For the past 25 years, the General Motors Global Rivers Environmental Education Network(GREEN) has engaged young people as active citizens who improve conditions in their watersheds now and in the future.
Dr. William Stapp of the University of Michigan founded the GREEN program in 1984. What began as a group of graduate students seeking a way to investigate cases of individuals who had contracted hepatitis from the Huron River grew to a broad network of citizens working to address the issues and threats facing their local water resources.
With the addition of General Motors in 1989, and Earth Force in 1999, the program grew to include all GM facility communities across the U.S. This evolution introduced a critical collaborative model that has since informed all of our work at Earth Force. Locally-based organizations, mentors from General Motors, and Earth Force come together to support young people in learning more about the watersheds they live in and using their findings to create lasting solutions to pressing water quality issues.
Since then, Earth Force has developed GM GREEN collaboratives in 26 communities throughout the U.S., engaging over 150,000 young people as environmental leaders.
This year, our 25th anniversary, marks a large international expansion into seven new communities in Canada, and deepening our programming in one existing community, Oshawa. The expansion brings new opportunities for youth from the U.S. to connect with students in Canada to learn about the similarities and differences they face when working to improve their environment.
We’re looking forward to celebrating 25 years with 28 amazing partners, over 200 GM mentors from 42 GM facilities, and thousands of young people and educators who make innovative and imperative improvements to their environments and communities.
Submitted by Kirsten Mueller of Earth Force.