The 2012 Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show recently presented its Youth Mentor Award to the Wildlife For Everyone Foundation for its financial support of the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Seedlings in the Schools and "Richard Guadagno Internship Program" in the agency's Southwest Region Office.
The Wildlife For Everyone Foundation, created by the Board of Game Commissioners in 2005, is a independent, non-profit organization that works with state agencies to preserve and enhance wildlife habitat, wildlife scientific research, wildlife education, land preservation, youth programs and to construct a wildlife education and research center.
As part of its education and youth missions, the Foundation has developed major funding support for the Game Commission's Seedling in the Schools program, which supplies seedlings from the agency's Howard Nursery in Centre County to more than a thousand schools across the state. The Seedlings in the Schools program provides students with a variety of tree seedlings to plant at home, on school grounds or in their communities, and provides teaching tools for educators to help students learn more about the importance of trees in the environment and to wildlife and communities.
"Seedlings in the Schools has been a great outreach effort for the Game Commission, and is made possible by the hard-work of Theresa Alberici, Wildlife Conservation Education Specialist, and all of our Howard Nursery employees," said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. "However, we would not be able to fully deliver this program if it were not for the financial assistance of the Wildlife For Everyone Foundation, and very much appreciate their annual contributions."
The Foundation also helped the Game Commission's Southwest Region office expand an innovative college internship program that gives college students hands-on experience in skills needed for careers in wildlife management. The program is overseen by Joseph Stefko, Southwest Region Wildlife Education Supervisor, and originated in 1999.
With the funding from the Foundation, the Game Commission was able to restructure the program to offer stipends to students working in the eight-week internship, which now has been named the "Richard Guadagno Internship Program," in honor of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent who was among the passengers killed aboard Flight 93 in Somerset County on Sept. 11, 2001.
"Joe Stefko has done a tremendous job of overseeing the internship program, which has helped training students in a whole host of wildlife related activities," Roe said. "There are dozens of students over the past dozen years who have benefitted greatly from this hands-on wildlife internship. Now, thanks to the funding from the Foundation, these interns will be able to earn some money to use for their future educational efforts."
As part of the internship program, previous students helped with summer bat roost and breeding bird surveys; Canada goose banding; bear trapping; wildlife habitat assessments; vegetation sampling; legal updates and deputy meetings; data entry and analysis; report writing; wildlife biometrics and tissue sampling; library research; and educational programming.
For more information about the Foundation, go to www.wildlifeforeveryone.org.
To Connect with Wildlife, visit the Game Commission at the following: