Spending time in the outdoors is an important part of childhood. For conservationists, childhood memories of nature are often a big part of why we care about birds, plants, and wild places. But as screens and schedules take over more of our time, fewer kids have access and opportunity for those critical outdoor experiences. Carolyn Sevier, Director of the Montana Audubon Center will describe Montana Audubon’s education programs, concentrated at the Audubon Center in Billings, which create spaces for all ages to learn about and connect with the natural world. At the 54-acre site on the Yellowstone River, staff work with more than 25,000 visitors annually, including elementary and high school class field trips, summer camp and family programs, and their on-site Fledglings Nature Preschool.
Carolyn Sevier grew up on the Snake River in Idaho, crossed the divide north to the Missouri in 1998, and now lives along the Yellowstone in Billings. She has been involved in Environmental Education for more than 20 years, working and volunteering for a number of organizations, including the Montana Wilderness Association, the Montana Discovery Foundation, Boy Scouts of America, the Montana Environmental Education Association, the Montana Master Naturalist program, and now Montana Audubon. Carolyn also spent nine years in Helena, during that time getting a degree from Carroll College in Environmental Studies. She and her Montana-native husband have three children, a dog, and whatever birds will come to their backyard feeders.