June 30, 2021
The Association is thrilled to learn that a Project WILD workshop led to New Hampshire Governor Sununu proclaiming the daring jumping spider to be the state spider of New Hampshire.
The journey to the daring jumping spider’s new official status began on a fall day last October when Lindsay Webb, Wildlife Educator at New Hampshire Fish and Game, held a virtual workshop for a group of teachers that included the Project WILD activity, “Spider Web Wonders.” One of the third-grade teachers, Tara Happy with Hollis Primary School, used this Project WILD activity as part of a weeklong unit designed to reduce their fear of spiders. Later, Happy worked with her students and school to vote for their favorite spider and then drafted legislation to have an official state spider.
“I started out with a class yelling ‘Ewwww’ and by the end of the week ... they were literally waiting in line to hold a little black spider with their bare hands,” teacher Tara Happy told a House committee in January.
“This is what Project WILD is all about – getting young people excited about nature and wildlife while building their knowledge and skills,” said Kelly Reynolds, Project WILD Program Manager at the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies. “Especially during a difficult year of virtual learning, it’s great to see how Lindsay’s workshop inspired a teacher, who in turn inspired her students to help celebrate and conserve wildlife.”
Project WILD is an interdisciplinary, wildlife-based conservation and environmental education program managed by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Project WILD's educational materials are provided to educators across the country through practical, interactive trainings conducted by representatives of state wildlife, natural resource, and education agencies.
The Association recognizes conservation education as a vital tool for enhancing public understanding and appreciation of fish and wildlife management while shaping long-term conservation and enjoyment of natural resources.
The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies represents North America’s fish and wildlife agencies to advance sound, science-based management and conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats in the public interest. The Association represents its state agency members on Capitol Hill and before the Administration to advance favorable fish and wildlife conservation policy and funding and works to ensure that all entities work collaboratively on the most important issues. The Association also provides member agencies with coordination services on cross-cutting as well as species-based programs that range from birds, fish habitat and energy development to climate change, wildlife action plans, conservation education, leadership training and international relations. Working together, the Association’s member agencies are ensuring that North American fish and wildlife management has a clear and collective voice.