P. O. BOX 2120

April 14, 2000


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: JoLynne DeMary
Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Governor's Academy for Environmental Stewardship

 This is to inform you that Governor Gilmore has announced the establishment of the 
Governor's Academy for Environmental Stewardship, a new summer program to prepare 
young people to manage natural resources in Virginia.  The program is a key 
component of the Governor's environmental education initiative, Virginia Naturally 

The program will include two one-week sessions from July 16-22 and August 12-19 at 
Cove Ridge Center, Natural Tunnel State Park, in southwestern Virginia.

In announcing the new program, Governor Gilmore said, "Virginia Naturally 2000 and 
the Governor's Academy for Environmental Stewardship will encourage and develop the 
best of the next generation to become environmental leaders and help protect the 
Commonwealth's natural resources for years to come.  Education is the key to 
excellence in environmental stewardship."

Thirty-two students who are interested in natural resources will be selected for the 
program.  Selection of the students will be based on academic achievement; 
recommendations by a teacher, guidance counselor, natural resource professional, a 
leader of an organization such as the Boy Scouts, a 4-H Club, a soil and water 
conservation district director, ecology club sponsor, or FFA leader; and an 
expressed interest in natural resources.  Public, private, and home-schooled students
are encouraged to apply.  Students who apply should be sophomores rising to juniors 
in high school in the fall of this year.  Applications are available from school 
guidance departments or may be downloaded from the Virginia Department of 
Conservation and Recreation's website (

Students enrolled in the program will receive instruction by natural resource 
professionals in field studies and hands-on activities in forestry, fish and 
wildlife management, watershed management, water quality, endangered species, and 
geology.  The students will have the opportunity to interact with people employed 
by private industry, conservation organizations, and government.

Informational material about the program has been sent by the Department of 
Conservation and Recreation to all high school principals, science teachers, 
guidance counselors, and vocational agriculture teachers.

Virginia Naturally 2000 provides tools to help all Virginians develop scientific 
and economic knowledge to make informed decisions about the best use of the state's 
natural and historic resources.  In addition to the Governor's Academy, an 
environmental education website, is available.  Plans also are 
being made to recognize exemplary efforts by businesses, schools, and local 
governments, and to provide leadership seminars for both youth and adult audiences.

More information about the Governor's Academy for Environmental Stewardship is 
available from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation toll free at