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Connecting Health & Environmental Education

Outdoor Learning & Experiences

Climate Change

Community Engagement


Food Systems

Health is the chain that links us all together. As the effects of climate change become more apparent in our everyday lives all across the globe, the importance of environmental health is placed into stark relief: The health of our environment has a direct impact on the health of people and our communities.

Environmental health requires environmental justice for all — equitable access to clean water and air, healthy soil and food, and stable climate and temperatures. Environmental education is the tool we use to educate our youth about each of these natural resources and human interaction with them.

When it comes down to it, environmental education (EE) is all about health. Students who are exposed to environmental education through curriculum, outdoor learning, school gardens, or Green Schools exhibit improved socio-emotional health — a greater ability to manage stress, stronger self- awareness and emotional agility, better ability to cope, and so on. Students learn to care for and engage in their communities through EE. They solve real-world problems through EE. They make the planet a healthier and more sustainable place for all life through EE.

Teaching environmental education is critical to improving the health and wellbeing of individuals, communities, and all living beings on Earth. Join us in inspiring today's teachers — those who provide critical education for tomorrow's leaders — by becoming part of the 2022 conference as an attendee, presenter, sponsor, or exhibitor!

Equity Matters to Us

KACEE has scholarship options available for our annual EE conference! As an organization, we are committed to being accessible to everyone.


No questions asked.

Until the Conference Begins!

Sponsor the Conference

Sponsorships are a key part of making the annual environmental education conference happen! We are seeking sponsorships from $100 - $2,500. Each sponsorship level is an opportunity to support a specific aspect of the conference; whether you want to go big and become a Title Sponsor or support equity and access as a Conference Scholarship Sponsor, there's a sponsorship to suit your desired level of support.

Exhibit at the Conference

Connect with an audience of 200+ motivated and engaged environmental educators as a conference exhibitor! Get your own exhibitor booth + 1 conference registration for $250. Exhibitor booths are open on Saturday, November 5th at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center from 8 AM - 3 PM. (An exhibitor booth is included with sponsorships at the $250+ levels.)

Present at the Conference

Presenters inspire, educate, and motivate conference attendees — is there a topic that you would like to present on to our audience of 200+ environmental educators? We welcome your presentation proposal. The 2022 conference theme is "Health For All: Connecting Health & Environmental Education", and the presentation categories include Outdoor Learning & Experiences, Climate Change, Community Engagement, JEDIA, and Food Systems.


1 Hour


This is a traditional presentation format. Speaker(s) present to an audience. Information flows in one direction.

1 Hour Panel Discussion

This is a panel discussion, where one person facilitates a conversation between 2+ panelists in front of an audience

1 Hour Open Space Conversation

Participants create and manage the agenda themselves. Sessions can be for 5+ people. Participants to gain ownership of a topic or issue and come up with ideas or solutions.

2 Hour Interactive Workshop

This is a structured set of facilitated activities for groups of participants who work together to explore a topic/problem and its elements/solutions

20 Minute Bright Spot

These are short, 20 minute, presentations that introduce an innovative topic or idea to an audience, intended to inspire further thought.





An outspoken advocate for racial equity, traumatic-informed practices and student voice in education, Dr. Sharonica L. Hardin-Bartley has served as superintendent of The School District of University City since July 2016. 

Dr. Hardin-Bartley is a regional and national speaker on integrating health and well-being, student equity, restorative practices and student voice in the school community. She was a principal writer on state guidelines for trauma-informed schools through the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

In January, 2022, she was named one of "Five Superintendents to Watch" nationally by "K-12 Dive." In February 2022, she was selected as a prestigious Children and Family Fellow by The Annie E. Casey Foundation. In the 21-month program, she and an elite group of national leaders from the public, nonprofit and for-profit sectors will receive intensive executive leadership training to facilitate major system reforms and community change initiatives. 








Atenas Isabel Mena born and raised in Kansas City is a proud first generation Mexican American. Ms. Mena received her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Avila

University in 2014 and went on to receive her Master’s in Nursing Leadership from Missouri Western State University in 2019.


In addition to working as a nurse, Ms. Mena has received extensive environmental health training in the field, working with the Children’s Mercy environmental health team, as both an educator as well as a team coordinator.

Ms. Mena has worked continuously throughout the last few years with Clean Air Now KC through boots on the ground projects, served as a Board of Directors, and has just recently transitioned into the current leadership role as environmental health director.


Atenas centers her work around reducing health inequities, educating communities on environmental health impacts, and empowering community members to have a voice and fight for equity and environmental justice.



Beto Lugo Martinez is an environmental justice organizer and the co-executive director of CleanAirNow in Kansas City. He serves to raise community voices in the fight against environmental racism and to overcome systemic exclusion of fence-line communities from the decision making process.

His lived experiences growing up at the fence-line, combined with the foundational environmental justice work done by CleanAirNow KC, are disrupting the status quo by taking action to bring systemic change in industry and government policies and practices to protect health and promote justice, bringing attention to the environmental racism and inequity that perpetuates the unequal distribution of environmental pollution and health hazards that is fueling the climate crisis in overburdened communities.

Beto’s contributions to the movement include organizing, community led policy that prioritizes environmental justice and community led research amongst many other community engaged initiatives to improve environmental protections and address environmental health inequities. 

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Welcome to the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center!

The conference will be held at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Conference Center at 4801 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City, MO 64110. View it on Google Maps.