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New face for the New Year

Nature Institute adds one more to education staff

The Nature Institute (TNI), located at 2213 South Levis Lane in Godfrey, Ill, is excited to share the news of adding one more to its staff. Jacob Clendenen, of Piasa, Ill, has officially joined the organization’s team as Education Assistant. His work will include preparing for field trips, scout outings, community events, and more.

In the Spring of 2017, Clendenen graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Through his years of teaching martial arts at Grogan’s Academy of Martial Arts in Edwardsville, Ill, he grew an appreciation of helping others, particularly with expanding their knowledge and understanding of the world around them.

This is what drove Clendenen’s interest towards TNI. Having grown up in a rural environment and having a love for the outdoors, he has always strived to have a career that combines outdoor recreation and learning. His first work at TNI was as camp counselor in the summer where he quickly became a hit with campers.

“The greatest way for anyone to truly appreciate nature is to physically experience it. This means that we must get students outdoors and into nature firsthand and physically interact with it”, Clendenen said about outdoor education. 

He continued to say, “I strongly urge every person who is interested in nature to go outside, look under rocks, get dirty, and have some fun.”

While at TNI, Clendenen plans to bring forth exciting and educational programs for members and visitors to enjoy. His goal is to educate and excite students to create their own passions and interests to follow.

“It’s in our human nature to always strive for understanding. My hope is that we take what we’ve learned in the past, combine it with new-age material and offer education right here at TNI for any and all who seek it.”

TNI will be offering an upcoming “Outdoor Survival Workshop”, hosted by Clendenen, on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 at 1 p.m. Join TNI staff for this workshop to learn basic survival skills for independent usage. This event is catered to those 12 years and up, including adults. Registration is $15 per person and those interested can sign up today at TheNatureInstitute.org.

Starting December 1st, TNI trails will be closed for public use. This is in an effort to allow the nature preserve to rest from foot traffic. With the trails being cleared, heighten restoration efforts, such as prescribed burning, will be performed by the staff. Trails will reopen on April 1, 2018. Those interested in seeing TNI property may still do so at the above workshop any of their other upcoming events. Learn more at TheNatureInstitute.org.

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