Owl hero rec­og­nized

In­ter­pre­tive Cen­tre’s ed­u­ca­tional work key to sur­vival of species

Moose Jaw Times Herald - - NEWS - MICHAEL JOEL-HANSEN

species is na­tive in Canada. John­son’s work will be rec­og­nized at an SBOIC fundrais­ing din­ner on Nov. 4.

The Ber­na­dine Marie Me­lan­son Award, is given out ev­ery year by the non-profit ed­u­ca­tional group to some­one who makes a con­tri­bu­tion to out­door and en­vi­ron­men­tal ed­u­ca­tion in Saskatchewan.

The win­ner of the award gets a life­time mem­ber­ship with SaskOut­doors and the op­por­tu­nity to ap­ply for fund­ing down the road, along with some other ben­e­fits.

John­son was nom­i­nated for the award by Lorne Scott, who won it him­self in 1987 for the work he did with Was­cana Cen­tre Au­thor­ity as a park nat­u­ral­ist.

Scott ex­plained he felt that John­son was de­serv­ing of the award as the SBOC does a good job in get­ting out and ed­u­cat­ing mem­bers of the pub­lic.

“I nom­i­nated her be­cause of the con­tin­ued out­reach pro­gram in the name of con­ser­va­tion here in Saskatchewan pro­vided by Lori and SBOIC,” he said.

John­son speaks to groups rang­ing from school chil­dren to se­niors in re­tire­ment homes and does so with lit­tle fund­ing.

“There is no con­ser­va­tion or­ga­ni­za­tion in the prov­ince that reaches as many young peo­ple … and adults,” he said.

Scott cred­its this to the or­ga­ni­za­tion be­ing a small one which al­lows them the abil­ity to get out and do what it needs to do with very lit­tle red tape and high praise for their work. “They do a won­der­ful job,” he said. With the bur­row­ing owl be­ing an en­dan­gered species, due to loss of habi­tat and the use of pes­ti­cides among other is­sues, ed­u­ca­tion ef­forts be­come all the more im­por­tant.

“Be­cause they (bur­row­ing owls) are an en­dan­gered species we want to make sure we spread the news and get peo­ple in­volved in and ac­tively help­ing our na­tive species sur­vive,” John­son said.

For John­son, the award is com­ing at a good time.

“En­vi­ron­ment ed­u­ca­tion is some­thing that is gain­ing mo­men­tum as more and more peo­ple re­al­ize that con­nec­tion be­tween hu­mans and na­ture,” said John­son.

She added that she en­joys her work be­cause much of it in­volves go­ing out to talk to peo­ple and groups.

“I like to see how much peo­ple per­son­ally en­joy mak­ing that con­nec­tion with na­ture,” she said.

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