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K-State Today

January 20, 2012

Guiding the way: Konza Prairie seeks docents, offers lifelong learning

By Communications and Marketing

The perfect opportunity to lend a helping hand at Kansas State University's Konza Prairie Biological Station is coming Saturday, Feb. 18, when the Konza Prairie docent program offers new docent orientation from 9 a.m. to noon.

The orientation, which will be in the Hulbert Education Center in the lower level of the Ranch House at the Konza Prairie, is the first of 13 training sessions required to become a Konza Prairie docent. New docents attend a series of Saturday morning sessions from February through May and again in September.

Trained docents guide hikes and driving tours for public and school groups visiting the Konza Prairie. Other service opportunities include helping with K-12 student research activities, work days and special projects, as well as attending educational in-services and social events.

The orientation will introduce prospective docents to the Konza Prairie Biological Station and the Konza Environmental Education Program, or KEEP. At the orientation, attendees can preview the program materials, receive the upcoming training schedule and meet experienced docents and staff.

More than 250 docents have been trained since the inception of the program in 1992. Since 2007, docents have staffed an average of 150 public and school events each year. As a group, docents have logged more than 1,200 hours per year of volunteer service to the Konza Environmental Education Program.

For more information about the Konza Prairie, the education program and the docent program, visit http://keep.konza.ksu.edu. For specific questions, contact the Konza Prairie's environmental educator, Valerie Wright, at 785-587-0381 or konzaed@k-state.edu.