The North Carolina Wildlife Federation has named LILY DANCY-JONES the 2019 Environmental Educator of the Year. She will receive the Governor’s Conservation Achievement Award for her outstanding ongoing commitment to advance environmental education in the classroom and the public sphere in Buncombe County, North Carolina.
Using her college studies, undergraduate research, STEP internship and professional development programs, Lily has been working with students at Clyde A. Erwin High School in Asheville since 2013. She teaches Biology, Biology Honors, AP Environmental Science, and Earth/Environmental Science classes.
In Spring 2016, Lily started a pollinator garden project at Erwin H.S. She has acquired plants, organized workdays, and taught diverse groups of students about pollinator ecology. She networks with organizations, such as Asheville GreenWorks and the NC Arboretum.
Lily has been inspired to reach rural populations in Asheville’s surrounding areas which serve schools such as Erwin. She established and sponsored an Eco Club during her first year at Erwin. Club members and AP science class students helped create the initial pollinator garden AND two additional ones! Erwin is a certified Monarch Waystation, a Schoolyard Habitat with National Wildlife Federation, and a Pollinator Pitstop with NC Wildlife Federation.
During the 2016-2017 school year, Lily mentored a student who focused her senior project around pollinators. Lily collaborated with an entomology professor at UNC-Asheville to plan and execute a lesson about butterfly life cycles. These lessons were taught at the Erwin High School daycare.