THE FACES OF HENDRICKS COUNTY PARKS & RECREATION Our Naturalists Bring Parks Programs to Life! O ur most recognizable employees are our park naturalists. When you visit McCloud Nature Park or Sodalis Nature Park for a nature day camp, a family program, a field trip, a Scout Sunday program, an overnighter, or just a walk in the woods, our naturalists are who you’re most likely to see. Not only are our naturalists the ones you interact with while at our parks, they’re also responsible for creating and orchestrating all of our programming and events. As you browse through the programs in this issue of The Explorer, you’re looking at hours upon hours of our naturalists’ planning, discussing, fine- tuning and writing the programs and their descriptions. Park Naturalist Sarah Wolf is one of our two full-time naturalists, and she has been with our department since 2015. Assistant Park Naturalist Joe Lembo is our other full-timer, joining our team in 2016 as a part-time seasonal naturalist before his promotion to full-time status in December (see page 22). Jordan Tremper is our longest-tenured naturalist, joining our department as a part-time naturalist in 2012. Her graphic arts talents can be seen on our Summer Fun Run shirts, our McCloud 15th Anniversary logo, our annual McCloud Prairie Maze (see page 6), our Scout Sunday patches (see page 15), and many other projects. Our naturalist staff is rounded out by part-timer Joy Fulk, who started as a 18 • www.HendricksCountyParks.org seasonal naturalist in 2017, and seasonal naturalist Carol Wickliff, who joined us in 2018. In recent months, our naturalists have been super busy improving the services that our department provides to park visitors. They more than doubled our previous programming during the summer of 2018 to provide more opportunities for families to learn about nature and our environment. With the help of our maintenance crew, Sarah created a new interactive exhibit within the Nature Center that has been a popular attraction. Sarah and Joe have been instrumental in reaching out to local scouting groups in an effort to improve our scout programming, and Sarah has also worked closely with local homeschool parents and groups to add educational opportunities and field trips for those kids. She has worked with local public libraries to improve the scheduling of Animal Tales, as well as expanding the program into Monrovia (see page 20). Joe is our resident honeybee expert, spending a considerable amount of time in the McCloud Bee House, tending to our observable honeybee hives. He’s also our Top to bottom: Joe Lembo works with the honeybees in the Bee House; Jordan Tremper leads a group of guests on a hike; Park Naturalist Sarah Wolf. resident atlatl expert, and he’s a natural with our youngest visitors who attend his programs, camps, and other activities. Jordan spearheads the new Art Exhibit program at the Nature Center (see page 19), and you’ll see her, Joy, and Carol working at the Summer Fun Runs and at many of our programs and events at our parks, throughout the community, and in local schools. Without naturalists, we’d have no programming, and without our top-notch crew of naturalists, we wouldn’t have the outstanding offerings that you’ll find in this issue – and every issue – of The Explorer.