Community Environment Education Centers


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  • Title: Community Environment Education Centers: Facilitating Community Created Ecoscapes
  • Author(s): Erwin Weber, Adrienne Weber
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Spaces & Flows
  • Journal Title: Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies
  • Keywords: Ecological Sustainability, Environmental Education, Community Development
  • Volume: 6
  • Issue: 1
  • Year: 2015
  • ISSN: 2154-8676 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2154-8684 (Online)
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Weber, Erwin, and Adrienne Weber. 2015. "Community Environment Education Centers: Facilitating Community Created Ecoscapes." Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies 6 (1): 1-22. doi:10.18848/2154-8676/CGP/v06i01/53758.
  • Extent: 22 pages


This study focuses on designing a community environment education center (CEEC) for Chillingham, as a hub for community transition to sustainability, redressing social fragmentation, youth unemployment, a high eco-footprint and economic rural decline due to globalisation. The ecologically sustainable development framework was delivered by integrating environment education and community development through project-based experiential learning. The development of Chillingham Community Centre involved case study research and incorporated participatory design charrettes, transformative learning, eco-positive development and community-public-private partnerships. This process evolved from community strategic planning in a small rural village buffering world heritage rainforests impacted by a rapidly expanding urban conurbation on Australia’s east coast. This community space encompasses socio-environmental flows connecting people to each other and the ecoscape to grow natural capital, community cohesion and empower eco-governance. Modelling passive solar design, on-site renewable energy/water/nutrient cycling, community garden/market and environment education programs sowed the seeds for a green local economy, demonstrating community capacity to participate in transition to sustainability. A small rural community can demonstrate to other communities that a CEEC enables people to meet their socio-environmental and economic needs locally and sustainably. The ecologically sustainable solution is holistic, all settlements need to be richly biodiverse, locally specific and globally wise.