Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award given to Pajarito Environmental Education Center for excellence in environmental education and outreach. From left to right: EMNRD Cabinet Secretary David Martin, PEEC Marketing Manager Sandra West, PEEC Board President Felicia Orth, PEEC Volunteer Sue Barns, PEEC Executive Director Katherine Watson, and NMED Cabinet Secretary Ryan Flynn.
On Earth Day Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) accepted a Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award for environmental education and outreach. The award ceremony was held at the Rio Grande Nature Center, where awardees accepted recognition of excellence in one of seven environmental categories: water resource protection, resource stewardship, wildlife and ecosystem stewardship, environmental education and outreach, youth projects, environmental leader of the year, or lifetime achievement. The Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards recognize and celebrate the hard work of New Mexicans dedicated to restoring and protecting the natural heritage and environmental health of our state.
Before the award ceremony, each awardee shared their work with the invited guests. NMED Cabinet Secretary Ryan Flynn opened the ceremony with a speech acknowledging and appreciating the many people who work to make Earth Day values important everyday. PEEC’s Executive Director Katherine Watson, Board President Felicia Orth, Volunteer Sue Barns, and Marketing Manager Sandra West accepted the award on behalf of staff and volunteers who enable PEEC to connect people with our canyons, mesas, mountains, and skies.
Katherine Watson wrote PEEC’s award nomination statement. “The Los Alamos Nature Center was a project 15 years in the making. In collaboration with Los Alamos County and many other organizations locally and state-wide, the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) opened the $4.3 million, award-winning nature center in 2015. The nature center features exciting, interactive exhibits that get kids and adults thinking about the environment and having fun while learning about nature in northern New Mexico. The center has become a hub of the community and the region, drawing more than 35,000 people in its first ten months to explore its exhibits and planetarium, participate in diverse and engaging public programs, and learn about science and the environment through hands-on programs in schools. By connecting our visitors to nature through enriching and rewarding activities, the Los Alamos Nature Center inspires people to understand and care about the environment, and become good stewards of New Mexico’s unique natural heritage.”