“Teaching kids to enjoy the outdoors and learn about the natural environment in a very hands-on and engaging manner is an especially important goal of education. Environmental education offers a way for today’s youth to be tomorrow’s leaders with a greater appreciation of the importance for protecting the environment.”
“Environmental education is critical if we are going to continue to have clean air, water and places to enjoy nature. Future generations must learn to love the outdoors as children, so that they need to protect our environment when they become working, voting adults.”
Paula has served as trustee for the Bethlehem Public Library; her life’s work has been with international students in area colleges and with immigrants at Catholic Charities of Albany.
“One of the best things about the Friends is a commitment to providing opportunities for children and adults to engage in meaningful contact with the natural world, which is unfortunately too often lacking in today’s digital society. Our instructors and programs are consistently recognized and respected for their success in fostering in children a deeper appreciation and wonder at nature that hopefully stays with them throughout their lives.”
“It is imperative that we teach children to value nature if we are to leave our planet sustainable for future generations.”
“With so many threats to so many different natural areas it is essential for us to do more than educate people about the world that supports them. People must experience nature every day and work to conserve their corner of the planet.”
Robert "Bob" Greenman
Dr. Stephanie Maes is an Assistant in Higher Education at the New York State Education Department. Prior to joining the Department she was an Assistant Professor of Geology at the College of Saint Rose. For 10 years she taught course in Geology, Environmental Science, Physics, as well as Science for Elementary Education majors. The Vloman Kill at Five Rivers played an integral role in many of her courses; helping the students better understand the geology, ecology, and invertebrate biology they learned about in the classroom by presenting them with hands-on experiences. Dr. Maes continues to share her love of Five Rivers and environmental education with her family. She and her husband, Anthony, and sons, Jacob and Lucas, are frequent visitors to Five Rivers.
His love for Five Rivers grew from numerous visits to the Center with his three, now grown boys, Jake, Gabe and Ethan. Larry believes the mission of Friends of Five Rivers is imperative.
“Environmental education of our children is essential to their understanding of how mankind’s conduct impacts our water, air and earth.”
Reid was drawn to Five Rivers from his fond memories of the facilities as a child. Along with his younger brother Ryan, Reid spent many happy summer days at Five Rivers in his youth and he loved attending the “Bat Barn” tours in the fall. He is excited to be on the Board in order to help shape the direction of Five Rivers for future generations. Reid understands that our planet is currently facing an environmental crisis and the education that Friends of Five Rivers provides is essential to fixing this problem. In his professional life, Reid helps his clients align their moral values with their investment goals, by helping them access Socially Responsible Investment strategies that focus on companies that have a positive environmental impact.
William (Chip) Reynolds has more than forty years of experience managing non-profit and political organizations, which developed public relations and educational campaigns primarily focused on science and environmental issues. He and his family live in Selkirk, and his (now adult) children cut their outdoor teeth with many visits to Five Rivers twenty years ago.
“Any walk in the wilds can be special. But a walk with a naturalist/educator, who can illustrate the complex patterns and interactions of plants and animals in nature, heightens our appreciation of the world, and the importance of wilderness in maintaining a healthy society. And the younger one is when first getting this exposure, the better.”
Mary Louise Stanford
“I would like to be a Friends of Five Rivers Board member because I want to give back to Five Rivers in gratitude for all that it’s given to me, to protect and preserve it and to share it with others who haven’t experienced it yet. Environmental education is important because everyone should have the opportunity to experience nature firsthand, but many do not. Educational programs at Five Rivers are a way to connect children and adults with nature.”