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News: The GCA Recognizes Outstanding Teachers in Early Environmental Education


October 24, 2019

2019 Hull Award Winners

Bees, trees, and lettuce seeds… these topics and more were brought to classrooms across the country by 13 outstanding teachers, all recipients of the GCA’s 2019 Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Award. 

The Garden Club of America’s Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Award annually recognizes the outstanding achievements of individuals furthering the early environmental education of children. Established in 1992, the Hull Award provides $1,000 to chosen recipients who honor Miss Hull’s common sense approach to environmental awareness by inspiring children under 16 to appreciate the beauty and fragility of our planet. One-hundred and forty-four awards have been granted over the past 27 years.

A woman ahead of her time, Miss Hull (1900-1996) was an active member of the Ridgefield Garden Club and credited her mother and grandmother with instilling her own passion for the environment. She was a shining example of what one person, no matter her age, can do when she followed her passions. It is fitting that the inspiration she gave to others is now passed along to youth, at the beginning of their life and work, in the form of the Hull Award. 

Laura and Shawn Sears were recipients of Hull Award this year. In 2001, they founded a free residential outdoor education program called Vida Verde Nature Education. Since then, a three-day nonprofit outdoor education camp has introduced the wonders of nature to 11,000 inner-city students, ages 10-12, who come from under-resourced schools and have no access to outdoor learning programs. Students participate in many activities, such as milking goats, walking silently through the forest, and harvesting vegetables from the organic garden which is used to prepare their dinner. They also visit the coastline exploring sea life along the shore and splashing in the ocean. 

These hands-on science education and skill-building programs are potentially life changing experiences for the youth, and our planet is reaping the benefits. All 2019 Hull Award winners engaged their students through the five senses with abundant creativity, enthusiasm, and a can-do attitude.

Read more about the 2019 Hull Award recipients here.

Pictured right: Elizabeth Abernathy Hull


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