By Helen Dalbeck, Executive Director, Amoskeag Fishways Learning and Visitors Center
I am pleased to announce that the Amoskeag Fishways “Urban Wildlife Education Program” has won the Maria Pirie Environmental Education Program Award presented annually by the New England Environmental Education Alliance! This award is designed to recognize an outstanding environmental education program in New England that is innovative and creative, implemented broadly, easily replicated in other regions, sustainable, has a strong evaluation component and results in demonstrated action by participants.
We have been teaching Urban Wildlife in Manchester, NH schools for 15 years now due to the generous support of NH Fish and Game and the Moose Conservation License Plate Fund. The students learn about their nearby nature, how to identify the wildlife that lives in their city, and to ultimately open their eyes to the natural world around them that many have never noticed or experienced before.
Third grade classes focus on wildlife adaptations, urban habitat, and survival. The fifth grade focus is on habitat and ecosystems with data collection in schoolyard and neighborhood. To date, we have taught nearly 35,000 students these dynamic science programs in all 14 elementary schools in Manchester!
It is an honor to be recognized by our environmental education peers from the five-state region. I continue to be grateful for the Amoskeag Fishways and for the important work that we do here on the Merrimack River and for the communities that we serve. The entire staff was present to receive the award at the annual NEEEA conference in Fairlee, VT this past weekend.