The National Association for Interpretation (NAI) recently named Wren Smith, Interpretive Programs Manager at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, a recipient of the Shining Star Award for her work in nature interpretation.
NAI is a professional association for those involved in the interpretation of natural and cultural heritage resources. In honor of NAI’s 30th Anniversary, this award was presented to 30 interpreters across the country for their outstanding achievements in interpretation through education, inspiration, storytelling and the ability to guide others to the beauty and majesty of nature.
NAI defines interpretation as “a mission-based communication process that forges emotional and intellectual connections between the interests of the audience and the meanings inherent in the resource.” With the use of nature interpretation, Wren helps Bernheim visitors develop a personal relationship with nature and the cultural landscape, making visits to the forest meaningful and magical.
Bernheim Executive Director Dr. Mark Wourms calls Wren a masterful interpreter who brings an incredible level of excitement and fun to her programs, encouraging learning and respect of the wonderful world of nature.
Also a former Kentucky Naturalist of the year, Wren shares her knowledge of interpretation through Bernheim’s renowned Volunteer Naturalist program, a program she’s managed for more than 15 years. As such she has cultivated a deep pool of well-informed and highly enthusiastic naturalists who are integral to the success of Bernheim’s mission to connect people with nature.”
Wren is key to helping Bernheim succeed in its vision to inspire the exploration of our deep connections with nature. She is an inspiration to all, and it is an honor to call her our colleague.