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Meet our 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

Ohio Environmental Council, October 27, 2016

We are so very pleased to introduce this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award winners, Cathy and Paul Knoop! The Knoop’s are long time friends and heroes of the OEC family, and we couldn’t be happier to celebrate their accomplishments at this year’s Green Gala.

Cathy and Paul have built their careers in nature centers and land labs, and cannot help but bring their work home with them. Over the past 40 years, these two educators have touched the lives of countless children and helped to protect and restore Ohio’s natural heritage. The OEC’s very own Trish Demeter had Cathy Knoop as a 6th grade teacher. Since being part of Mrs. Knoop’s 6th grade class and Junior Naturalists’ activities, Trish has gone on to be a champion for securing Ohio’s clean energy future. She credits much of her passion to environmental advocacy to Cathy’s influence.

The Knoops have a long history of connecting children with the world outside the classroom. As a former elementary science teacher for Miami and Pickaway counties, Cathy always used the natural environment to inspire young learners. She transformed schoolyards into outdoor education centers that featured natural habitats, adding trails, bird feeders and message boards where students could post bird sightings and other observations, creating an outdoor lab that could be used cross curriculum.

For Paul, the classroom of choice has always been the outdoors. Even casual visitors learn something about the natural world when they step outside with Paul. Paul has dedicated more than 35 years to running environmental education programs for children and adults at the Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm.

While Cathy and Paul are now enjoying retirement, they continue to foster opportunities for Ohioans to connect to the natural world. Together, the Knoops lead interpretive walks, conduct environmental seminars, work with BBBS Camp Oty’Okwa, teach natural history field classes for Ashland University and a week-long class for teachers and naturalists. Paul works with AOA, the local land trust and stays involved with environmental issues. Cathy conducts workshops for Population Connection and has been active nationally and internationally with CISV, Children’s International Summer Villages, which fosters an understanding and appreciation of cultural similarities and differences. Thanks to their contributions to environmental education in Ohio, many more young minds will be encouraged to become environmental advocates for years to come.

Thank you, Cathy and Paul Knoop for all you do!  Want to celebrate Cathy and Paul’s accomplishments? Register for the 2016 Green Gala, today!