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Macomb County Green School Advocate Award
Macomb County Green School Advocate Award
Posted on 04/15/2019
Mrs. Whitenight receives advocate AwardMrs. Whitenight, 5th Grade Dresden teacher, has been awarded the 2018-19 Macomb County Green School Advocate award for her work in bettering Dresden Elementary and our impact on the environment.  The following passage is part of the application that was submitted for review for the award:

Theresa Whitenight started her teaching career in 1990. She is enthusiastic and loves to share her knowledge of nature and the outdoors with students.  Theresa and her husband, Joe, started the 4H Outdoor Adventure Club at Dresden 8 years ago.  They average 50-80 members each year which includes current and former Dresden students. Activities include hiking and discussing important topics such as invasive species, Leave No Trace ethics, respecting wildlife, respecting other visitors in a natural area by being quiet and unobtrusive.  Members also identify animal tracks, frog calls, and trees in both summer and winter. They discuss plants and animals in different habitats such as meadows, swamps, lakes, ponds, and forests. During all of the hikes members practice Leave No Trace ethics by leaving each area better than they found it and not leaving a negative impact.  They pick up any trash they find, do not shortcut trails but travel on durable surfaces to leave less impact with the group, use reusable water bottles, never carve on trees or rocks, and stay away from wildlife and just enjoy viewing them from a safe distance.  They have also visited nature centers: Stony Creek Nature Center, Metro Beach Nature Center and Sterling Heights Nature Center.
 
The Whitenight's dedication extends beyond the school day and even the school year.  Members participated in a rock climbing trip to the UP in May, a day canoeing trip on Harsen's Island in June, a weekend canoeing trip on the Manistee River in August, a hiking trip to Kentucky in September, and some went on a winter camping trip in January.  One may wonder about what the transportation vehicle is for these trips.  The answer is simple…they have their own bus!
 
This year, Theresa has also created a Michigan Wildlife leadership team that meets once per month.  The students learn about what all living things need to survive: food, water, shelter, space.  They are learning to respect wild animals, even when they live in close proximity to humans.  Second through sixth graders have learned how to let wild animals be wild and not add to their habituation (keeping garbage in a secure container, respecting wild areas, not interfering touching or trying to catch wild animals). 
 
More information about the Whitenight’s 4H group can be found at http://whitenightway.weebly.com

We at Dresden are very proud to have Mrs. Whitenight as part of our staff and all of her hardwork!