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Nature Institute educator among unique group teaching workshops

From Illinois Business Journal news services

GODFREY – Patricia (Patti) Brown of The Nature Institute, located at 2213 South Levis Lane in Godfrey, received the honor as one of only seven educators in the state of Illinois certified to teach workshops on “Aquatic WILD” and “Project WILD” to a variety of educators.

brownnatureCreated by the Council for Environmental Education, the workshops offer activities for nature and provide a hands-on, in depth approach to teaching.

In times where environmental education may take the backseat, these activity guides offer common core and next generation science standards for teaching with a service learning component (combines experiential learning and community service).

“Aquatic WILD” and “Project WILD” offer additional motivation for educators to teach science, technology, engineering and mathematics by taking standards in education and state required textbooks for schools and bringing them to life with information, tools and activities for the classroom. These guides are also sponsored by highly accredited organizations, for example the Audubon Society, Oregon State University, National History Society and National Fish and Wildlife.

“It has been 10 years since our state offered these workshops. I’m humbled to be certified to teach these tools to fellow educators,” said Brown (left).

She continued to speak about the help she had received from them personally, “I am a biologist. I do monitoring and look for results. When I came to work for The Nature Institute, I knew nothing about Illinois prairies. These activity guides helped me become a better environmental educator.”

The Nature Institute has been inviting teachers out to workshops for over 20 years. Since she became education director of The Nature Institute in 2002, Brown has been hosting roughly four educator workshops per year.

These workshops are open to all types of educators and hold no state boundaries. In June, she will host a workshop in Missouri since she is the closest certified facilitator available.

Brown concluded, “Our mission at The Nature Institute is to get people outdoors, but to also learn about our connection with nature. TNI has much more than aesthetic value.

“For every action, there is a reaction. Our goal is to inspire everyone to leave the land better than the way they found it.”

To see a complete list of The Nature Institute’s educator workshops or information about other events, visit or call (618) 466-9930.

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