Something ‘Wild’ for educators at Dunes Learning Center

2013-01-18T00:00:00Z Something ‘Wild’ for educators at Dunes Learning CenterTim Shellberg Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
January 18, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Area educators and youth group leaders from all walks have the world of nature at their fingertips at Michigan City’s Dunes Learning Center according to Wendy Smith, a facilitator for the “Project Wild” educational workshop.

“I can’t think of any better place to do something like this than at the Learning Center,” she said. “With all of their efforts to give people a firsthand experience in the natural and cultural resources here at the lakeshore, I’m excited about that.”

Running 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 26, “Wild” has been a staple at Dunes Learning Center for more than a quarter century. Created by the Council for Environmental Education, the first “Wild” was held in 1983 and made its way to the region for the first time two years later.

The day-long event attracts instructors and leaders of youth organizations who work with students from pre-school through 12th grade. The Dunes Learning Center’s “Wild” activities on Jan. 26 are being sponsored by the Division of Fish and Wildlife of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Smith is a volunteer facilitator representing the Division of Fish and Wildlife.

“There are educators from all over the place who are looking to teach about wildlife and ecology, but they don’t necessarily have the time to do all the research that goes into the concepts that need to be taught,” Smith said. “What they get when they come to these workshops is the experience where they’re trying out all of these activities.”

Attendees of the “Wild” workshop will have the chance to try out more than 160 activities geared towards providing their students or youth group members’ lessons in nature.

“We’ll be exploring observation skills that people can use to observe the wildlife and the eco-system and doing activities that help people understand more about the adaptations different types of wildlife have for survival,” Smith said. “We’ll be looking at wildlife population dynamics, wetland ecosystem functions, and the biggie, which is what people can do to help the wildlife.”

Pre-Registration for “Wild” is required. Continuing education credits may be available for Indiana and Illinois teachers participating in the workshop. FYI:“Project Wild” will be held 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 26 at Dunes Learning Center, 700 Howe Rd., Chesterton. Cost is $35. Call (219) 395-9555 or visit DUNESLEARNINGCENTER.ORG

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