Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Young Conservationists Creating A Brighter Future: Spotlight on Alyssa Grayson

Alyssa Grayson, photo: The Providence Journal / Kris Craig
Our celebration of young conservationists continues today with a spotlight on a very special ten year old from Rhode Island (RI) whose passion is impressing those in her community and beyond. The WCC first crossed paths with Alyssa Grayson back in February of 2008 when Atka and crew presented at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum Research Center. During our visit, a young girl approached WCC's Maggie Howell to ask if she would like to receive RI Wolf Club Newsletter.

Sporting her button
Of course Maggie was thrilled to be included on the mailing list and thanked the young lady by giving her a Defender's of Wildlife button from her jacket that read "Support the PAW Act." A few months later, the first newsletter was delivered to the WCC office and it was a beautiful reflection of the Alyssa's passion and wolf knowledge!
tracking coyotes

Although we've only seen Alyssa in person a few times, it has been a thrill to watch Alyssa grow into a conservation dynamo from afar! Last spring Alyssa presented a number of public education programs about wolves and coyotes at RI's Roger Williams Park Zoo, learned how to track local coyotes as youngest citizen scientist working on the national wildlife refuges in RI, and received a Certificate of Appreciation from the RI Department of Environmental Management. Alyssa is following her passion to protect our Nation's wildlife and her efforts are not going unnoticed, the Providence Journal wrote an article all about her last May!
Alyssa is an enormous inspiration, her achievements are awesome and worth remembering during times when the future of US wildlife appears bleak at best. This year Alyssa will be in the fifth grade and I'm proud to say that my hero is a middle school-er :)

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