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Merry Lea staff members light lanterns in preparation for the Enchanted Forest.

Enchanted Forest Allows Native Species to Tell Their Stories

The Enchanted Forest at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College, Wolf Lake, Ind., makes Northern Indiana a bit more magical each autumn. The nature center offers children and their favorite adults a night hike where animals talk. Friday and Saturday October 26 and 27, 7 to 8:30 p.m. are the 2018 dates.

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Pontius Tracks Wild Edibles From Indiana to Alaska

Merry Lea’s Dr. Joel Pontius is a student of foraging. Whether he’s leading students on the Sustainability Leadership Semester’s canoe trip or boating on Alaska’s Cook Inlet, Joel has his eyes peeled for wild foods and his ears attuned to stories about them.

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MAEE Students Share Their Ecosystem Studies

Merry Lea’s master’s students prepare ecosystem presentations for their Natural History course. Throughout the course, they’ve each spent time in a particular locale, learning the species found there and the ways the ecosystem changes over time.

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2018 MAEE cohort, left to right: Emily Haynes, Andrew Beal, Terri Habig, Sam Buchanan, Delany Bruce, Ali Sanders, TJ Rayhill, Vickie Benko, James Austin, Josh Crawford.

Merry Lea Welcomes Largest MAEE Cohort

The Master’s in Environmental Education program (MAEE) at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College welcomed its largest cohort ever in July 2018.

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Stephan Powless trimming goat hooves

ASI 2018: Meet Stephan Powless

What do you do when the things you were really good at are no longer who you are? This is the question that brought Stephan Powless, Lagro, Ind., to Goshen College. Unlike most undergraduates, Stephan is a 32-year-old father of three with an eight-year career in the military behind him.

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ASI 2018: Meet Hannah Wheeler

Agriculture has always been a part of Hannah Wheeler’s life. Hannah grew up on a 40-acre family hobby farm in Hudson, Mich., where the high school mascot is a longhorn steer. She has fond memories of exhibiting market steers at the local county fair and helping her family grow their own meat and vegetables.

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ASI 2018: Meet Gabe Miller

Gabe Miller, a junior sustainable food systems major from Ithaca, New York, is a student who thrives at the intersection of big ideas and hands on learning. A conversation with Gabe zigzags between food sovereignty, human rights issues and the building of solar ovens.

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ASI 2018: Meet Ryan Miller

Ryan Miller has an ornery streak. He is not afraid to be a proud meat lover among vegetarians or the tractor enthusiast among market gardeners. He has a practical bent and a scrappy willingness to live with the tensions inherent in today’s farming landscape.

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ASI 2018: Meet Clayton Wassilak

Clayton Wassilak, a rising senior from Augustana College, Rock Island, Ill., is a man of many interests with the desire to tie them all together. The Agroecology Summer Intensive (ASI) at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College is helping him do that.

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The Merry Lea Mission

  • Providing a natural sanctuary for northern Indiana’s plants and animals
  • Providing environmental education for people of all ages
  • Providing a setting for re-creating opportunities that benefit the human body and spirit while not exploiting the land or excessively disturbing its ecosystems
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