Holiday Reflections

holiday-tinsel-a.jpg

The approach of the holidays always feels like an impending hurricane, but here in the education department, I feel like the pace of life slows down, just a little. As school children begin to go on breaks our field trips and programming become more sporadic and the department is able to take a breath and spend some time taking care of the small things that accumulate during the rush of the school year. This slight breather - and inspiration from the season - is a great time for reflection. As I look back on the past year, I’m so impressed by all that our Museum staff and volunteers have accomplished both inside and outside these walls. 
I think of all the spaces - from the gift shop to the offices - that have been cleaned out and remade in just twelve months. I think of exhibits like The Wildflower Show, the plein air paintings, and our current temporary exhibition, Above the Sea, that have passed through our galleries this year. I think of the countless hours our volunteers have put into interpreting exhibits here and at the Monarch Sanctuary, maintaining our beautiful garden spaces, and doing countless other thankless tasks to keep the Museum running. I think of the strategic plan our Board adopted this July that will guide the Museum as we continue to take steps forward, building off the amazing work of this year. 

But the teacher in me always comes back to children. This year we’ve served thousands of children through educational programming in schools, out in the field, and at the Museum. These unique experiences offer a rich and immersive look at science that students don’t often get inside classroom walls. These experiences train the students to be better scientists, more knowledgeable about local ecosystems and animals, and how their choices affect others and the world around them. Each week our instructors - both volunteer and staff - interact with over 500 students in our formal school programs, and each month hundreds more young visitors learn through our scavenger hunts, Junior Naturalist Adventure, and free Science Saturdays. 

As I think back on all these things, I can’t help but think of you: our supporters. It is through your generous contributions of time, money and positive energy that all of this is possible. We cannot thank you enough for your support this year. It has made a difference in the Museum, our community, and many, many children’s lives. We look forward to sharing many more years of success with you.