Both younger and older generations are looking for ways they can protect and improve the environment.

Environmental education programs are taking place in a variety of settings including environmental centers, schools, parks and recreation facilities, and farms. Funding, research, and program design tend to target young people as the primary audience. Yet, considering the doubling of the 65+ population in the coming decades, as well as the emphasis placed on post-retirement volunteerism and civic engagement, the environmental education agenda should be anchored not only in school learning but also across settings and across the lifespan.

Program benefits:

  • Bringing people of all ages together to work toward a common goal—to protect human health and the environment.
  • Encouraging exploration, study, and action to improve the environment.
  • Expanding the numbers of environmental stewards who are committed to the environment, feel a sense of responsibility to improve it, and have the skills to take effective action.
  • Drawing attention to the shared environment.
  • Providing opportunities for collaborative activity to improve the environment.
  • Demonstrating that participants display an increased readiness to take action to protect and care for the environment.
  • Helping people see the relevance and vital importance of the environment not only to their own well-being, but also to the well-being of their families and communities (Generations United, 2006).

Potential partners:

  • Environmental organizations
  • Health organizations (e.g. lung, heart, and diabetes associations)
  • Public and private K-12 schools
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Community centers
  • Youth service organizations (e.g., 4-H, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, scout troops, and after-school programs)
  • Adult service organizations (e.g., Rotary, Kiwanis)
  • Faith-based organizations
  • Day care centers
  • Museums
  • Historical associations
  • Farms
  • Animal shelters
  • Retirement communities
  • Senior centers
  • Parks & Recreation Centers
  • Corporations and local businesses
  • State & local health and environmental agencies


Generations Going Green: Intergenerational Programs Connecting Young and Old to Improve Our Environment

Kaplan, M. S., and Liu, S. 2004. Generations United for Environmental Awareness and Action. Washington, D.C.: Generations United.