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Environmental Science Center 

Description

Founded in 2000, the Environmental Science Center (ESC) is a not-for-profit organization offering quality, experiential environmental education programs at our local beaches, streams, forests, and classrooms in South King County. ESC promotes environmental stewardship to thousands of people through collaborations with a growing number of school districts and community-based organizations as well as speaking engagements, festivals and workshops.

Mission Statement
The Environmental Science Center promotes environmental stewardship and academic achievement through science-based education.
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Environmental Science Center
126 SW 148th St Ste C100-170 
Burien 
WA
98166-1984 
(206) 248-4266 

Tara Luckie 
Executive Director 

Programs

Environmental Science Center Programs

To best uphold ESC’s mission, the following programs are delivered:

School Programs
Typically, a one-hour classroom session is followed by a 1.5- or 3-hour inquiry-based field program at a location such as Seahurst Park or the Normandy Park Cove. Education in the environmental setting encourages students to think critically about the relationship between human actions and their impact on the natural world. School programs are based on curricula aligned with Washington State Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs) and Environmental Education Standards.

Out-of-School Programs
ESC partners with organizations such as Community Schools Collaboration, Neighborhood House, and New Futures to provide lessons on environmental issues. All our offerings are designed to contribute to student appreciation and enjoyment of science - a key to students becoming self-directed learners and gaining confidence in this core competency.

Education, Outreach and Sustainability
The ESC seeks partnerships with organizations that are implementing sustainability and restoration projects to deliver education and outreach components. ESC specializes in projects that will benefit the health of the Puget Sound ecosystem and provides low-impact development workshops for residents in South King County. Additionally, ESC delivers community programs at its new center to engage residents in environmental issues.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

In October 2011, ESC successfully completed its capital campaign and opened its new learning center at Seahurst Park in Burien. The center is located amidst 169 acres of forest and trails and along nearly a mile of protected beach. This new center has already hosted several community and family events such as the Moonlight Beach Walk and Insectival. Additionally, it has been a classroom for students visiting Seahurst Park for their field study component of a program.

With the new building, we are seeking additional support and partnerships to increase our service to the community.  Please contact us if you are interested in learning more about making a donation, partnering for programs, or volunteering.

Evaluation

Environmental Science Center (ESC) serves as the key environmental education organization in south King County. They recently opened their new center at Seahurst Park.

Accessibility and Cultural Competency
Focusing on K-12, ESC serves a high percentage of underserved, low-income communities that need access to environmental education. Their in-school programs are free to schools with over 50% free and reduced lunch rates and they provide bussing to some of their out-of-school programs. Over the past year ESC has grown their in-school programming by 17%.

Collaboration
ESC has built strong relationships with school districts in South King County such as Highline and Tukwila. They partner closely with other npo’s that will provide the site as well as students and families to their out-of-school education and outreach programs, supporting a symbiotic relationship that allows ESC to provide quality education without having to direct resources to recruiting students and providing a venue. ESC also works closely with the City of Burien to deliver summer programs, family programs and leases the new Seahurst Facility.

Leadership
Caroline Bobanick has been the Executive Director of ESC for 2 years, during this time she has restructured the organization’s small staff to meet the expertise needed to operate successfully. Following the opening of the new Seahurst facility the staff and board will undergo a strategic planning process to plan for the best use of the facility.

Financials
During challenging economic times, ESC has managed to maintain a stable budget with a small surplus, conclude a capital campaign for the Seahurst Facility and increase their government and foundation funding. Like many organizations they are looking to increase their individual giving which is a particular struggle given the financial demographic of their local community.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

DateAmountPurpose
6/10/2014 $50,000.00support general operating expenses.
3/10/2013 $10,000.00support general operating expenses.
3/10/2012 $7,500.00support general operating expenses.
3/10/2011 $7,500.00support general operating expenses.
10/1/2008 $15,000.00support general operating expenses.

Financials

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