Jill Dreves, Nederland
As 2013 comes to a close and Wild Bear Mountain Ecology Center enters its 20th year, we reflect on all that has been accomplished and hope that you have enjoyed all that we have offered to the community this year.
I am thrilled to share some of the accomplishments that we have achieved in 2013:
Children were provided with almost 20,000 contact hours in nature with 43% attending through scholarships supporting disadvantaged families.
Recently it was noted that Nederland Elementary School (NES) performed significantly higher than average Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) in the standardized science test scores (average BVSD proficient/average 69.4%, average NES: 75.7%, according to the Colorado Department of Education, 2013). And, Nederland went from 49% proficient/advanced in 2008 to 75.7% in 2013.
Teachers at NES have attributed this extraordinary accomplishment to the work of Wild Bear Mountain Ecology Center. We are proud of this positive impact on our local public school children.
Wild Bear Mountain Ecology Center expanded its space to accommodate growth in all of its programs for children, adults and families, serving thousands through programs almost every day when school is not in session; weekly parent/child workshops during the summer at Mud Lake; Wild Earth Day; Enchanted Forest; and adult workshops throughout the year.
Studies show that two elements are most often associated with those who make a commitment to protect the environment: having special places in nature (Mud Lake), and devoted people who give appreciative attention to nature (our top-notch staff and volunteers).
Never has it been more important to come together as a community to foster and promote environmental awareness and ecological stewardship of our precious natural resources. We enjoy daily visitors into the nature center and hear people laughing, talking, solving the world’s problems and gaining insight into their own.
We know that friendships are formed, that positive energy flows from the hearts of all participants. We know we are making a difference on this planet, not only educating people about how amazing it is, but building bridges that strengthen community and inch us closer towards realizing connection and peace on earth.