The SEMIS Coalition is a regional hub for the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative


The Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (GLSI) started in 2007 to support place-based education throughout Michigan, with a focus on experiential learning opportunities based in regional hub organizations. The Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition (SEMIS Coalition) fulfills that role for our region.

To achieve their mission, the GLSI focused on “creative a culture of stewardship” and engaging students in their local communities, both through experiencing the rich natural resources of the Great Lakes State and to understand important environmental issues and solutions to pressing civic concerns.

Engaging youth for a culture of environmental care

According to the GLSI website, “The Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (GLSI) creates a culture of stewardship by providing young people with relevant knowledge and hands-on experiences that build excitement for learning and instill a commitment to improving local communities. We serve a critical social need at a time when too many young people are feeling disengaged from school, ineffectual in their community, and isolated from the outdoors.

With the help of participating educators, civic leaders, and community partners, the GLSI’s work:

  • Helps young people become effective environmental stewards
  • Encourages schools and community organizations to work together for mutual benefit
  • Constitutes a purposeful effort across Michigan that to expand classrooms, strengthen communities, and serve as a beacon for positive change”

Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative events

The Statewide Place-Based Education Conference
The annual Great Lakes Place-Based Education Conference brings together practitioners and teachers from formal and non-formal education, local partners from communities across the region, and staff of other organizations, all of whom provide vital leadership and resources to the cause of developing environmental stewards of the Great Lakes and its ecosystems.  Students and teachers have presented at this conference in the past. View upcoming conference details.

Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative Hub Events

SEMIS also partners with other regional hubs across Michigan to attend combined events that benefit cross-collaboration and supporting educator resource sharing.  See the articles below for more information on what’s going on around the network:

Why Michigan is a leader in place-based education

Teaching kids to shape a healthy future for Lansing’s rivers

Students take on stewardship role at Negwegon State Park

Students build underwater robots to keep an eye on the Great Lakes

Place-based education motivates students by connecting learning to community

Out of the classroom and into the community: How Muskegon students are contributing

New stewardship programs aim to teach students how to care for Great Lakes

Local students are learning how to be good Great Lakes stewards

Groundswell takes learning outside for Kent County students

Flint initiative redefines place-based education in urban schools


“I think the GLSI is unique because it really is a statewide effort. It’s both urban and rural; it’s deeply embedded in schools as well as in community-based organizations. I think it’s the best model in the country for a statewide place-based education effort … I think it is the most sustainable, deepest and broadest work of its kind.” Doris Williams

Executive Director, Rural School and Community Trust

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