Although Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery in Jamestown, Kentucky, has been a long time organizational member of KAEE, we are pleased to have recently welcomed two of their newest staff members to the EE community! Marsha Hart and Meg Redmon form a dynamic education duo with a lot to share with our network of educators. Read on to learn more about the hatchery and what inspires these new staff educators.
Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery was constructed in 1975 in response to the disruption of species and habitats along the Cumberland River. The Cumberland River is a major waterway which covers most of southern Kentucky and dips into Tennessee. When Wolf Creek Dam was built, there was a vast ecological transformation. The whole ecosystem above and below the dam were damaged and habitats were destroyed. The Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery was built as a mitigation tool for some of the species that Wolf Creek Dam disrupted. Working alongside the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, the hatchery’s goal is to replenish damaged waterways and stock a million trout at around 100 stocking sites each year.
Marsha and Meg both serve as Environmental Education / Outreach Specialists at the hatchery and they are tasked with educating the public about the hatchery’s work, native fish populations and habitats, as well as related environmental issues. They work with numerous volunteers and school groups to inform and inspire Kentuckians.
KAEE: What projects or programs are you working on that particularly inspire you?
Marsha: We have recently reopened our Visitor’s Center and are currently scheduling group tours and activities. We are excited to be reopening, and welcoming visitors to our hatchery. We are currently replenishing our displays/aquariums since the Visitor’s Center was closed during the pandemic. We are also planting seeds and planning on starting a pollinator garden, as well as sprucing up a rain garden that we have inherited.
KAEE: What goals do you have for your organization or programs within the EE field?
Marsha: Our main goal is to increase the environmental literacy of our visitors. When groups come to the hatchery, we want them to enjoy all the displays, the raceways full of fish, the nature trail, and hatchery creek. We want to be able to educate them about what we do here, and foster a deep appreciation for the Earth.
KAEE: What is an area you feel you could use support in from this network of fellow educators?
Marsha: Support is essential when increasing environmental literacy, because there are so many avenues to take when trying to educate the public. We could use support in ideas for getting the community excited and involved in environmental issues and events, and also with the planning of new events.
KAEE: What is something you feel could be beneficial to share with this network?
Marsha: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has many programs to foster conservation. They have an informative website and Facebook page that would be a great resource to anyone in environmental education.
KAEE: Share one fun fact or random tidbit about you would you like to share with the group!
Marsha: Meg and I both started work at the hatchery on the same day. Although we live in a small town, we had actually never met before. We have learned so much about the hatchery together, but we have also become close friends!