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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 30, 2006

UI Wild Receives 'Ding' Darling Environmental Education Award

The University of Iowa Wild program has received the Iowa Association of Naturalists (IAN) and the Iowa Conservation Education Council's (ICEC) "Ding" Darling Environmental Education Award for 2005. UI Wild is being commended for exemplary educational opportunities for K-12 students, pre-service elementary and secondary teacher education, teachers and the public.

The "Ding" Darling Environmental Education Award commends an individual or organization for an outstanding environmental education program or event that informs and educates the general public. The UI Wild program includes Wildlife Camps, Hawk Migration Studies, Macbride Raptor Project (jointly sponsored with Kirkwood Community College) and the School of the Wild. Edward Saehler and Jodeane Cancilla coordinate these programs at the UI.

The UI Wild program received the award at the Iowa Conservation Education Council's annual Winter Solstice Workshop on Jan. 28 at Wesley Woods Camp and Retreat Center near Indianola.

The "Ding" Darling Environmental Education Award is one of seven awards presented this year by IAN and ICEC. Both groups are composed of professionals dedicated to promoting high quality conservation and environmental education in the state.

The Wildlife Camps and School of the Wild are both coordinated through the UI Division of Recreational Services. Founded in 1985, the Wildlife Camps are offered during the summer for area students that have completed 1st through 11th grade. School of the Wild is a North Central Association accredited Special Purpose School located at Macbride Nature Recreation Area. Local elementary schools experience a five-day program in the fall and spring. There is a two-day program during the winter. The School of the Wild is staffed by certified  teachers, science professionals and science/environmental education interns. Course themes include: prairie/gardening, outdoor adventure, wetlands, woodlands and birds.

The Macbride Raptor Project, founded in 1985, is devoted to preserving Iowa's birds of prey and their natural habitats. The project achieves its goals through rehabilitation of sick and injured birds, educational programs for the public and field research of Iowa's native raptors. It is a joint program of the UI Division of Recreational Services and Kirkwood Community College.

For more information, call UI Recreational Services at 319-335-9293.

STORY SOURCE: University News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 370, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.

CONTACTS: Media: George McCrory, 319-384-0012, george-mccrory@uiowa.edu; Program: Ed Saehler, UI Recreational Services - Wildlife Camps and School of the Wild, 319-335-9293 or Jodeane Cancilla, Macbride Raptor Project, 319-398-5495