Mikayla Renn, a conservation specialist with the Wake Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) recently completed her NC Environmental Education Certification. Mikayla supports the director of the Wake SWCD with office administration and operations. She also provides support to their Natural Resource Conservationists in all aspects of both technical and office work. Mikayla believes the certification helped diversify her skills.
Mikayla's favorite part of earning the certification was gaining knowledge in various fields and having the opportunity to explore North Carolina. “One of my favorite experiences was a mushroom identification workshop. I have always wanted to learn mushroom identification but never had the time to learn on my own. We found tons of mushrooms that day, some of which I had never seen before. It was such a fun experience trekking through the woods and learning with other educators."
For her community partnership project, Mikayla created three educational resources for the Bailey and Sarah Williamson Preserve. “With these resources, visitors of the preserve will learn about the preserve's pollinator garden and will discover ways they can implement native landscaping at home."
Although she is not currently an environmental educator, she uses skills she learned in the program while speaking to the public and creating web content and newsletters. “I try to incorporate more visual and auditory components into these resources instead of just written content.”
Mikayla says, “obtaining this certification changed the way I look at environmental issues. It's not black and white. There are multiple viewpoints and cultural dynamics to take into consideration.”