2009 Honor Roll: James Fregonara (West Virginia)
As a wildlife biologist with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Fregonara has spent countless hours working with directly with youth groups to engage children in outdoor education. Fregonara regularly volunteers for activities at the Izaak Walton League’s Mountaineer Chapter, including the Fifth Grade Science Class Field Day. He also participates in the annual Randolph County “Hooked On Fishing Not On Drugs” exposition (his magic act is always a hit with the kids!), many county Field Days, the Randolph County Outdoor Education Program, Wildlife Diversity Weekend, and the West Virginia Junior Conservation Camp. He also spends a week each year leading a conservation workshop at the West Virginia State Conservation Camp, which offers students ages 14 to 18 a place to enjoy and learn more about the outdoors.
Fregonara has demonstrated great creativity in reaching out to youth and families. He created a program through which educational trunks are loaned to elementary and home school groups. Each trunk covers a specific science topic (such as bats or birds) and includes a lesson plan and materials to engage children in the topic, including books, videos, puppets, posters, transparencies, audiotapes, stamps, puzzles, and games. Fregonara also designed many of the interactive Wildlife Diversity displays that are loaned out to schools and educational groups.
Fregonara is a member of the WV Master Naturalist Program, the West Virginia Environmental Education Association, and a past president of the West Virginia Wildlife Society.