A Message from EarthGen’s Executive Director & Board Chair

A Message from Executive Director, Meredith Lohr

Dear Friends,

I am writing today with mixed emotions to share some important news about EarthGen. After 11+ years in the role of Executive Director, I have decided to step down at the end of July. This decision was difficult for me because I love this organization, and I know that our efforts to engage youth in protecting the planet are more important than ever. At the same time, it is time for a new chapter for me and my family, and I am confident that EarthGen will grow and change in exciting ways with new leadership. 

For more than a decade, I have been dedicated to EarthGen’s mission: to equip young people to become leaders for a healthy environment. Since the beginning, our organization has grown consistently, and today our programs engage more than 30,000 students in diverse communities across Washington annually. I’m proud that hundreds of educators rely on EarthGen for training, resources, and support year after year. Guided by our commitment to equity, we’re bringing meaningful learning opportunities to kids and communities who are farthest from educational and environmental justice. Thanks to EarthGen, they are learning about climate change and its local impacts, taking action, and becoming leaders for change.

EarthGen has always been a collaborative organization powered by the people who are passionate about its mission. Just last month, I was reminded of this when we gathered with students, educators, and our community partners to create new gardens and outdoor classrooms in two Yakima schools. Working together, we transformed the campuses and made students’ “dreams come true,” in the words of one 5th grade student leader. With a talented staff and board and many dedicated partners, I know that EarthGen will continue to be a force for positive change in Washington and beyond.

Although we are living in challenging times, EarthGen gives me hope. By empowering the next generation to safeguard the environment, we are shaping a better future for us all. While I am still unsure what will come next for me, I can assure you that I will remain one of EarthGen’s biggest fans, and I will support its continued success. I trust you will join me.

Thank you for everything!



A Message from Board Chair, Steve Shestag

To our EarthGen Friends and Family,

As she has just shared with you, EarthGen’s amazing Executive Director, Meredith Lohr, has let the Board know that she will be stepping down from her position at the end of July. I am sure you share our sadness about her departure but also support her decision as she takes time to consider her future path.

As many of you know, Meredith co-founded the organization more than 11 years ago, and her strong leadership is borne out by EarthGen’s many proud accomplishments. Meredith led EarthGen’s evolution from a fledgling program with great hopes to one of the region’s most recognized leaders in science-based, action-oriented environmental education. She expanded the organization from its initial focus on school certification to offer a system of standards-based science education programs that teachers across the state endorse. Today EarthGen’s programs engage young people in diverse communities across Washington in learning and action to help create a just and sustainable future for us all.

Those of you who know Meredith recognize that she is the first to emphasize that the success of this organization has never been about just one person. EarthGen is supported by a committed Board of Directors and a talented staff, who bring superior skills and passion for equity-focused environmental education and organizational development. As a friend and supporter of EarthGen, your voice, support, and encouragement has been an integral part of our evolution and growth as well.

This fall, we will begin the search for a new Executive Director. In the meantime, Laura Collins, our Director of Advancement, has agreed to step into the role of interim ED. Laura has been with EarthGen for almost eight years, and the Board is thrilled that she will provide leadership through this pivotal time. Although Meredith will wrap up her work at the end of July, she will continue to serve in an advisory capacity in the months ahead, to help ensure a smooth transition to new leadership. Thanks to Meredith and Laura’s guidance, the organization is currently in a strong position, and the Board has every confidence that EarthGen is well positioned to navigate this transition and continue to grow in the coming years.

You will be hearing more from us in the weeks ahead! First, we want to invite you to join us in a happy hour celebration to wish Meredith well, on June 28 at 5 pm – more details to come soon. In the fall, we will reach out again as our search for a new leader progresses and to ask for your help in spreading the word about this great opportunity. Please know that throughout this transition, I will be personally available to answer questions and address any concerns you may have. My contact information is below my signature if you wish to reach out. 

We look forward to your support and partnership as we advance the work of EarthGen: expanding access for youth across Washington, strengthening our programs, and building our capacity for even greater success. Standing together, we can shape a healthy future for kids, communities, and the environment.

Thank you!

Steve Shestag

EarthGen Board Chair

steven.l.shestag@boeing.com, (805) 509-0970