Hafer Receives NWTF Educator of the Year Award

Hafer Receives NWTF Educator of the Year Award

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – -(OutdoorWire.com)- Nicole Hafer from Zanesville, Ohio, received the National Wild Turkey Federation’s 2008 Conservation Educator of the Year Award during a special ceremony at the NWTF’s 33rd annual Convention and Sport Show in Nashville.

Hafer is an education specialist with the Muskingum Soil and Water Conservation District. She teaches outdoor education classes to local youth from grades K-12, in addition to courses at Zane State College.

Hafer makes learning about the outdoors fun for her students by helping them build wild turkey calls, plant trees and butterfly gardens and construct bluebird trails. She also incorporates games into her lesson plans to keep her students’ interest.

“It’s really thrilling to see my students get excited about nature,” Hafer said. “I teach a diverse range of students, but it is especially rewarding for me to see children from urban areas become amazed at seeing something in nature for the first time that many of us might take for granted.”

As Conservation Educator of the Year, Hafer was awarded a $500 grant, which she says will be used to purchase materials for her Wild Turkey Education classroom program. The remainder of the grant will be used to purchase seed mix for wildlife food plots, which her students will plant in Ohio’s Blue Rock State Park as part of the Kids Conservation Campers program.

“All of us at the NWTF are proud to present this award to Nicole,” said Christine Rolka, NWTF education specialist. “She is truly dedicated to what she does and holds her classes outside as often as possible so her students can better appreciate why conservation is so important.”

Upon accepting the award, Hafer credited NWTF chapters for donating education boxes, which enable teachers to teach their students about conservation.

“Many of the students I teach are hunters, but some have only seen frozen turkeys in a grocery store,” Hafer said. “The education boxes are a very, very valuable resource to help reach students from both rural and urban areas and teach topics they wouldn’t learn about otherwise.”

2009 Convention Sponsors
Bank of America, Bass Pro Shops, Browning, Call Makers and Collectors Association of America, Chevrolet, Crescent Cardboard Co., LLC, Federal Premium Ammunition, Foxy Huntress, Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, Knight Rifles, Leupold & Stevens, Longleaf Camo, Marlin Firearm/H&R 1871 LLC, Mathews Bows, Inc., MeadWestvaco, Motorola, Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau, National Band and Tag, O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc., Outdoor Channel, The Outdoor Connection, Inc., Remington Arms Company, Inc., S.C. State Chapter, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Tennessee State Chapter, The Sportsman Channel, USDA Forest Service, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, Weatherby, Inc., Weyerhaeuser, Wild Turkey Bourbon and Winchester Olin

About the NWTF: In 1973, Tom Rodgers founded the National Wild Turkey Federation in Fredericksburg, Va., as a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit conservation and education organization with a mission dedicated to conserving wild turkeys and preserving hunting traditions. Shortly thereafter, Rodgers relocated the NWTF to Edgefield, S.C., where it’s still headquartered today.

At the time NWTF was established, there were only 1.3 million wild turkeys. Today that number stands at more than seven million birds throughout North America, thanks to the efforts of state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members and partners.

Growth and progress define the NWTF as it has expanded from 1,300 members in 1973 to nearly a half million today. With that growth has come impressive strides in wildlife management as the NWTF has forged dynamic partnerships across the country to further its conservation mission. Together, the NWTF’s partners, sponsors and grassroots members have raised and spent more than $286 million upholding hunting traditions and conserving nearly 14 million acres of wildlife habitat.

While wild turkey restoration is nearing completion, the NWTF still has much work to do. Across North America, supporters are working to enhance habitat for wild turkeys and other wildlife while providing hunters with more opportunities and access to public and private land. In addition, NWTF volunteers and partners are introducing youth, women and people with disabilities to the outdoors through special educational events.

If you would like to become a member of Team NWTF, join a committee or start a chapter, please visit our Web site at www.nwtf.org or call us at 800-THE-NWTF.