Selby Gardens’ educator named 2019 Project WILD Facilitator of the Year

January 14, 2020

SARASOTA, FL – January 14, 2020:   Tracy Calla, Sr. Manager of School & Family Programs at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens was awarded the title of 2019 Project WILD Florida Facilitator of the Year on Saturday, December 7, 2019 at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) Ocala Conservation Camp.  Tracy Calla was selected as the 2019 Project WILD Florida facilitator of the year because she has been a successful and extremely popular workshop leader, which included facilitating a “Growing Up WILD” professional development workshop at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens for early childhood educators.

Project WILD (Wildlife in Learning Design) is a national interdisciplinary conservation and environmental education program emphasizing wildlife. The program is designed for educators of kindergarten through 12th grade students. Project WILD capitalizes on the natural interest that children and adults have in wildlife by providing hands-on activities that enhance student learning in all subject and skill areas.

Florida’s Project WILD program sponsored by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) depends on the expertise and commitment of workshop instructors (facilitators). Project WILD facilitators are highly trained, talented and motivated.

Tracy is recognized as an excellent co-facilitator and has helped others become workshop leaders. “Working with Tracy in any way is always a pleasure!” said Sabrina Cummings, Environmental Programs Coordinator for the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast. “Tracy is funny, quirky, and you can tell that she really cares not only about the environment…she really embodies the nature of Project WILD. She’s creative, always has something constructive to say, great with everyone who crosses her path… she works hard, but makes it look effortless.”

Tracy learned about Project WILD in early 2017, attended certification workshops, and became a facilitator later that year. She has used Project WILD activities and ideas to enhance and expand the depth and breadth of Selby’s summer camp curriculum, and has tailored WILD activities to meet the needs of teachers bringing their students to Selby Gardens for field studies. She has also “Floridarized” a number of WILD activities and lesson plans to address environmental issues and concepts relevant to our state’s unique ecosystems. As a workshop facilitator and a facilitator trainer, Tracy has introduced Project WILD and the value of outdoor, nature-based experiences to dozens of educators and hundreds of students across the state of Florida.

To find out more about Project WILD go to   https://myfwc.com/education/educators/project-wild/

For more information, please contact Lynn Bates at lbates@selby.org or 941-366-5731 Ext. 225.

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