From Trout in Classroom Coordinator to Education Outreach Manager: Krista Hodges | Features
Krista Hodges has worked with the Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) since 2011, her position growing from Trout in the Classroom Coordinator to her current position as Education Outreach Manager.
When he’s not working to help the environment, he spends a lot of time outdoors with his family and working on the farm where he lives.
Her love of nature is evident in her work life, of course, but it’s also reflected in her personal life through her love of hiking, boating, and fishing. Her job is to teach school kids to care for the environment, but at her home Hodges loves spending time outdoors with her two daughters, Lily and Amelia.
My daughter, Lily, often attends DRBA events with me, comfortably handles her pet corn snake, and paddles it in the river. Hodges is therefore clearly effective in making children experience a love of the natural environment, both at work and at home.
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“DRBA’s mission is to protect and promote the natural and cultural resources of the Dun River Basin through recreation, education and management,” said Hodges.
The Dunn River Basin spans multiple counties in both Virginia and North Carolina. DRBA is headquartered in Eden, North Carolina, with offices in the Henry County Administration Building.
To enhance recreation, DRBA builds and improves access to rivers and creates access to green spaces for the community, such as parks and trails. By doing so, “it’s about preserving the area so that people can enjoy the outdoors, spend time in nature, and it will always be there for future generations.”
The stewardship portion of the mission includes monitoring water quality, planting trees, and protecting water resources. DRBA accomplishes these things through a large volunteer presence, as he has five full-time employees.
Specifically, DRBA volunteers took courses to learn how to test for water bacteria and how to check for the presence of macroinvertebrates in rivers for water quality monitoring. Hodges said it is now able to “measure the health of the river.” “Both testing for E. coli and macroinvertebrates requires very little training. It takes days of training, but once you are tested, you are ready to go, helping your community and protecting your resources.” can.”
Hodges is involved in recreation and stewardship, but her area of expertise as DRBA’s Education Outreach Manager is education. She started out by focusing on just one of her educational programs, but since then she has “expanded these programs to create this powerful program her menu that can reach more students.” It offers”.
“My role has actually grown to be this education manager for the entire Basin, coordinating all education programs, not just trout in the classroom,” Hodges said. “And we work with 5,000 to 10,000 young people a year. We do it from the very young, from early childhood through college-level programs.”
Trout In the Classroom is a long-running program run by DRBA to teach students about the life cycle of trout. There is a fish tank in the classroom and the children watch the fish grow from the eggs. When the fish are big, the students release them into the river. “It started just in this area, but we’ve expanded to the entire basin,” Hodges said. “And it has grown into a program that reaches thousands of young people each year.”
“We want children to be naturally excited. Doing these hands-on learning opportunities and hands-on projects in nature will spark their interest in this kind of thing. , hopefully they’ll remember them for the rest of their lives,” she said. They’ll come see me again and say, ‘I remember it being the best excursion ever.
“It’s something that sticks with them and hopefully the idea is, if they care about these things, if they care about trout and surviving in the river, or if they care about the trees they plant along the creek…the final The general goal is that they’ll want to take care of the river, and they’ll want to take care of their drinking water source,” Hodges said.
Hodges has a degree in Environmental Science and Ecology, with a minor in English Literature. When she was in college, people told her it was the strangest combination they had seen.
“We are currently working on a grant to help improve this access. [The Great Road river access] It’s more than we already have,” Hodges said. “We would like to have outdoor classrooms here. We are currently looking at grants to do so.