Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011
PRAIRIE COMPANIONS: DOCENTS NEEDED TO SHOW WONDERS OF KONZA PRAIRIE
MANHATTAN -- Have an affinity for the prairie and want to share your interest with others?
Kansas State University's Konza Prairie Biological Station is seeking people interested in learning more about the tallgrass prairie preserve and sharing that knowledge through its docents program.
New docent orientation is 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 19, in the Konza's Hulbert Education Center on the lower level of the Konza Prairie Ranch House. The orientation is the first of 13 training sessions required to become a Konza docent. The Saturday morning sessions will stretch through May and wrap up in September.
At the orientation session prospective docents will learn more about the Konza Prairie Biological Station and the Konza Environmental Education Program. Attendees can preview program materials, receive the upcoming training schedule, meet experienced docents and Konza Prairie staff, and view a presentation about the Konza.
Trained docents guide hikes and driving tours for public and school groups visiting Konza Prairie. Other service opportunities include helping with K-12 student research activities and work day and special projects, as well as attending educational in-services and social events.
Since the docent program began in 1992, more than 250 individuals have been trained, and the docents have staffed an average of 150 public and school events each year since 2007. As a group the docents have logged more than 1,100 hours of volunteer service to the Konza Environmental Education Program annually.
More information about the Konza Prairie, the education program and the docent program can be found at http://keep.konza.ksu.edu. Specific questions can be directed to Valerie Wright, Konza's environmental educator, at 785-587-0381 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Konza Prairie Biological Station is an 8,600-acre native tallgrass prairie preserve jointly owned by K-State and The Nature Conservancy. It is operated by K-State's Division of Biology.