Center for Environmental Literacy Mission


CEL's mission is to provide “education for sustainability” by empowering educators to adopt a cross disciplinary approach that integrates inquiry-based learning, the arts, and environmental literacy.


The River of Words Art and Poetry Contest fosters environmental stewardship and conservation and helps teachers integrate the arts in the classroom.

  • CEL's professional development programs provide support for teachers.
  • CEL generates resources like the Watershed Explorer Curriculum to integrate the arts into science lessons in line with the Common Core State Standards for writing (CCSS), Next generation Science Standards (NGSS), and National Core Art Standards (NCAS).


Founded in 1995 by former US Poet Laureate Robert Hass and writer Pamela Michael.

In 2011, River of Words Collection of Children’s Environmental Art and Poetry became a part of the new Center for Environmental Literacy in the Kalmanovitz School of Education at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California.

The River of Words Collection of Children’s Art and Poetry, one of the largest in the world, now resides at Saint Mary’s and is available for scholarly research.

Like What We Do?

Alaskan Cove - Emma Ratshin, Age 13; 2013 Finalist

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