June 26, 2014 – First Green has been awarded a 2014 E3 Washington Green Apple Award for Business Excellence.  Steve Kealy, Golf Course Superintendent and First Green Board member, will accept the award on behalf of First Green at a ceremony on June 26, 2014.

First Green is an innovative environmental education outreach program using golf courses as environmental learning labs. First Green coordinates outdoor “learning labs” at golf courses that allow students to perform hands-on experiments and tests, all within the focus of their schools’ environmental science and/or horticulture curricula.

In these outdoor labs, students test water quality, collect soil samples, identify plants, do math activities and work with local issues such as stream-bed or owl-nest restoration. First Green also emphasizes the environmental and community benefits of golf courses, while introducing potential new golfers to the game in a fun, educational manner. In addition to the field trips, First Green hosts workshops for teachers and golf course superintendents that provide continuing education credits. First Green assists golf courses in hosting students to demonstrate the environmental benefits of and environmental practices on golf courses.

A non-profit founded in 1997, First Green has replicated the program across Washington and into other states – Oregon, California, New Jersey, New York, Utah, Colorado, and just launched a program in Western Canada in May 2014.

Steve Kealy is accepting the award on behalf of First Green because of his leadership. Steve has turned his golf course, Glendale Country Club, into a learning lab for area schools. In addition, he has provided leadership and mentoring to other golf course superintendents in his industry, helping other superintendents to start their own field trip programs at their courses. Steve is featured in the First Green video on how to host a field trip. He is also an Audubon International Steward, helping other golf course superintendents to become better environmental stewards.

For more information about First Green, see www.thefirstgreen.org.

About E3 Washington                                                   

E3 Washington is working to fully integrate environmental, sustainability and systems learning in, and across preK-12 schools, college/universities and communities. Since 1990, E3 Washington has been the professional home for environmental and sustainability educators and their supporters. With a resilient and compelling mission and five goals, E3 Washington is succeeding to inspire and engage thousands of regionally and culturally diverse education, business, tribal, governmental, and community based educators to provide programmatic, leadership, and institutional innovations in education. Utilizing a collective impact approach, E3 Washington brings diverse leaders together within and across sectors and regions to take measurable actions linking resources in a culture of exchange and respect, utilizing the tools of learning communities and transformative leadership.

For more information about E3 Washington, see www.e3washington.org.