News

Small things, great love

For 21 days, students in Merry Lea’s Master of Arts in Environmental Education learn about a subtropical ecosystem and then work with six elementary schools to get kids outside and connect them to their environment. Every year, I am amazed by how much they absorb.

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Sustainability students confront complexity

It’s been nearly two months since the seventh cohort of undergraduates completed Merry Lea’s Sustainability Leadership Semester (SLS). Between mid-August and mid-December, they shared classes, meals, field trips, hikes, social activities and a weeklong canoeing adventure.

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Nature preschool excursions

What happens when children’s interests drive education? Merry Lea’s Nature Preschool could offer plenty of examples. In one case, it all began with dinosaurs.

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Seed Swap Includes Miami Plant Traditions

Merry Lea’s second annual Seed Swap January 18 offered regional garden enthusiasts a chance to trade seeds and knowledge at nearly 20 booths and attend educational talks. Dani Tippmann of Whitley County Historical Museum spoke on “Plant Traditions of the Miami Tribe,” one of three educational talks offered.

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Merry Lea celebrates its volunteers

On December 3, the Merry Lea Team rewarded its volunteers with a dinner, entertainment and gifts of homemade jam. Volunteers donated over 1,221 hours to Merry Lea during 2019. Some braved early hours and the beaks of cardinals to help band birds; others led children on hikes, helped at the farm or portrayed animals for the Enchanted Forest.

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The Merry Lea Team: Transitions

Having trouble keeping track of all the comings and goings at Merry Lea? Meet our new farm manager, environmental educator, international volunteer and SEED recruiter. Meanwhile, Farm Manger Ellie Schertz left us for Tucson. In 2020, we expect to welcome a new executive director.

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Nature preschool explores all weathers

Four days a week at noon, a small caravan leaves from the Farmstead Barn. There are two wagons, three teachers and a gaggle of 14 preschoolers wearing matching backpacks and rubber boots. The children take turns pulling the wagons which carry supplies for the day.

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Gascho receives Howard Michaud Award

Luke Gascho, former director of Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College, is the recipient of the 2019 Howard Michaud Award. The Environmental Education Association of Indiana announced the selection November 1 at McCormick’s Creek State Park during their annual conference.  

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Immigration lawyer brings new lens to policy course

Laura Pontius, Albion, Ind., has found her legal career moving increasingly toward public education. This fall, her speaking gigs will include teaching Environmental Policy and Politics in Merry Lea’s Sustainability Leadership Semester (SLS).

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Merry Lea prepares to host nature preschool

This September, a forest clearing near Merry Lea’s Kesling Wetland will be home to a nature preschool four days per week. Tree trunks will serve as seats and an open shelter will keep off the rain.

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