Many of you have met Nina Katz, our New Mexico Youth Conservation Core (NMYCC) Lead. This month, we will have to say “so-long, farewell” to Nina as her 6-month term with us is ending. Nina has been a pivotal part of our team, from leading the NMYCC team of seven members in noxious weed removal at Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve (LCWP), erosion control, and of course, managing the Northern New Mexico Master Naturalist Program.
When asked about her time here at the Botanical Garden, Nina said that she loved meeting so many different people and working with folks that were forward-thinkers in environmental education. Her time here has led her to become even more excited about land health management and continuing to make human connections.
She also spoke of her fondness for spending so much quality time in a the unique ecosystem of a cienega – our Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve. At LCWP, Nina and her team helped with noxious weed removal, particularly teasel, a water-loving, spiky plant. She also led the NMYCC team in erosion control, building dams to improve trail erosion with repurposed wood from the Russian olive removal work currently being done. Thank you to all of the NMYCC team members: Esmeralda Flores, Elias Elicio, Noah Watts-Fried, Hippolyte Bernard, Kayla Tenoria, and Cameron Bayly.
Nina also was a crucial member of our education team, working with elementary through high school students and leading projects like building pollinator habitats and reseeding native grass and flower species at LCWP.
And finally, we are grateful for Nina’s work managing the pilot program for Northern New Mexico Master Naturalist Program. This 13-week course focused on Northern New Mexico ecology in collaboration with Santa Fe County, New Mexico College and the Audubon New Mexico.
Thank you, Nina for your hard work and dedication, and for always having a good laugh with us. We treasured our time with you and wish you nothing but the best in your future. We’re sure we speak for everyone when we say: Keep In Touch!