Mary Davis has dedicated herself to environmentalism just about her whole adult life. Recently, in recognition of this, Bronx River-Sound Shore Audubon honored her, other organizations presented her with proclamations and plaques, and Westchester County declared June 5th “Mary Davis Day”.
Mary Davis inherited a love of the outdoors from her parents. “When we were growing up,” she recalls, “we were sent outdoors to play; that’s what kids did.” Her official start as an environmentalist came in 1974, when she was asked to create an Ecology curriculum and teach it to all the fifth grade classes in Rye. She proceeded to receive a Master’s degree in Environmental Education at Fairfield University, and then her long career in the field of nature education took off.
Since 2003, Mary has been working for Sheldrake Environmental Center in Larchmont where she teaches the Volunteer Environmental Educator (VEE) training program, a course for adults in ecology and teaching techniques. During the course, she trains participants to lead field trips as they sharpen their awareness and discover nature. Then, they become part of a dedicated group of like-minded people making a difference in their community by imparting the joy of discovery to children.
Graduates of the VEE training program work with elementary school students from Rye Neck, Mamaroneck, Larchmont, Scarsdale, and New Rochelle schools. Throughout the school year, they take turns visiting the students at the various elementary schools (“pre-trip” sessions), and leading field trips to the Larchmont Reservoir, Sheldrake River Trail, and Larchmont’s Dog Beach.
This fall, Mary will start teaching the VEE training program with co-naturalist Jenny Geer at Sheldrake on October 16th. Those who are interested in the course can contact Mary directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to learn how to apply for the program.
The Volunteer Environmental Educator training program enables Sheldrake Environmental Center to train the educators who are the organization’s face to the community, teaching children and adults alike about our fragile local ecology. More information on Sheldrake and its programs can be obtained by visiting www.sheldrakecenter.org, or by contacting Amy at (914)834-1443 or at email@example.com.