Meet Our Team
Jill Druckman & Sarah Amado - Lead naturalists
Wanbli Máyašleča - L/Dahkóta elder, artist, teacher
Dawí Huhá Máza - Dahkóta linguist
Amariah Rauscher, Ellen Bordeaux
& Stephanie O'Donnell - Artists
Cory Hobbs - Woodworker
Cedrick Jones - Graphic designer
Maia Campbell - Naturalist
Alyson Quinn - Advisor
Alyson Quinn and Sarah Amado listen to Wanbli Máyašleča speak about Traditional Ecological Knowledge at the Welcome Woods.
We also had correspondence with the Native Governance Center. As a nature-based program on Dakota treaty land, we are committed to supporting and amplifying the work of Indigenous leaders, creatives and educators. If you're interested in learning more about the work of Wanbli and Dawí, you can hear Wanbli Máyašleča speak about The Reality of Thanksgiving by clicking on this link and you can check out Dawí's map collaboration with local artist Marlena Myles here. Their Dakota Land Maps were the inspiration for our own school forest maps!
One of our main goals was the creation of permanent signage for the school forest trails and major landmarks. These signs incorporate academic subjects such as:
Additional resources to build relationship with school forest themes:
What's growing in our school forest?
"Waȟčá Asáŋpi Yušíča"
Our goal with Chickadee Landing is to offer a hands-on experience with nature that allows students to witness bird behavior up close. Chickadees are small, resident songbirds that exhibit fascinating behavior and can be acclimated to being around humans if offered a food source. We will be providing 6 new benches for student seating along with 18 people cutouts that will help get our resident birds accustomed to humans. In the center of Chickadee Landing, a variety of bird feeders on hooks with black oil sunflower seed will be offered. Teachers from Bryn Mawr, Anwatin and Minneapolis Nature Preschool can bring their classes out to observe the birds. Students can offer the birds food by placing sunflower seeds on their hands and heads (if they’d like) to see if they can get a chickadee to land and eat.
Nothing brings a bigger smile to a face than having a chickadee land on your head after waiting patiently. Many nature centers utilize a space like Chickadee Landing and find that this activity is most successfully done between October and March when their natural source of food is scarcer.
Chickadee Landing not only offers an additional outdoor classroom and observation station, but important opportunities to encourage empathy and relationship building with other living creatures.
Jill Druckman takes a selfie with a chickadee on her head.