Making Connections: Meet New Member Wade Wenzel

From the Fall 2017/Winter 2018 issue of The Meadowlark

We’re pleased to welcome new members to the Belwin family and look forward to introducing you to some of them in each issue of The Meadowlark. Read on to learn about Wade’s special connection to Belwin, as told in his own words.

“I’m a creative director at a small ad agency in downtown Minneapolis. I live in Oakdale with my wife, Audrey, and our two cats, Baker and Mogli. My hobbies include kayaking the St. Croix River, camping, cycling, illustration, and tinkering with electronics.

“I first came to Belwin when I was a student at Prosperity Heights Elementary School in St. Paul. I was fortunate enough to attend several field trips to Belwin, where we received hands-on education about science and nature.

“I loved science and animals as a child and dreamt of becoming a veterinarian, so the Belwin Outdoor Science Education Center was a fascinating place for me. We did nature walks through the woods and prairies, collected and studied insects, dissected bird pellets, and played games. My mom would always pack me an awesome lunch, too! It was definitely my favorite day of the school year.

“I recently reconnected with Belwin when I was asked to help pull together Belwin’s Meadowlark newsletter. I was able to revisit the property, meet Nancy Kafka, the executive director, and learn about the many programs and events held at the property. It all came back to me, all of the great memories I had of this place. It was an emotional reunion for me.

“I became a member because Belwin is still working with Saint Paul Public Schools, continuing and expanding their efforts to use the property for education. I knew I needed to be a part of it, to give back somehow.

“My favorite thing about Belwin is hands-on education. The opportunity for children to receive hands-on science education is critical for developing an appreciation for nature and an understanding of what conservation is. We live in a fast-paced world of computers, mobile devices, virtual experiences and noise. It’s easy to forget about the natural world around us, and how vulnerable it is. Especially if you’ve never experienced it up close.

“The collaborative efforts of Belwin, Saint Paul Public Schools, and the institutions and foundations Belwin works with to bring nature conservation education to the youth of Minnesota is why I’m investing in it. Belwin enriched my life and I hope it will continue to enrich the lives of children and adults for many years to come.”

Read the next article in The Meadowlark: Night in Nature 2017

Read the previous article in The Meadowlark: Members and Supporters: Q&A with Development Director Marta McCormack