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  • Writer's pictureKimberly Belfer

A Conversation Worth Having

Today, we were interviewed not for a job, but for our business. A freelance writer with the WILMA magazine, a local women's business magazine, called us to discuss how our business came to be and who we are right now. It was a welcomed conversation to be able to discuss our past, our present, and our future. And it spotlighted our Director of Education as developer and owner of her own company.

As we continue to grapple with the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, and still are recovering in our area from Hurricanes Florence and Dorian, we try to adapt like some of the animals we teach about in our lessons. Having an opportunity to express how we've adapted and how we've expanded our reach, gives us an added voice in the community at large. Like the ebb and flow of the tides, we are able to roll with whatever life has come our way with our business.

Although we look ahead to expand our business offering exponentially through our Watershed Walkabout program, teacher workshop sessions, and educator resource books, we must also take stock in our foundation and where we've come from. Sometimes when we are forced to slow down, particularly when a natural disaster has struck, we can pause the regular day-to-day operations enough to think back to how we all began.

In interviewing with this magazine, we were able to answer questions about the very roots of our business: the resource books to K-8 and high school teachers. We were able to discuss how our business was molded and took shape through adapting some of these resources to develop a full informal education outreach program in local schools. And we were able to discuss how we adapted even further when a pandemic completely shut everything down.

Although virtual learning might not have been applicable to our hands-on lessons, we were able to create a coloring book and adventure guide so kids could still get outside and explore their watershed. We hope to be back in the classroom teaching our lessons again in the spring and next school year, but until then, the resources are still out there and available. We will also be working towards going out to the ecosystems and creating virtual tours, so that when we are able to go back to the classrooms, students will get a full video of background information before we come and do an activity with them.

As we look back at our past, we look ahead to our future, and we see all the expansion that will happen in time. Our little business will continue to grow in our watershed in North Carolina, and in time, we will be able to add on outdoor exploration to our repertoire of lessons. We will be able to host schools and house live animals in a rented space in town. And we will continue to reach our goal of incorporating marine and environmental science into the regular science curriculum locally, regionally, and nationally through our lessons, programs, resources, and workshops.

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