I was delighted to see the recent recognition you gave to Janneke Peterson, local educator and recipient of the Edge Prize. As a representative of the Washington Native Plant …
I was delighted to see the recent recognition you gave to Janneke Peterson, local educator and recipient of the Edge Prize. As a representative of the Washington Native Plant Society, I worked closely with Janneke during the planning year for the pilot of a very similar restoration ecology middle school program, now successfully running at six middle schools across Washington. She is a highly creative and motivated young teacher whose ideas will go far to enrich middle school science curricula in Washington and other states across the country.
I am sorry that your article did not give a little more background of the current program, called YEER (Youth Ecology Education through Restoration) and intensively sponsored by the Washington Native Plant Society (WNPS). Not only has WNPS supported this program through financial gifts and many hours of administrative work, but one of the strengths of YEER is the involvement of WNPS volunteer botanists and restoration ecologists who work on site with the middle school teachers and students. Janneke tells me that her new project, the Symbiotic Schoolyard Initiative, is an outgrowth of the YEER program that aims to bring a very similar curriculum, minus the community volunteer portion, to teachers all over the country.
I wish Janneke well in this endeavor. On the local level, I would like to thank the Washington Native Plant Society, the community volunteers and the middle school teachers all over our state who have turned YEER into a well-honed, respected science curriculum.