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NREC’s Maine Woods Explorers program receives Teddy Roosevelt Maine Conservation Award

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UNITY — Maine Woods Forever is pleased to announced that the Greenville-based Natural Resource Education Center (NREC) Maine Woods Explorers program is one of three recipients of the 2018 Teddy Roosevelt Maine Conservation Award – a youth-oriented award created to recognize young people and youth groups whose efforts are in the spirit of Roosevelt’s conservation ethic and achievements. The award recognizes what Maine’s youth are doing to appreciate and conserve their forest heritage. It also encourages them to become future conservation leaders.

“The Teddy Roosevelt Maine Conservation Award honors today’s young people and the legacy of America’s most celebrated conservationist, President Theodore Roosevelt,” notes John Rust, chair of the award committee. “Many credit his rugged sojourns in Maine during the late 1800s with shaping his determination to conserve our natural world. This year’s award recipients have clearly lived up to this ethic.”

The awards were presented April 13 at Maine Woods Forever’s 39th roundtable event, hosted at Unity College’s Center for the Performing Arts.

Maine Woods Explorers was presented an award for outstanding achievement by a youth organization in recognition of its program designed to get kids outdoors and increase their awareness and appreciation of the natural resources around them and to understand the stewardship necessary to sustain them.

“Teddy Roosevelt’s conservation roots are said to have begun in Maine’s north woods, then flourished into cutting national policy. I can’t help but believe that some of the youths being inspired through the Maine Woods Explorers program will also one day walk in similar shoes,” said Suzanne AuClair, executive director of the Moosehead Historical Society.

These goals are met through in-depth, science based, experiential education and outdoor recreation. The program runs for at least six weeks each summer and is coordinated with the Greenville Recreation program. Weekly themes have included survival, rock climbing, fishing, primitive skills, history detective, hiking, summer biathlon, paddling, and more. Participating children come from Greenville and around the county, including New York, Florida and Texas.

“Through active feet and active minds, the Maine Woods Explorers learn firsthand of the beautiful and bountiful resources in the Maine Woods and a passion for conserving and becoming mindful stewards for these woods and waters for all ‘Explorers’ now and to come,” said Suzannah Sinclair, NREC treasurer.

The award was accepted by Mildred Kennedy, who coordinates the program, and her daughter Avis. Paul Johnson, retired fisheries biologist, made the nomination.

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