The Tallgrass Prairie Preserve was honored to host a group of young visitors from Indonesia. They are members of the Asian Youth Ambassadors who were traveling in the United States as guests of the U. S. Department of State, International Visitor Leadership. The Indonesian Department of Foreign Affairs selected 450 potential candidates, and from them 20 were chosen. The U. S. Embassy then chose eleven from the 20 to visit the United States.
This group started their tour in Washington, D. C., then they went to Pennsylvania, to New York City, to Tulsa and Muskogee, to the Tallgrass Prairie, then to Pawnee for the Wild West Show, then to Oklahoma City, and finally to Washington state. We should feel honored to be chosen as one of their destinations.
The eleven visitors were accompanied by two State Department personnel. Here is the URL to the relevant page of the U.S. Embassy at Jakarta http://jakarta.usembassy.gov/press_rel/Jun08/ASEAN_youth.html and, below, some biographical information:
I met and welcomed them to the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve on June 21. They were a young, out-going, and eager group. After they were allowed to buy mementos at the gift shop, I took them to the house and talked with them for an hour or more. They did not know anything about the Nature Conservancy, but became very interested when I told them that it is an international organization. Several of them wanted to know if the Nature Conservancy had any programs in Indonesia, because they would be very interested in doing volunteer work. They were very interested in the bison and were eager to get photos of them. The bison were cooperative that day. The State Department officer had more questions than the young people, and he took just as many pictures. It was a very interesting day for me and I hope for them also.
The total number of visitors signing in during June was 664, which is 277 less than during May. There were 40 states and 10 countries represented in June. Oklahoma visitors led the list with 299 signing in. California (26) was in second place with New York (24) following. Germany (14) had the most visitors from another country. Puerto Rico (technically not a foreign country) and Romania were new countries that were represented for the first time.
So far this year there have been a total of 2,511 visitors with 2,365 from the U.S. and 146 from other countries. There have been 44 states and 33 countries represented. The missing states at this point are Alabama, Delaware, Hawaii, Nevada, West Virginia and Wyoming. A group of 17 from North Dakota in June more than made up for that state not being represented, since I started doing these counts nearly 2 years ago.
Please remind people to sign the visitor’s register.
The Tallgrass Docent website has moved. The new address is: http://www.oklanature.com/docent/ or it can be reached from the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve web-page at: http://www.nature.org/wherewework/northamerica/states/oklahoma/preserves/tallgrass.html.
The scheduling application is still at the same location as always at: http://www.oklanature.com/calendar/calendar.php
If you have a bookmark for the old docent site, please delete it and bookmark the new site.
Our 6th Grade development team continues to meet, as they did this week for three-hour sessions on Monday and Tuesday, and continue to make good progress. Productivity has increased now that they are familiar with the tools and processes. We have added a temporary topic index and included another set of slides. You can see where we are today by following this link: http://www.oklanature.com/kiosk/Topic-Index.html.
Our team is working on the title page and developed the draft version that you can see here to the right. I reduced its size for display here, so the resolution is less than it will be on the kiosk. Also, those readers who receive paper copies of the newsletter will be unable to see the animation.
I am very proud of our team and the initiative that they exhibit on all occasions. They wanted animation. Rosie produced a storyboard that laid out her concept for the introductory materials. James, our computer expert, researched and found software that would automate much of the production process and learned how to use it; he then instructed Will on the use of the software. Will produced the animation. They have proved themselves to be an excellent team.
Back issues of the Docent Newsletter, to April 2008, can be found in the two green and one blue zip-binders, stored in the Perspex rack by the file cabinet in the office of the Visitor’s Center.
Deadline for submission of articles for inclusion in the newsletter is the 10th of each month. Publication date is on the 15th. All docents, Nature Conservancy staff, university scientists, philosophers, and historians are welcome to submit articles and pictures about the various preserves in Oklahoma, but of course the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in particular.