What did you do last summer?

Sep 12, 2022

Fruits of a successful Batik workshop, thanks to Grand Bay!

While summer here at the NERRA “office” was great, we’re more than a little jealous of the Rookery Bay Research Reserve’s education team, who logged a six day road trip to three other Reserves along the Gulf of Mexico: Apalachicola, Weeks Bay, and Grand Bay. They checked out each Reserve’s education center, hiked their trails, and communed with their fellow NERRds.

Exploring the Pitcher Plant Bog at Weeks Bay.

The team made it all the way to Mississippi! Grand Bay has excellent hospitality!

Art was a particular highlight. The road-trippers nature-journaled their way across the northern Gulf of Mexico, participated in sundial activities on the summer solstice, tasted farm-raised and wild-caught oysters at nearly every stop along the way, and got to take part in a three day workshop on batik and block printing at the Grand Bay Reserve.

Block printing and batiking is a fun way to get to know other educators.

The trip sparked a second journey for Apalachicola Reserve staff, who drove to the Rookery Bay Research Reserve to help them with their TOTE workshop. Keep an eye out for their presentation on this inspiring example of inter-Reserve collaboration at this year’s annual meeting!

“The trip really highlighted that we are part of an incredible network,” says Sarah Falkowski, education coordinator at the Rookery Bay Research Reserve. “Being able to see other educators face-to-face and showcase their work was really powerful. Plus, we took lots of notes on ideas we plan to ‘steal’ for our own Reserves!”

A fancy dinner out in downtown Ocean Springs, following an incredible visit to the Walter Anderson Museum of Art.

When on the Gulf, the team samples oysters as much as possible.

NERRA is proud to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Coastal Zone Management Act—the legislation that led to the creation of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. Want more Reserve stories delivered to your inbox? Subscribe to our newsletter.

ReservesApalachicola, FloridaWhat did you do last summer?