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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Hidden Valley, New Fairfield, CT, USA

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Hidden Valley, New Fairfield, CT, USA
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Registered: December 2015
City/Town/Province: New Fairfield
Posts: 1
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Welcome to Hidden Valley Nature Lab, the interdisciplinary and interactive
educational nature walk and virtual nature lab at Hidden Valley Nature Preserve in New Fairfield, Connecticut. The goal of this project is to provide a resource for the community to engage with nature on this beautiful property and to give students a sense of ownership for the shared responsibility of preserving and protecting our environment. The Lab creates a mutually-beneficial relationship between the environment and technology, thus providing a successful alternative academic program to the traditional methods of the US education system.

My project, the Hidden Valley Nature Lab, works through the establishment of kiosks throughout the Hidden Valley land preserve. Located on these kiosks are QR-codes. Students scan the QR-codes with smartphones, thus gaining access to online lesson plans and to a large data research base of the land preserve itself.

Ultimately, the Lab proves successful by environmental standards by saving the Hidden Valley land preserve. Before the Lab's creation, the preserve was slowly sectioned off and put under construction for the formation of condos and elderly housing. The success with the Hidden Valley Nature Lab, however, gave the preserve the purpose of providing an academic supplement to the New Fairfield Public Schools. The preserve is no longer scheduled for construction.

I believe that this project is largely beneficial to the progression of environmental stewardship. Cleaning up garbage and planting new trees can help a particular parcel of land in the short-term. Producing an education program, however, can extend to nearly any land preserve across the globe. The utilization of QR-codes can make the program accessible to any class, organization, or individual. This provides an alternative reason to "save the environment."

Sure enough, others have recognized the Lab's value. Currently, we have other schools visit the Hidden Valley Nature Lab, and we have two nationally-acclaimed land preserves (Turtle Island of Boone, NC, and Green Chimneys of Brewster, NY) implementing a model of the Lab on their own grounds. Futhermore, the Lab has already been recognized for its potential and has been awarded the 2015 Environmental Champion Award by CT senator, Richard Blumenthal. So many others have seen the success the Lab has thus accomplished, and I believe that it can achieve so much more. Its continued advancement will further reinforce our need for - and our need to save - the environment.

Further scholarships received will go the advancement of the Hidden Valley Nature Lab and its transformation from a local project into an international model.
Date: December 26, 2015 Views: 3740 File size: 22.3kb, 70.7kb : 400 x 266
Hours Volunteered: 280
Volunteers: 50
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 16 to 50
Area Restored for Native Wildlife (hectares): 5.6
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