Phone: 830-825-3442 Fax: 830-825-3509
Celebration of Children in Nature Awards Gala
Celebration of Children in Nature Gala
2013 Award Nominations
Nomination Deadline: March 18, 2013
Download the 2013 Nomination Form (attached below) to nominate a person, organization or group for this year's event. Please send completed nomination forms to Westcave Preserve, 24814 Hamilton Pool Road, Round Mountain, TX 78663.
Nominations are now being accepted for the 2013 Celebration of Children in Nature Awards Event to be held on Tuesday, September 17th. We are seeking the nomination of children, adults, organizations or groups of individuals who are doing exciting, innovative, successful work to offer solutions to the problem of "nature deficit disorder" - a term coined by bestselling author Richard Louv in his book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder.” Awards will be presented in the following four categories:
E. Lee Walker Award for Community Collaboration - This child, adult, group or organization will have demonstrated the value of working with partners to create opportunities for kids to get out into nature regularly. Lee Walker has established himself as the quintessential collaborator, some might say a collaborator magnet, and so our award for community collaboration is presented in his name. Lee served as the chair of the Westcave Board, and has been its primary benefactor, for more than 25 years. It was Lee’s skill at collaborative leadership that generated the funds to build our fabulous Warren Skaaren Environmental Learning Center and those same skills have guided Westcave in a new and expanded strategic direction.
John Covert Watson Award for Vision - This child, adult, group or organization has had a far reaching vision for a future that embraces the importance of children reconnecting to our natural world. John Watson is a visionary architect who studied with Frank Lloyd Wright and has created a number of organically designed homes. John was the private landowner of what is now Westcave Preserve. John recognized that the public had a great desire to visit this very unique hill country canyon and he had the vision to partner with our life-long friends at the LCRA to create Westcave Preserve which was dedicated to the restoration and preservation of this extraordinary property.
John F. Ahrns Award for Environmental Education - This child, adult, group or organization will have innovated curriculum and integrated the natural world, and perhaps their schoolyard, into their classroom so that their students are inspired to become explorers of the natural world on their own time. John Ahrns is among a rarefied group of first-rate naturalists and served as the Preserve manager and lead educator from Westcave’s beginnings in 1976 until his retirement in 2010. John Ahrns began his work at the Preserve by hauling more than 100 full-size garbage bags of trash out of the Westcave canyon. Years later, when he had accomplished astonishing restoration and protection for the Preserve, John set out to build an environmental education program that now attracts more than 6,000 children each year.
Westcave Preserve Award for Enduring Dedication - This child, adult, group or organization has a significant history of getting kids out into nature. Like Westcave Preserve, which has been inspiring children and adults for decades, this award recognizes that there are many who have been toiling in the Children and Nature field for many years.
2012 Award Winners
The annual Children in Nature awards highlight individuals or organizations doing exceptional things that support the Children in Nature Collaborative mission and vision. Our 2012 award winners were announced in four categories recognizing excellence in connecting children to nature:
E. Lee Walker Award for Community Collaboration – Candlelight Ranch
Candlelight Ranch is an outdoor retreat on the North Shore of Lake Travis that enables children who are underserved or who have special needs to experience nature and engage in activities to promote healing, learning and growth. Youth attending Candlelight Ranch experience an innovative and adaptive therapeutic curriculum guided by skilled and passionate staff and volunteers. Activities such as nature hikes, ziplining and painting horses help Candlelight campers build confidence and self-esteem while having fun and enjoying nature.
John Covert Watson Award for Vision – Explore Austin
Explore Austin combines the benefits of mentoring and outdoor adventure in a six-year program for 6th through 12th grade inner-city youth. Each year, Explore Austin’s year-round program culminates with an eight-day Summer Wilderness Trip. “Explorers” learn leadership, team building and life skills in the outdoor classroom. As of September 2012, Explore Austin has provided its Explorers with over 96,000 hours of mentoring, 250 Saturday Excursions and 30 weeks of backcountry wilderness trips.
John F. Ahrns Award for Environmental Education – LCPL Nicholas S. Perez Elementary School
LCPL Nicholas S. Perez Elementary School embraces the notion that kids who play and learn in nature are “Happier, Healthier and Smarter.” Every day Perez students enjoy time outside. Third graders are hiking along Onion Creek on the extraordinary nature trail created by students, teachers, parents and neighbors. Fifth graders enjoy the outdoor classroom where science concepts come to life. And first graders release dozens of Monarch butterflies along the trail. Twice a year, Perez families camp on the school grounds – pitching tents, making s’mores and watching the stars.
Westcave Preserve Award for Enduring Dedication – Camp Fire
Camp Fire builds healthy, resilient, responsible youth through active learning, outdoor experiences, service to community, and by engaging families. The Balcones Council has been providing quality outdoor programs for children in ten central Texas counties since 1966, including after-school programs, outdoor family nature programs, community service-learning activities and weekend/summer outdoor adventure programs for all ages. The Camp Fire promise: Young people want to shape the world. Camp Fire provides the opportunity to find their spark, lift their voice, and discover who they are.
Many thanks to our 2012 Event Sponsors for joining us in our mission to get more kids outside more often.
You can make a difference, too! For more information on how to you can join our cause as an event sponsor for 2013, visit our Sponsor page or email Kinsey Junek at Kinsey@Westcave.org.
Golden-cheeked Warbler Sponsors:
Pam & Mike Reese
Peggy & Matt Winkler
The William & Salomé Scanlan Foundation
Roxanne & Ira Yates
Zebra Butterfly Sponsors:
Holly & Jim Bohart
Community Investment Corporation
The Tapestry Foundation
Wells Fargo Private Bank
Wild Orchid Sponsors:
Shelly & David Bain
Linda & Nick van Bavel
Braun & Gresham, PLLC
Nourah & Bobby Caskey
The Cooper Free Group at RBC Wealth Management
Dell Children's Medical Center
Henna Chevrolet and the Central Texas Chevy Dealers
Lock Lord LLP
Bettye & Bill Nowlin
Nancy Scanlan / Margot & Grant Thomas
St. David's Foundation
Jan & Neile Wolfe
|2013 Nomination Form.doc||41.5 KB|