Bernheim’s Family and Youth Program Manager Wins Prestigious Award

By Amy Joseph Landon

“Mr. Dan” honored for his use of creativity in youth nature programs

The National Association for Interpretation (NAI) Sunny Southeast Region has recognized Bernheim Family and Youth Program Manager Dan Pascucci as the Outstanding Interpreter of 2019.

The Outstanding Interpreter award is presented to an NAI member who has worked more than three years in the profession and who demonstrates a recognized mastery and excellence in interpretation, creativity in programming or facility development, and a commitment to the profession and NAI.

Pascucci, fondly known as “Mr. Dan,” is dedicated to Bernheim’s mission of connecting people with nature, making environmental education fun and using music as an educational tool.

NAI is a professional association for those involved in the interpretation of natural and cultural heritage resources and honors interpreters for their outstanding achievements in interpretation through education, inspiration, storytelling and the ability to guide others to the beauty and majesty of nature. With the use of nature interpretation, Pascucci helps young Bernheim visitors develop a personal relationship with nature, art and music, making visits to the forest meaningful and fun.

In addition, the NAI has extended the Outstanding Interpreter Invitation to Bernheim Education Assistant Olivia Belk. The Outstanding Interpreter Invitation is presented to an interpreter who has never been a member of NAI, who demonstrates a recognized mastery and excellence in interpretation, creativity in programming or facility development, leadership qualities, mentoring and a commitment to the profession.

“We are thankful to have this team at Bernheim who is so dedicated to forging connections between people and nature,” said Bernheim Executive Director Dr. Mark Wourms. “Mr. Dan and Olivia bring excitement and fun to the youth programs with the goal of inspiring a lifelong love of nature and our environment.”

Wourms spoke of Isaac W. Bernheim’s commitment to nature-based education when he established the forest ninety years ago.

“Today at more than 16,000 acres, Bernheim is the largest privately held forest in the eastern United States dedicated to conservation and education, said Wourms. “Dan and Olivia and the thousands of children they reach are part of Mr. Bernheim’s extraordinary legacy.”

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