POMEROY — Jenny Ridenour of Long Bottom, education coordinator and district technician for the Meigs Soil and Water Conservation District was recently awarded the Project Learning Tree — Ohio Outstanding Facilitator Award recognition.
The award is presented to an individual who exemplifies being an educator/natural resource professional development trainer for the award-winning Project Learning Tree (PLT) education program.
“I love teaching adults and kids about the wonders of the outdoors. PLT gives me many more tools to use to make learning fun,” said Ridenour, who is a seven-year employee of the Meigs SWCD.
As a young adult, Ridenour spoke and wrote about the importance of using minimum tillage practices, conservation of our natural resources, recycling, litter clean-ups, soil erosion, watersheds and forest management. She is still involved with all of those today and passing the message on to future generations. Project Learning Tree (PLT) curriculum is one means that Ridenour uses to lead others in sound environmental education.
Since she became a PLT facilitator in 2005, over 70 Meigs County teachers have been trained by Ridenour in PLT teacher professional development workshops. She has presented at least one PLT workshop per year for teachers. In turn, those teachers are able to utilize the Project Learning Tree guides and on-line resources to enrich teaching about pertinent environmental issues while getting students outside to explore and learn about our natural world.
Presenting the award to Ridenour, at Proctor Center in London, Ohio, was PLT state sponsor Ohio Department of Natural Resource-Division of Forestry employee and PLT — Ohio coordinator Sue Wintering, along with Wayne Lashbrook, PLT-Ohio non-profit chair.
“Jenny exemplifies what being a Project Learning Tree facilitator is all about,” Wintering said. “She provides an outstanding PLT workshop so educators and natural resources youth leaders can immediately be comfortable exploring and teaching about environmental issues, and helping their students take action to make a difference.”
Six other educators from across the state were also honored for their commitment to environmental education by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Forestry.
The teachers and natural resource professionals were recognized through the award-winning Project Learning Tree (PLT) education program. PLT provides a multi-disciplinary approach to learning that equips educators with valuable lesson plans and materials that are helpful for teaching students about environmental issues. Trees, forests and natural resource issues serve as the basis for students to experience hands-on discovery.
“Ohio’s teachers and environmental educators hold the keys to our future,” said Robert Boyles, state forester and chief of the ODNR Division of Forestry, which is the state sponsor of PLT. “Project Learning Tree helps our educators unlock and open doors for today’s young people so they can experience and learn about nature and sustainable conservation.”
Recognized for their outstanding efforts in environmental education, in addition to Ridenour were:
Cheri Goggin — Outstanding Educator Award: Berkshire High School, Burton; Aurora resident (state nominee for national PLT Outstanding Educator award); Joe Brehm — Redbud Outstanding Facilitator Award: Rural Action, Athens; Lola Lewis — Redwood Outstanding Facilitator Award: ODNR Division of Forestry, New Philadelphia; Massillon resident; Leonard Black — Special Recognition: ODNR Division of Soil and Water Resources, Columbus; Jeanne Russell — John Hug Legacy Award: ODNR Division of Soil and Water Resources, Columbus; and Jeremy Scherf — Bill Schultz Natural Resource Award: ODNR Division of Forestry, Cambridge; New Concord resident.
PLT lessons are correlated to Ohio Academic Content Standards for science and social studies curriculum. For more information, visit http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/education/correlations/.