By Ellen Lambeth; Photos by Helen Steussy

Congratulations to Jonathan Wright-Goodison, 11, the winner of the 2019 Craig Tufts Educational Scholarship!

This scholarship pays the way for one nature-loving kid and an adult family member to attend the Family Nature Summit, an outdoor education camp. Last summer, the Summit was in northern Michigan, next to one of the five Great Lakes.

Jonathan’s group of Junior Naturalists spent one full day studying Lake Michigan. “We went sailing on a yacht,” he says. “In this photo, I’m helping hoist one of the yacht’s sails.” Jonathan’s favorite part of the day was looking for lake life. He remembers, “We lowered nets to catch microscopic creatures called zooplankton. We tried to find benthos—things that live in the mud at the bottom of the lake. And we dragged a net behind the boat to capture small fishes.”

Jonathan continues, “We also combed the water for microplastics.” (Those are tiny bits of plastic pollution.) He adds, “We learned about what it takes to help make the lake healthy for wildlife.”

Jonathan and his mom participated in some Summit programs together. Jonathan explains, “My mother and I went on a ‘bug ramble’ in a meadow, catching insects using a method called sweep netting. In this photo, we were looking for wildlife on milkweed, a plant I love. We found both milkweed beetles and monarch butterflies there.”

Here’s how Jonathan summed up his Summit experience: “It’s special to be around people who are as excited about nature as I am.”

Jonathan hopes to use what he learned to help protect wildlife in his own community back home in Connecticut.




Craig Tufts was the chief naturalist at the National Wildlife Federation, the group that publishes Ranger Rick. Learn more about Craig.

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