News

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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Olivia Downey, ‘22

Imagine you were kept in the same room 24 hours a day with nothing in particular to do except eat. Human beings would experience a rapid decline in both physical and mental health under these circumstances. Most farm animals live limited lives like this. 

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Stephen Lowe, ‘21

Stephen Lowe approaches agriculture with an appreciation for the complexity of the profession and an educator’s eye. 

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Cailin Smith, ‘21

What’s a molecular biology and biochemistry major doing in Merry Lea’s Agroecology Summer Intensive (ASI)? Cailin Smith, a rising junior from Knightstown, Ind., says she joined the group because a lot of biochemical research is agricultural.

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Heather Gabel, ’21

One of the gifts a liberal arts school like Goshen College offers its students is the freedom to explore and connect multiple disciplines. Heather Gabel, a rising junior from Orange City, Iowa, has taken full advantage of this opportunity.

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