Woodcock Nature Center educator wins award

Woodcock
Sarah Wilby, left, presents Jennifer Bradshaw, childhood education coordinator at Woodcock Nature Center, with the 2019 Environmental Stewardship Award from the Connecticut Outdoor and Environmental Education Association on March 27 in Farmington.

Jennifer Bradshaw of Woodcock Nature Center received the 2019 Environmental Stewardship Award presented at the Connecticut Outdoor and Environmental Education Association Annual Conference on March 27 in Farmington. The annual award acknowledges those who have made a strong impact in promoting environmental literacy and education and have inspired others to become stewards of the natural world.

Bradshaw is the early childhood education coordinator at the nature center and also manages its animal care and birds of prey programs.

“Over the course of Jennifer’s six years as an educator at Woodcock Nature Center, her dedication to the organization and to our community has not only grown exponentially, but has been critically important to Woodcock’s ability to serve its mission. We are tremendously proud of Jen’s work,” executive director Lenore Herbst said.

According to the nature center, Bradshaw envisioned and established its first preschool program in 2017: Mommy & Me and the Natural World. This program for caregivers and their toddlers began modestly and has grown to include nearly 40 families, three times per week across three sessions per year, including a wait list for attendance.

Bradshaw is also a member of Wilton Youth Council’s Free Play Task Force and serves as president of the Connecticut Chapter of the Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools. In 2018, she became a certified “Playmaker” through the Life Is Good Children’s Foundation. “Playmakers” are trained to innovate and adapt their day-to-day work to more effectively care for children by creating joyful, loving, safe, empowering, and engaging environments.

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