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Asbury Woods Educators PAEE Conference 2024

Education PAEE2024 NewsBlogAsbury Woods education staff Sarah Bennett, Casey Keating, Emma Mader, Erin Paquette, and Amy Shook, along with MTSD Environmental Education Coordinator, Steve Wasiesky, met with over 170 other environmental educators at the Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators Conference at Pocono Environmental Education Center March 17-19, 2024.

While at the conference, Asbury Woods staff attended sessions on urban tree planting at schools, building outdoor learning spaces, making climate connections, and social-emotional learning.

Director of Education & Community Programs, Sarah Bennett, shared, “It was so special that the entire education team was able to attend together this year. We were able to reflect on our work and discuss new ideas.”

This year’s conference had a strong focus on partnerships, something that Asbury Woods has been working on over the last year. “It was inspiring to see what has been accomplished through partnerships in other parts of the state,” Bennett said. “I am excited to see where our partnerships take us.”

MTSD Environmental Education Coordinator, Steve Wasiesky says, “I have been attending the annual PAEE Conference since the late 1970’s.  It is a wonderful opportunity to network with fellow environmental educators and keep up to date on what is new in the field, not only statewide but nationwide.  I always come home rejuvenated and learn something new that we can incorporate into our lessons." 

Erin Paquette says, "This was my second conference, and both times, it has been wonderful to look around and know that the room is filled with people who are looking to find new ways and methods of teaching nature to those in PA. It's great not to be the only one in the room with an answer to “What is your favorite invertebrate?” and discuss how cool millipedes are.  I left the conferences with new ideas and tweaks for lessons as well as a reflection on how well Asbury Woods is doing in its own environmental education programming."

Everyone who attended this year learned new ways to lead programs for all ages and teach about citizen science, birds, outdoor recreation, fireflies, climate science, fungi, and many other topics, all while supporting unique groups of students. It is a special occasion when environmental educators across Pennsylvania get to come together to learn, network, and celebrate the joy of sharing nature with others.