The journey to the daring jumping spider’s new official status began on a fall day last October when Lindsay Webb, Wildlife Educator at New Hampshire Fish and Game, held a virtual workshop for a group of teachers that included the Project WILD activity, “Spider Web Wonders.” One of the third-grade teachers, Tara Happy with Hollis Primary School, used this Project WILD activity as part of a weeklong unit designed to reduce their fear of spiders. Later, Happy worked with her students and school to vote for their favorite spider and then drafted legislation to have an official state spider.
“I started out with a class yelling ‘Ewwww’ and by the end of the week … they were literally waiting in line to hold a little black spider with their bare hands,” teacher Tara Happy told a House committee in January.
“This is what Project WILD is all about – getting young people excited about nature and wildlife while building their knowledge and skills,” said Kelly Reynolds, Project WILD Program Manager at the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies. “Especially during a difficult year of virtual learning, it’s great to see how Lindsay’s workshop inspired a teacher, who in turn inspired her students to help celebrate and conserve wildlife.”
Project WILD is an interdisciplinary, wildlife-based conservation and environmental education program managed by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Project WILD’s educational materials are provided to educators across the country through practical, interactive trainings conducted by representatives of state wildlife, natural resource, and education agencies.
The Association recognizes conservation education as a vital tool for enhancing public understanding and appreciation of fish and wildlife management while shaping long-term conservation and enjoyment of natural resources.
The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies—the organization that represents North America’s fish and wildlife agencies—promotes sound resource management and conservation, and speaks on important fish and wildlife issues. Found on the web at www.fishwildlife.org, on Facebook/AssociationofFishandWildlifeAgencies and on Twitter @fishwildlife.
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