in order to update procedures and create a structure that would build organizational capacity. The revised bylaws and organizational structure were adopted at the 2007 meeting of the general membership.
- ANJEE creates new strategic plan in 2012