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What is Place-Based Education?

Watch our short documentary film about Place-based Education in Northeast Michigan.

Protecting the Great Lakes and environmental resources of northeast Michigan through hands-on, place-based learning in and with the community. 

Place-Based Education (PBE) or Community Based Education (CBE) brings students into closer contact with their communities, through youth-led stewardship projects that enhance their environment and community. This education strategy allows schools to enrich the learning and lives of their students. 

Hands-on, place-based education is a proven method for developing knowledgeable and active stewards of the environment. When schools and communities work together, they produce powerful partnerships that are beneficial to all. 


What is our Goal?

The Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (NEMIGLSI) is a regional network of education and community partners working to promote quality place-based or community-based education opportunities in Northeast Michigan for the benefit of our youth, our community, and our environment. The initiative operates and supports programming through three primary areas:

  • Schools and Educator Support: We provide program support for educator teams to engage their local schools and youth in PBE inquiries.
  • Quality Professional Development: We support the use of best practices that maximize the effectiveness of PBE by providing access to quality local professional development opportunities that support PBE processes, provide content-based learning, and facilitate networking among regional partners.
  • Strong Community-School Partnerships: By seeking meaningful community service and environmental stewardship in youth projects, the initiative links community partners and community development or environmental stewardship goals to schools with the purpose of creating youth-driven stewardship projects.

Through the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan, the NEMIGLSI network provides mini-grants in support of local PBE programming. Mini-grant funds are available to school/educator teams to further a PBE or CBE program in their school with the help of community partners. Application information is available here.


Supporting Community Development and Resource Stewardship Priorities through Education


Since 2006, many local and regional partners have engaged in Great Lakes education networking and planning efforts across Alcona, Alpena, Arenac, Cheboygan, Iosco, Montmorency, Otsego, and Presque Isle counties. These regional relationships and planning efforts resulted in establishing a regional, collaborative network of school and community partners, the Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative.  


The eight counties encompassed by this regional network are rich in natural, cultural, and historic resources that are invaluable to the region's "sunrise side" identity and quality of life. Several regional, coastal community development, and tourism planning processes identify needs and strategies for enhancing coastal areas, education, and sustainable resource management. These provide examples of regional planning efforts that identify community partners, community priorities, and coastal resource stewardship project opportunities in which schools can engage. 


Who is involved? 


On a statewide level, NEMIGLSI is supported by the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative. This organization, funded by the Great Lakes Fishery Trust, supports Place-Based education efforts throughout the state of Michigan by funding and supporting regional hubs, such as NEMIGLSI. 


Here in northeast Michigan, many schools and community partners are involved in NEMIGLSI projects, which reflect partnerships among in-school educators, local, state, and federal agencies, universities, non-profit conservation and community organizations, non-formal education programs, and representatives from area businesses and industry. Currently there are 37 associated projects throughout northeast Michigan. Any schools the six county area are invited to join the initiative!





This page last updated on 10/25/2018.
Contact Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative

Northeast Michigan GLSI network programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national or ethnic origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, or veteran status.

2020 NEMIGLSI Leadership Team Bar

AMA-Iosco Math Science Center Americorps U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Great Lakes Fishery Trust Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative Community Foundation Northeast Michigan Huron Pines Cheboygan-Otsego-Presque Isle ESD Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona ESD Michigan Department of Natural Resources Northeast Michigan Council of Governments Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary 4-H MSU Extension Michigan Sea Grant NOAA