Rhode Island Environmental
Education Association

Meet longtime RIEEA board member Joshua Laplante! He first got involved with RIEEA back in 2007, nearly fifteen years ago.

Joshua is the Head of School at The Greene School, a public charter high school in West Greenwich, Rhode Island. The Greene School, according to their website, “explores the interdependence of human and natural systems. Through a rigorous pre-college curriculum, we develop citizens and leaders engaged in finding peaceful and sustainable solutions to local and global challenges.” 


What’s your favorite outdoor place in Rhode Island, and why? 

The beach. I love to be at the beach, in the water, on the water, under the water. I love open water swims at Narragansett Beach or challenging the waves and tides during and after storms or just witnessing its calm and its fury. I enjoy the smell, the sounds, and the feel of the sea.

How did you get involved in the environmental field? 

I have always enjoyed being outdoors. It was part of my upbringing and has remained a personal interest and joy. However, when I was teaching at Central Falls High School, I was asked to teach an environmental science course to multilingual learners. The experiences we had with some awesome community partners that engaged students with the natural world was inspiring and brought pure joy to the lives of students who are often excluded from such creative and meaningful learning experiences. From there, I chaired the creation and facilitation of a learning pathway focused on environmental education that drew the attention of many students and community organizations resulting in increased attendance rates, academic achievement, and network opportunities for our students. Many years later, I became the Head of School at one of RI’s leading environmental education programs.

What has been your favorite memory of working with RIEEA?

Traveling to California with a RIEEA team for the purpose of strategic planning. The camaraderie, the learning, the purpose and intentionality of our work as an affiliate of NAAEE. All inspiring!

I feel fortunate to be part of this organization. I believe in the RIEEA mission and vision for environmental education and literacy. It is my hope that the organization continues to have influence and strive to promote high-quality environmental education for all RI residents.

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity. 
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