This summer, on every other Wednesday in June and July, W.K. Kellogg Biological Station Community Outreach Assistant Misty Klotz carted her supplies into the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary. Among them: construction paper, crayons, glue, clothespins and stick-on googly eyes. Klotz, with help from 2019 environmental education intern Blake Hedges and other KBS colleagues, organized and facilitated the Wild Wednesdays series, which brought elementary school-aged children to the Sanctuary to learn about some of the animals that live in and around the Sanctuary.
The Wednesday evening programs were wildly successful, with some children returning for all four programs. And they were just one part of a busy summer of programming at KBS.
Between June and August, KBS units offered more than 20 classes, demonstrations, social events and other programs to children and adults in the surrounding community. From a workshop for identifying wild edible plants to an open house at the Kellogg Pasture Dairy Center, KBS has provided opportunities for the public to learn about the plants and animals in their backyards, improve environmental conservation practices and hear about the latest research and other activities happening at the Station. KBS is able to deliver high-quality programming thanks to a dedicated cadre of faculty and staff, students, interns and volunteers.
Last year, Klotz completed an Environmental Education Certification—EEC—through the Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education. The alliance works to enhance environmental education across Michigan, and is an affiliate organization of the North American Association for Environmental Education, or NAAEE. As a certified environmental educator, she takes seriously the charge of engaging the public through environmental topics.
“The EEC has given me a better understanding about environmental education strategies and best practices that are based on research, and how different educational approaches are effective for engaging people in learning about our environment,” she says.
Klotz is featured on the NAAEE website along with other environmental educators voicing support for the environmental education certification program. The knowledge and passion for outreach, found throughout the KBS community, makes for successful programming, each summer and throughout the year.