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Answering the call: Everyday Environment team wins national gold award honors

Clear globe of Earth laying on moss floor with text overlay reading Everyday Environment.

URBANA, Ill. — Responding to the needs of communities across the state is a priority for University of Illinois Extension. In 2020, the natural resources, environment, and energy team members identified the need to provide environmental education through virtual opportunities, so the Everyday Environment webinar series was launched. 

Fast forward to 2023, the series and team received the Gold Award for Outstanding Educational Materials in the Televised Conference/Video Conference/Webinar category from the Association of Natural Resources Extension Professionals for their 12 webinars featured in 2022. ANREP hosts an awards program every year with a mission of expanding the use of high-quality, innovative materials and programs by honoring the outstanding members and partners who developed them.

“We look back now and see how collaborating as a team inspired us to push forward and start the Everyday Environment webinar series one month into the pandemic shutdown in 2020,” says Erin Garrett, Natural Resources, Environment, and Energy educator.

The series’ goal is to address global and statewide priority environmental issues, focusing on enhancing and preserving natural resources and engaging with home and community landscapes. The free series covers various topics, including cover crops, climate change, prescribed burning basics, and the return of large predators in Illinois.

The award-winning team includes Erin Garrett, Abigail Garofalo, Rachel Curry, Peggy Doty, Michelle Berg, Jay Solomon, Duane Friend, Kevin Rohling, and Amy Lefringhouse. Additional Illinois Extension and Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant specialists include Eliana Brown, Layne Knoche, Paris Collingsworth, and Janice Milanovich.

The environmental series provides participants with the knowledge and drive to do their part to protect the planet for generations to enjoy.

“We’re excited to see continued interest from our participants as the series continues through 2023 and beyond,” says Garrett.

Information about upcoming webinars is available at

SOURCE: Erin Garrett, Natural Resources, Environment, and Energy Educator, Illinois Extension

WRITER: Jenna Braasch, Media Communications Coordinator, Illinois Extension

ABOUT ANREP: ANREP is a national association for Cooperative Extension Service professionals working in environmental education, fisheries, forestry, wood sciences, range, recreation, waste management, water, wildlife, energy, and related disciplines. Members are active and retired CES employees at the county, area, state, or national level.

About Extension

Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities. Illinois Extension is part of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.