We are delighted to announce the winners of KAEE's 2020 Excellence in EE Awards! Check back throughout September for stories about each of the awardees.
VIVIAN BOWLES, LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Vivian Bowles often tells the story of how, when attending her first KAEE conference a decade ago, she knew she had “found her tribe.” Anyone who has been fortunate enough to attend one of her workshops or sit on a board with her knows that Vivian is one of the warmest, most caring, and most enthusiastic educators out there. She motivates others to listen, to watch, to think, to read, and to teach. She found “her people” ten years ago, she says, at a KAEE conference, and at that conference, “her people” gained an EE leader, an EE champion, and an EE all-star.
ANNA WIKER, M.K. DICKERSON AWARD
Anna Wiker, Park Naturalist for the Raven Run Nature Sanctuary, has worked for Lexington Parks and Recreation since 2013, and prior to that was an environmental educator for a 4-H camp through the KY Cooperative Extension service. At Raven Run, Anna’s role is to oversee all aspects of programming; lead environmental and cultural history programs; develop educational displays; provide customer service for park visitors; manage and restore habitat (including invasive/exotic species removal), and more. "In all her duties, she goes above-and-beyond and is well-known among park users as a friendly and knowledgeable resource who can speak on diverse environmental topics with ease and confidence," says Raven Run Recreation Manager Jennifer Hubbard-Sánchez.
MADELINE HEREDIA, RISING STAR AWARD
Maddy Heredia, the first full-time environmental educator in the forty-year history of Kentucky Nature Preserves, in her first year initiated new partnerships with natural areas throughout the state for field trips, oversaw new citizen science projects, expanded the organization's social media presence, developed interpretive signage, and developed KNP's Kentucky Nature Summit, the largest multi-agency EE event in the agency’s history. "Maddy does all this with a smile and positive attitude," says Zeb Weese, Kentucky Nature Preserves' Executive Director, "and is an incredible ambassador for Kentucky's biodiversity and natural areas.”
RICHARDSVILLE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, OUTSTANDING PREK-12 SCHOOL
Richardsville Elementary School in Warren County, Kentucky, enables students to learn about energy on a daily basis through features including a "geothermal hallway," a "solar hallway," a "water conservation hallway," an interactive mural explaining how water is used throughout the county, and a "recycling hallway." "At Richardsville Elementary, the administration and the teachers see the school as a building that teaches, and focuses on, sustainability," says retired Western Kentucky University professor Terry Wilson.
WEST KENTUCKY COMMUNITY AND TECHNICAL COLLEGE, OUTSTANDING COMMUNITY PARTNER
West Kentucky Community and Technical College is demonstrably committed to environmental education and revised its mission statement to include sustainability and environmental education. The college hosts a Kentucky Environmental Education Council Environmental Education Leadership Corps AmeriCorps member; recently developed with Murray State University an Earth and Environmental Sciences Sustainability and Environmental Science Pathways for WKCTC students interested in environmental sciences wanting to transfer to MSU; features biology courses and required First Year Experience course (FYE) modules that include environmental learning outcomes; is working to obtain Arbor Foundation Tree Campus, USA designation, which requires tree education and service learning; offers professional development opportunities like climate literacy workshops and a Greening the Campus and Health walking and idea generation session; and so much more.
SERVICE ONE CREDIT UNION, OUTSTANDING BUSINESS
The headquarters of the Service One Credit Union in Bowling Green is highly energy efficient; a few of the most innovative features of the Campbell Lane Branch include a living “Green Roof System” for added roof insulation, a Bioretention Basin that controls stormwater runoff, reclaimed wood timbers from a historic mill which eliminated the need for a sprinkler system, and the first commercially-installed Nanogel-insulated windows.