FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake Education Director Honored by USEE

10 May 2017 Published in News & Events

FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake

May 9, 2017


FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake Education Director Honored by USEE


FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake is proud to announce that our Education and Outreach Director, Janessa Edwards, is the recipient of the 2017 Environmental Educator of the Year Award presented by the Utah Society for Environmental Education (USEE).

Janessa Edwards directs Lakeside Learning field trips to Antelope Island State Park and Great Salt Lake Marina State Park, which focus on inquiry-based, participatory education incorporating science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) to reinforce the Utah State Core Curriculum standards.

In 2016, Edwards’ work reached over 2,000 students, many of whom coming from underrepresented populations.

In addition to Lakeside Learning field trips, Edwards also sustains community partnerships with the Natural History Museum of Utah where she directs summer camps and Art Access Gallery where she helps students who have cognitive and physical disabilities access Great Salt Lake ecosystems and respond via art.

Moreover, Edwards also directs FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake’s outreach programs, which include environmental education opportunities for the general public at events including Spider Fest (Antelope Island State Park), Great Salt Lake Bird Festival, and International Coastal Cleanup.

As Margie Nash writes in her nomination of Janessa Edwards, “Never one to sit still, Janessa has very aggressive continuing education goals. Her passion for learning and being in the outdoors herself is matched by the passion and determination to share the natural world with others.”

FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake proudly recognizes Janessa Edwards in her accomplishment as 2017 Environmental Educator of the Year and her ongoing commitment to preserve and protect Great Salt Lake ecosystems through education.

A celebration will be held in Janessa’s honor on Friday, May 26th at 4:00 PM at Water Witch.

For more information on Janessa Edwards and FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake’s Educational programming visit

edited USEE


Why We Care

  • The whole environment of Great Salt Lake is a place of wonder. Life abounds in water, on islands, and about the marshland edges where migratory birds find refuge during long flights north and south. It is also a source of income for companies around its rim (unfortunately). Challenges for the Lake today are balancing acts. We must continue to foster the generous gifts the Lake provides for wildlife, community, and visitors as well as make peace with the human intrusions that threaten not only the Lake’s beauty, but also its very existence as the bountiful center of a thriving community along the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains.

    Maurine Haltiner, Alfred Lambourne Prize Participant