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 has been the sole preserve director and lead educator since Westcave’s beginnings in 1976. 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. Previous winners include: City of Austin – Earth Camp, Danna Keyburn of Redeemer Lutheran School, David Matthews of Small Middle School, Johnny Wilson of St Stephen’s Episcopal School, William Earley of Laurel Mountain Elementary, and LCPL Nicholas S. Perez Elementary School.