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Oswego County 4-H Coordinator Receives Conservation Educator Of The Year Award

Submitted Article

MEXICO, NY – It’s not uncommon to see Linda Brosch in a stream alongside a group of fourth graders, foraging for all kinds of interesting and elusive creatures.

Brosch is the 4-H team coordinator at the Amboy 4-H Environmental Education Center, owned and operated by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County’s 4-H program.

Linda Brosch, 4-H team coordinator at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County, recently won the prestigious New York State Conservation Council’s Conservation Educator of the Year Award. With Linda at the award presentation are from left: Chuck Parker, member of the Oswego County Federation of Sportsmen’s Club; Paul Forestiere II, executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County; and Michael Cali, president of Oswego County Federation of Sportsmen’s Club.
Linda Brosch, 4-H team coordinator at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County, recently won the prestigious New York State Conservation Council’s Conservation Educator of the Year Award. With Linda at the award presentation are from left: Chuck Parker, member of the Oswego County Federation of Sportsmen’s Club; Paul Forestiere II, executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County; and Michael Cali, president of Oswego County Federation of Sportsmen’s Club.

Her teaching responsibilities center around the region’s natural resources, and environmental conservation.

She takes great pride in the position, and her ongoing commitment and enthusiasm recently won her the prestigious New York State Conservation Council’s Conservation Educator of the Year Award.

It’s these “Pond and Stream Safaris” that really excite Brosch as she is charged with inspiring area youth to engage more with nature.

“It helps to have this ‘forever child’ in me,” she said. “What is fascinating is making a new discovery each time.”

The award she has earned recognizes an outstanding educator who teaches youth the importance of environmental conservation and inspires youngsters to hunt, trap, fish or just enjoy outdoors recreation.

There is only one such award issued annually throughout the entire state.

The New York State Conservation Council is the oldest volunteer conservation organization in the state.

Established in 1933, the council aids in the formulation and establishment of policies and practices designated to conserve, protect, restore and perpetuate forests, wildlife and scenic and recreational areas.

Brosch was nominated by the Oswego County Federation of Sportsmen’s Club, which is affiliated with the state’s Conservation Council.

She works closely with the federation to help further the goals of educating youth on the environment and getting them more involved in hunting, fishing and conservation.

“I’m very honored,” Brosch said in regards to her award. “You don’t always expect to get recognition for it, but it feels nice when it happens.”

Paul A. Forestiere II, executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County, expressed enthusiasm in regards to the award.

“Linda always goes above and beyond the call of duty to educate our children about the importance of environmental conservation,” Forestiere said. “We’re proud and very fortunate to have Linda as part of our staff.”

As a specialist in youth development, Brosch gains great satisfaction from seeing youth derive pleasure from various outdoors programs.

“This award makes you feel as if you are really making a difference, and that difference is being recognized across the state,” she said.

Brosch said the award gives her assurance that the county federation is “very proud of the work I am doing in Oswego County.”

She added the award showcases the positive working relationship between the federation and Cornell Cooperative Extension.

According to Brosch the partnership has included coordinating the 4-H Shooting Sports program for the past five years, as well as the “Flyin’ High with Fly Fishing” program for three years.

She has also taken young outdoor enthusiasts, wilderness camping, while teaching them about the environment through enrichment programs which include sportsfishing, environmental education, orienteering and “geocaching,” a hunting game where participants use GPS to hide and seek items.

“I’m a person who likes to be up front teaching,” she said. “I like to share in what I believe in, which is enjoyment, appreciation and respect for the environment so it will continue to be there in the future.”

“It’s more than just teaching, it’s getting youth to experience it,” she added. “At 4-H, we work with the philosophy of working by doing. It’s all about hands-on learning.”

She said there is a big difference in explaining in a classroom the plight of the spotted turtle in Oswego County and actually getting youth out into the field and seeing the species in its natural habitat.

The spotted turtle is a “species of concern” in Oswego County and across the state.

As Brosch progresses in her career, she is continuing to see the need to get youth excited about the outdoors.

“Our society doesn’t let children experience the wonders of nature and the environment,” said Brosch, who has been working for Cornell Cooperative Extension in Oswego County for nine years.

Brosch is a member of the National Association for Interpretation, the New York State Outdoor Educators Association, and the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents.

She resides in the city of Oswego with her husband, Thomas, enjoys cycling, and also being an active member of the community.

A native of Elma, a town located outside of Buffalo, Brosch earned a master’s of science degree in environmental studies in 1996 from Long Island University’s C.W. Post campus. In 1992, she earned a bachelor of arts degree in biology from SUNY Oswego.

She decided to enter into the environmental education field after volunteering at the Beaver Meadow Audubon Center located in Wyoming.

Cornell Cooperative Extension is a key outreach system of Cornell University with a strong public mission and an extensive local presence that is responsive to needs in New York communities.

The Cornell Cooperative Extension educational system enables people to improve their lives and communities through partnerships that put experience and research knowledge to work.

If you would to learn more about the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County, call (315) 963-7286, or visit http://counties.cce.cornell.edu/oswego