Name: Erin Kinnetz
Title: Education Specialist
Team: Education Dept.
What is your role?
I plan fun, exploratory curriculum for our educational programming and outdoor experiences.
I take care of our two resident teaching turtles Ranger Russell the box turtle and our newest turtle the red-eared slider.
How does your team keep The Parklands Fun?
In our education department, we are teaching about STEAM through discovery of nature. Hands-on experience allows the participant to become more acquainted with the landscape and animals that live in their own backyard and the sensitive wildlife that needs cleaner bigger spaces like those that you can find in our park.
What are you most proud of in your work?
I love it when a new student comes to the park and tells me they’ve never been in a forest before, never been on a hike before and I get to be a part of that first experience of natural wonder.
What inspires you to come to work every day?
Exploring the land always brings some new delight or insight. Not only do I get to do that every day but I get to meet really cool people and see them make sense of their own experiences with nature.
Which trail would you recommend to visitors and why?
What “hidden gem” would you recommend to visitors and why?
Standing at the top of Sky Dome in Turkey Run Park makes you feel like you are standing on top of the world. In the fall, the whole hillside is bursting with the cheery yellows of goldenrod and the vivid purples of ironweed.
In your opinion, what makes The Parklands worthy of support?
The Parklands is a safe place to begin to explore nature and play. For a growing city like Louisville, we have protected this habitat for animals and plants for the future. The forest, meadows, and riparian habitat will filter our air, control flooding downstream and preserve biodiversity so that our children’s children can have experiences spotting wildlife as they grow up.
How would you say “Thank You” to someone who donates to The Parklands, or who is thinking about donating?
Thank you for your donation. Last year we had over 9,000 educational experiences in the park. We wouldn’t have been able to do that without the help of our generous donors.
Erin Kinnetz joined The Parklands as a Summer Science Camp Counselor in the summer of 2017. As the camp season ended, she transitioned to the role of Interpretive Ranger, supporting Outdoor Classroom programs. In February 2018, Erin was promoted to Education Specialist. In this position she is the main teacher for Wednesday Wonders, in-school outreach and field trips. She is also in charge of developing curricula for these programs and making sure they meet current Kentucky science standards, while also encouraging stewardship of natural places. Erin received her undergraduate degree in Scientific Illustration and furthered her education by pursuing a Masters of Science in Biology with a special emphasis on Ecology. Before joining The Parklands, Erin spent a number of years in community mental health care on a crisis stabilization unit, helping kids work through difficult times. She has loved working with children ever since. In her free time, she teaches yoga and experiments with arts and materials.
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