USDA Forest Service/CAPS High School Ecology Club/ Jr Ranger Volunteers
Having over 25 years of wildland firefighting experience in many capacities, Debra-Ann Brabazon serves as the Wildfire Prevention and Mitigation Education Specialist for the Huron-Manistee National Forests in the Northern Lower Peninsula. Passionate for youth and environmental education, her approach to wildfire prevention is a wholistic approach of buy to the natural world around the student. Her passion led her to create the Cadillac High School Ecology Club as a means of engaging area youth in their local environment, local environmental issues and meet and work with local environmental professions as they explore careers. As students began to engage and desire more activities, D-A, as she likes to be called, started a Junior Ranger Volunteer program to engage youth in community service and activities with the USDA Forest Service. Students, in turn, had an opportunity to gain valuable experience in public speaking, organizing and leading community service work and environmental education in yet another youth program started by D-A, “Junior Rangers in the Classroom.” “Kids are the stewards of tomorrow eager to learn today! If we each the kids today how to care for the land, then we won’t have to ticket them for damaging their public lands in the future,” said Brabazon. In 2019, D-A was selected by the Eastern Regional Office of the USDA Forest Service to be their Educator of the year and was awarded the Gifford Pinchot Award for Excellence in Environmental Education and Interpretation.
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