Published: 07/15/2022 10:40:02
Modified: 07/15/2022 10:39:48
Susie Spikol, a naturalist teacher at the Harris Center for Conservation Education in Hancock, is one of this year’s recipients of the Garden Club of America’s Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Award.
The award recognizes outstanding achievement in the field of environmental education, honoring those who “inspire children…to appreciate the beauty and fragility of our planet.” In announcing the award, the club cited Spikol’s “incalculable impact on children in the Monadnock area” and noted that “there are few children or teenagers [in this area] who have never canoed, hiked, explored wetlands, spotted birds, discovered amphibians or [gone mammal] followed with Susie.”
Spikol has been a professional naturalist and environmental educator for over 30 years. Beginning with her internship in Central Park as a student at Columbia University, Brooklyn-native Spikol has dedicated herself to teaching children to connect, understand, and embrace nature.
More recently, Spikol founded the Lab Girls after-school program to connect girls with STEAM through nature. Each week the girls meet a different female role model who works in STEAM and have the chance to experience the tools of her trade. ConVal High School students with an interest in science help middle school girls navigate hands-on experiences.
Spikol’s first book, “The Animal Adventurer’s Guide,” comes out in the fall, and she’s working on a second book about insects.