ITHACA, NY (February 21, 2011) — Do you love spending time in the forests, meadows and other natural areas of the Finger Lakes region? Do you care about preserving the integrity of the natural world and do you want to share this love with others? If so, consider joining Plantations’ Natural Areas Academy.
The year-long Natural Areas Academy (NAA) consists of dozens of expert-led workshops, field trips, and directed stewardship opportunities designed to provide participants with the knowledge, tools, and skills needed to support efforts in preserving our treasured natural resources. Utilizing Plantations’ Natural Areas as outdoor classrooms, the NAA aims to foster the conservation of natural areas and rare and declining species and their habitats by demonstrating essential stewardship methods, cultivating environmental literacy, and encouraging interactive experience with the natural world.
“With their newly gained expertise, the Natural Areas Academy participants will also help to mentor the next generation of scientists, teachers, environmental stewards, and leaders, thereby fulfilling a vital role in the long-term preservation of our natural heritage, our world, and ultimately, our place in it,” stated Todd Bittner, director of the Cornell Plantations Natural Areas,
Participants in the NAA are expected to work towards the program’s goals over the course of a year. After the completion of at least eight of the workshops and field trips, plus 40 hours of participation in directed stewardship activities, academy members will receive their Natural Areas Mentor certification and may continue to participate in the NAA as a mentor for no cost. The first NAA workshop will be for a mandatory orientation, and will be held on Saturday, March 12, beginning at 9:30 AM.
Participation in the NAA requires a non-refundable $100 application fee. To learn more or to enroll online, please visit us at www.cornellplantations.org/NAA. Enrollment closes at midnight on March 11, 2011.
Cornell Plantations is the botanical gardens, arboretum, and natural areas of Cornell University, and is a member of Ithaca’s Discovery Trail partnership. Plantations is open to the public year-round, free of charge, during daylight hours. The Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center is open Tuesday-Saturday from 11am to 4pm. For more information call 607-255-2400, visit cornellplantations.org, and find us on Facebook at facebook.com/cornellplantations.