Environmental Pathways

Youth Investigating Pollution Issues in Illinois

Dear Educator:

Environmental Pathways - Youth Investigating Pollution Issues in Illinois

Please join me as we renew the commitment to educate our young people in the importance of environmental awareness and stewardship. We have made significant progress to improve our air, land and water quality and it is essential that we continue to emphasize the need for a healthy environment as we train the next generation of leaders.

The Illinois EPA offers one of the best tools to assist in the achievement of our common goal; our fifth-sixth grade teacher’s guide to the environment, Environmental Pathways – Youth Investigating Pollution Issues in Illinois. This guide meets the criteria of the North American Association for Environmental Education’s Environmental Education Materials: Guidelines for Excellence and is correlated with the Illinois Leaning Standards.

The packet is designed to develop critical thinking skills, encourage students to think constructively about environmental issues and to make informed decisions about our natural resources. I believe that you will find this an outstanding resource for your classroom and that it will also offer valuable information for those of you who are teaching in an informal setting.

It is my hope that this guide will be a valuable tool as you develop your environmental curriculum. I appreciate your continued interest in environmental protection and thanks to all of you who are helping to shape the environment consciousness of our elementary and middle school students.


Alec Messina
Acting Director

If you plan to use Environmental Pathways in your classroom this year, be sure to participate in the Poetry, Poster and Prose exhibit

Get your Environmental Pathways packet now

In an effort to make this educational tool more accessible to you, Environmental Pathways can be downloaded from this site. The packet is in Adobe Acrobat © format which will enable you to print and copy lesson materials for your classroom. This guide is updated on a yearly basis, which is available in December, to provide up-to-date materials and resources.

If you choose to download the packet, you may also want to order the posters that are included in the printed mail-order version.


Environmental Pathways is also available by mail. If you do not have the resources available to download and print the materials in the packet you can still take advantage of this educational tool.