By Ralph W. Schardt, former Executive Director, Michael Lee Environmental Foundation
The Michael Lee Environmental Foundation (MLEF) was originally introduced to Mount Madonna School (MMS) through the garden coordinator and teacher, Jessica Cambell. MLEF immediately recognized a fit with our mission – to support science-based environmental education. MLEF supported a grant request to upgrade the garden and help renovate some of the teaching areas demonstrating conservation, soil management and organic, sustainable practices. MLEF soon became acquainted with the teaching principles of the school, along with the motivation of its teachers and students. As MLEF’s executive director and a former educator, I found a feeling of hope while working with MMS. Their outreach programs, cultural awareness activities, and environmental practices were a fresh breath of air compared to so many other institutions. Seven years ago, when MLEF was asked if we would like to support Summit for the Planet, it was an easy decision to participate. When it came time for MLEF to decommission our organization, we found a way to continue support for the next 20 years through a long-term grant. We are proud of MMS and its education principles that will turn out productive, culturally aware, environmentally driven students who will become citizens of action for the world.