Tania Gale, a naturalist with the Calvert County Natural Resources Division.
PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. (Feb. 21, 2016)—Tania Gale, a naturalist with the Calvert County Natural Resources Division, was recently recognized for her outstanding commitment to educating the public about Calvert County’s natural and cultural history. Gale was presented the Robert Finton Outdoor Educator of the Year Award at the 2016 Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) annual conference, held in Ocean City, Md.
“Tania was recognized for the impact she has made over the past 15 years as a naturalist and educator,” said Karyn Molines, Calvert County Natural Resources division chief. “She is a dedicated and tireless naturalist, always striving to learn more and to share her love of nature with everyone.”
The MAEOE Robert Finton Outdoor Educator of the Year Award recognizes an individual who demonstrates leadership and innovation in environmental and outdoor education. The award is given to an individual who is a non-formal practitioner of outdoor education and works “in the trenches,” as Finton did.
Each year, Gale designs and leads more than 20 programs for families, allowing more than 300 parents and children to explore the forests, fields and waterways and learn about the important natural and cultural history of Calvert County.
The diversity of subjects Gale teaches highlights her knowledge, creativity and ability to tailor programs for participants who range in age from 18 month olds to adult. For example, “The Great Creek Wade-In” encourages parents and children to get their hands and feet wet to learn about the fish, insects, crayfish and mud that make the creek a special habitat. “Everyone comes back, wet, muddy and happy,” said Molines.
Gale also promotes stewardship activities and integrates volunteer opportunities into the programs. Gale’s enthusiasm for introducing children to the outdoors environment drove the development of a natural play space at Battle Creek Cypress Swamp, and plans for natural playgrounds are being planned at the other nature parks throughout Calvert County.
For more information on the MAEOE, visit http://maeoe.org/