Crawford Park District scholarship winners passionate about earth, environment

CRESTLINE — The Dr. Laurie Anne Rhodebeck Memorial Scholarship was established to honor the legacy and life’s work of Dr. Rhodebeck. Due to Dr. Rhodebeck’s bequeathment amount, the Friends of the Crawford Park District decided to award two $1,000 scholarships per year.

The scholarships are awarded in association with the Community Foundation for Crawford County. The recipients of the 2019 scholarships are Callie Wildenthaler of Galion and Caitlin Harley of Crestline.

The scholarship awards were presented during the annual Pancakes in the Park event at Lowe-Volk Park.

Wildenthaler is a 2017 graduate of Galion High School and will be entering her third year at Ohio Wesleyan University this fall. She is majoring in Zoology and Environmental Studies. When asked “What can humans do to improve, protect, or more fully experience the environment?” Callie responded “One of the best ways is by immersing ourselves in the outdoors and helping others learn about and experience the environment as well.”

She also knows that protection starts within each of us.

“We must understand how activities we incorporate into our day-to- day lives impact the environment Being knowledgeable and informed about nature is the best way to improve and protect our environment.”

Harley is a 2019 graduate of Crestline High School. She will be attending Hocking College in the fall where she plans to major in Ecotoursim and Adventure Travel. In Caitlin’s opening statement of her essay, she fully understands the interruptions technology can create when it comes to more fully experiencing the environment. “The easiest way is simply by putting their phones down,” she wrote.

She also cited research touting the effects of nature on mental health. Caitlin closed her essay with: “Therefore, go outside, educate yourself, and take care of our environment. Overall, you don’t have to go far, because you can get the same benefits in your backyard as you would (in) a local park”

It is clear that Callie and Caitlin have a more personal relationship, and thus understanding, with the environment.

We congratulate these fine young ladies and wish them well in their future endeavors of learning about and sharing the joys of nature. Congratulations Callie Wildenthaler and Caitlin Harley!


By Crawford Park District

Submitted article