Project YEE-HAW: (Youth Ecological Education Helping Animals and Wildlife)
2016-17 were catastrophic fire years for our local habitat areas. Negatively impacting our local wildlife and leaving a visual scare as a reminder. NNSCI launched Project YEE-HAW in 2017 to involve our community and our youth to help in the reseeding efforts and educate of youth about wildfire danger and the importance of wildlife habitat. Helping fund and partnering with local agencies we are achieving beneficial results to help our entire ecosystem and give our community a visual reminder of not only how we can protect but improve our physical environment for all walks of life to enjoy.
In 2017 we partnered with NDOW and the Nevada Land Trust to purchase seed and put boots on the ground to re-seed 140 acres in Washoe County, Nevada - Special thanks to NDOW, Nevada Land Trust, Sparks Rotary and Cast N Blast from the University of Nevada for volunteering for last years seeding efforts!
Northern Nevada SCI Mobile Wildlife Education Center
We are pleased to announce that our first full year in Northern Nevada was a resounding success with the NNSCI Mobile Wildlife Education Center. Our sponsors have been a huge part of that success. Having amazing sponsors has really set the tone for this program. Sitka, Cabela’s and the Wild Sheep Foundation have all gone above and beyond to ensure when this trailer goes down the road; it is an event! From the head turning wrap from Sitka to the educational material from Cabela’s and the Wild Sheep Foundation to Cabela’s just keeping us on the road from location to location. Our sponsors have made the difference. We are thankful for all of them.
Along with the launching the Mobile Education Center, we launched a video program to run in the trailer as we had students and the general public tour through. While the premise is simple, the results have been overwhelming. We asked hunters of all walks of life to record a brief video introducing themselves. At the end of each clip the person states, “I am a hunter. I am conservation.” From average hunters to celebrities, the videos have made a solid impact. One in particular that has made a huge impact was sent to us by Jimmy Herman. Showing a touring musician combining faith, fitness and the outdoors in a cinematic backdrop has caught the attention of all the visits. The video gives each student or adult a variety of people from all walks of life to relate to. For many, this is the first time they get an opportunity to see hunters as individual people. Combining that connection with the message that hunting is conservation has started to open the eyes of some.
While there is no secret that the heritage of hunting has its opposition, we have openly welcomed the opportunity to discuss the objections and misconceptions of the lifestyle we are so passionate about. While some are not open to the facts, many have become more enlightened about hunting and conservation. Creating awareness and giving people information is opening doors for NNSCI, our sponsors, and all of those that share our lifestyle. As kids travel through the Mobile Education Center, they are given a packet. This packet contains trivia, word search, crossword puzzles, facts, coloring pages, reading material and a scavenger hunt for the Reno Cabela’s. The key is that once we load up the trailer and leave, they can continue to learn and explore We even provide them with an opportunity to take family members to a location to share what they have learned.
Two of the biggest wins for this program is showing the public who hunters are and how they impact the communities. We celebrate that hunters come from a variety of backgrounds and work in a variety of industries. By disrupting the stereotype, we create awareness. We also have started to showcase not only what we do for wildlife and habitat, but what we do for our communities as well. We capped this off with a successful food drive involving conservation organizations throughout the region. Fox 11 locally invited us to the station to share our message and our food drive. After we collected all of the food, we teamed up with KTVN News channel 2 for the Share your Holidays event. They helped us get our message out as well.
If you would like to book the Mobile Education Center to be at an event or your school, contact Mike Aiazzi at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-745-2707