In Jan. 24-30, 2008 issue
By Derek Aaron
Times Journal ReporterJames Gray, director of the Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery, gave a talk during the gathering.
WOLF CREEK DAM - The Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery hosted an all-day Federal Inter-Agency Environmental Education and Outreach meeting last Thursday—the first of its kind according to the hatchery’s Environmental Education and Outreach Specialist Amanda Patrick.
The meeting between every natural resource agency within the state was held to discuss the importance of environmental education and public outreach in Kentucky, she said.
Represented at the meeting were members of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Forest Service and representatives from Congressmen Ed Whitfield and Hal Rogers. In all, around 40 people representing these agencies attended the historic meeting.
“We hope that this will become an annual meeting,” Patrick said.
Patrick said these agencies learned more about the significance of environmental education through lectures, question and answer sessions, a tour of the fish hatchery and visitor center by hatchery manager James Gray and several informative environmental videos throughout the day.
The meeting featured several statewide and nationally known leaders in the environmental education field.
Those speakers included Jane Eller, Executive Director, Kentucky Environmental Education Council and At-Large Board Member, North American Association for Environmental Education; Maria Zoretic, Coordinator, Kentucky Green and Healthy Schools and the new Environmental Education in Kentucky Web site; Dr. Terry Wilson, Director of the Center for Mathematics, Science, and Environmental Education at Western Kentucky University and past president of NAAEE; and Dr. Joe Baust, director of the Center for Environmental Education at Murray State University and past president of NAAEE.
“Dr. Baust and Dr. Wilson are nationally and internationally recognized speakers in the field of environmental education,” she said. Both have received the Walter E. Jeske Award given by the North American Association for Environmental Education, Baust last year and Wilson in 2006. The award is the highest international award in the field of environmental education.
“Dr. Baust alone has, since 1992, been awarded $4.1 million in grants for environmental education,” she said.
The meeting was held at the Visitor and Environmental Education Center. The center, which opened in April of last year, includes an exhibit hall, theater, classroom, gift shop and office space.
The center is the first of its kind in the southeast, and serves school children from the region and visitors from across the nation, Patrick said.