The Nature of Communications: Reflections of an EV Intern
By Rebecca Crebbin-Coates

Each day that I arrive at my internship at the EV EcoCenter, a nature experience is unavoidable.  Once, I watched a gorgeous hawk survey the marshes from its perch atop the mast of our boat-shaped building. Some misty mornings, I pause on the walk from my car to observe peculiar black-bodied, white-shelled snails ease their way across the path, or I spy a bulbous mushroom hidden amid the coyote brush and the low-lying grasses. Other days, a hummingbird chirps indignantly as I pass by, and pigeons stampede across the roof as I work. High tides sweep under the building, and sometimes across the walkways. I am literally surrounded by nature.

If only the natural world could be this accessible for everyone.

How do you communicate the importance of something as intricate and awe-inspiring as an ecosystem? If a picture of nature is worth a thousand words, a hands-on nature program must be worth novels and encyclopedias – an entire library of loamy, salty, wiggly, long-remembered learning. The staff and volunteers I have met during my internship at the EV take this to heart, dedicating their time to sharing their curiosity and love of nature with others.

As the Communications and Development Intern this fall and winter, I have spent the past several months learning about the behind-the-scenes efforts that take place at the EV. This work provides the foundation for a dedicated set of volunteers to change the world, one group of budding environmental stewards at a time.

Every day is a learning experience. My tasks have been varied: helping to write for and edit the monthly newsletter, posting information about events and programs, drafting press releases, helping with database management and grant writing, and much more. Each word, each semi-colon, each photo that I choose helps in its own small way to showcase the importance and professionalism of the EV’s work, and helps create a public vision for the future of environmental education.

One highlight of the internship was the opportunity to collect stories from long-time volunteers and teachers for the 2012 Annual Report. The passion they have for hands-on environmental education is amazing.  They believe that the EV has made a remarkable difference in the community over the past 40 years, and their enthusiasm is contagious.

Nature should be shared. At the EV, I have spent my days helping to create and foster a sense of community among people who believe in a common cause: that children, adults, and families should have the opportunity to experience the natural world. There are many reasons to support this view: personal enjoyment, the positive impact on children’s learning in school, conservation of the environment.

My favorite reason is that nature is always surprising. There is always something new to discover, to spark your imagination, and to inspire you to connect with the world around you. Why wouldn’t you want to share that excitement? So grab a friend, get ready to encounter something fresh and fascinating, and come wander through the EV’s extensive library of nature learning programs. You’ll be glad you did.

Photo Credit: Caroline Lambert