Grandfather Mountain hosts free environmental educator workshops

LINVILLE, NC (March 14, 2019) — Grandfather Mountain invites educators to take advantage of its classroom in the clouds – for free.

In 2019, the nonprofit nature park in Linville, N.C., will again offer a series of free environmental educator certification programs.

“This is an opportunity to learn and have fun, while earning your certification as an environmental educator in North Carolina,” said Amy Renfranz, director of education for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit organization that owns and operates the park.

Grandfather is offering credits for Criteria I, II and III programs, and courses include complimentary admission to the park for attendees.

The workshops will take place at Grandfather Mountain and will include some walking, so participants are encouraged to bring appropriate footwear and be prepared for inclement weather. Attendees are also asked to bring their own lunch, although there is a restaurant on site in the park’s nature museum.

Each course is limited to 25 participants, and registration is required. To register, visit www.grandfather.com.

The courses are as follows:

Methods of Teaching Environmental Education

March 20-21, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (both days)

This 10-hour workshop will help prepare participants from a variety of educational backgrounds in both the formal and non-formal sectors to use exemplary Environmental Education teaching methods. Attendees will learn about a variety of teaching techniques, methods and instructional strategies, and the workshop will include multiple interactive components.

This is a required workshop for all N.C. Environmental Education Certification candidates who enrolled in the program after Jan. 1, 2009, as Criteria I credit. This workshop may also count for Continuing Education for those educators who are already certified. This program is hosted by Amy Renfranz, Grandfather’s director of education.

To register, visit bit.ly/2W1qjYa.

Project WILD Educator Workshop

March 22, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Project WILD is a K-12 interdisciplinary conservation and environmental education program emphasizing wildlife. All participants will receive the Project WILD activity guide and earn six hours of Criteria I credit toward their N.C. Environmental Education Certification (or 0.6 CEU’s). A homework option is available to earn up to 10 hours or 1.0 CEU. This program is hosted by Kevin Hining of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

To register, visit bit.ly/2O48sgl.

All About Black Bears Educator Workshop

April 19, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Presented by Kevin Hining of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, this workshop focuses on black bears in North Carolina. A majority of the workshop will be spent learning about the life history and current research on black bears, as well as activities that can be incorporated into educational programs. Information on how to coexist with black bears will also be provided. Participants will have the chance to tour the wildlife habitats of Grandfather Mountain with park staff and observe black bears up close. This course provides six hours Criteria II or III credit toward the N.C. Environmental Education Certification, or 0.6 CEU credit.

To register, visit bit.ly/2ChQxyc.

Aquatic WILD Educator Workshop

May 9, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hosted by Kevin Hining of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, Aquatic WILD is a K-12 interdisciplinary conservation and environmental education program emphasizing aquatic wildlife and aquatic ecology. All participants will receive the Aquatic WILD activity guide and earn six hours of Criteria I credit toward their N.C. Environmental Education Certification (or 0.6 CEU’s). A homework option is available to earn up to 10 hours or 1.0 CEU.

To register, visit bit.ly/2F5CmNj.

All About Amphibians Educator Workshop

June 5, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hosted by Kevin Hining of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, this workshop offers participants the opportunity to learn about amphibians. Through classroom presentations, hands-on fieldwork and activities, participants will learn about basic biology, habitat requirements and human interactions with salamanders, frogs and toads. Students will also learn to identify several local amphibian species. This workshop provides five hours Criteria II or III credit toward the N.C. Environmental Education Certification, or 0.5 CEU credit.

To register, visit bit.ly/2O4z1Cf.

Growing Up WILD Educator Workshop

Aug. 6, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Growing Up WILD is an early childhood program that builds on children’s sense of wonder about nature and invites them to explore wildlife and their habitats. While the workshop is primarily oriented toward educators that work with children ages 3-7, many of the activities in the guide can be adapted to a wider age range. All participants will receive the Growing Up WILD activity guide and earn six hours of Criteria I credit toward their N.C. Environmental Education Certification (or 0.6 CEU’s). A homework option is available to earn up to 10 hours or 1.0 CEU. This program is hosted by Kevin Hining and C.C. King of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

To register, visit bit.ly/2HDeGT0.

All About Mountain Stream Ecology Educator Workshop

Sept. 10, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hosted by Kevin Hining of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, this workshop explores some of the fish and wildlife that inhabit the area’s mountain streams, as well as the techniques used in the field to study them. Discussion will also cover some of the factors affecting waterways and activities that can be used in the classroom.

For the second half of the workshop, participants will travel to the Blue Ridge Parkway and conduct a fish and aquatic macroinvertebrate survey of Boone Fork, a tributary of the Watauga River. Participants should come prepared to get in the water, meaning they should bring waders, rubber boots or shoes that can get wet. This workshop provides five hours of Criteria II or III credit toward the N.C. Environmental Education Certification, or 0.5 CEU credit.

To register, visit bit.ly/2ug0PdP.

All About Elk Educator Workshop

Nov. 8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This workshop, led by N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission educators Kevin Hining and Tanya Poole, will focus on elk in North Carolina. A majority of the workshop will be spent learning about the life history and current research on elk, as well as activities that can be incorporated into educational programs. Information on how to coexist with elk will be provided. Participants will also tour the wildlife habitats at Grandfather Mountain with park staff and observe elk up close. This workshop provides six hours Criteria II or III credit toward the N.C. Environmental Education Certification, or 0.6 CEU credit.

To register, visit bit.ly/2HyzOd6.

Methods of Teaching Environmental Education

Nov. 9-10, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (both days)

This 10-hour workshop will help prepare participants from a variety of educational backgrounds in both the formal and non-formal sectors to use exemplary Environmental Education teaching methods. Attendees will learn about a variety of teaching techniques, methods and instructional strategies, and the workshop will include multiple interactive components.

This is a required workshop for all N.C. Environmental Education Certification candidates who enrolled in the program after Jan. 1, 2009, as Criteria I credit. This workshop may also count for Continuing Education for those educators who are already certified. This program is hosted by Amy Renfranz, Grandfather’s director of education.

To register, visit bit.ly/2XZ8o5Z.

And More

For more information, email amy@grandfather.com, or visit www.grandfather.com.

The not-for-profit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain. For more information, call 800-468-7325, or visit www.grandfather.com to plan a trip.