Hidden Oaks Nature Center recently recognized six Fairfax Master Naturalists, all recurring volunteers that help with Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs): Val Bertha, Bob Dinse, Kevin Holland, Harry Iredale, Marilyn Schroeder, and Tom Washburn. MWEEs are learner-centered experiences that actively engage students in building knowledge and meaning through hands-on investigation of local environmental issues.
These folks have taught hundreds of 7th graders about watersheds, pollution, benthic macroinvertebrates, and stewardship, among other topics. The MWEE programs are about 3 hours long (which is a long time to keep a 13-year-old’s attention), but this crew always powers through and manages to keep things fun and interesting. Hidden Oaks staff know they can count on these volunteers for scheduling purposes and that they are competent and engaging with the kids. It also does not hurt that they are all exceptionally pleasant people to be around and they help with other programs throughout the year.