By Jim Folger, Awards Committee Chair
Help and Humor
Since Lee Kelton became a North Texas Master Naturalist in 2012, he has been involved in a wide variety of activities for our chapter. Those of us who have had the pleasure to get to know him are most appreciative of the positive attitude and sense of humor he brings to the tasks at hand.
Marcie Haley, Twelve Hills Project Lead, comments that, “Lee helps me at Twelve Hills in many different ways.
“He has been dedicated to the Nature Leaders program and for many years has helped teach the after school classes. He is always there to help with the Rosemont nature walks. The students bond with him and most years there is a group of fifth-grade boys (Lee’s posse) waiting to go into the field with Lee. This past fall (2018), I mistakenly didn’t get Lee involved in the middle-school walks. Former Nature Leaders were asking where he was. He’s a great asset when teaching kids.
“Lee comes to workdays and helps in every way. He is always there to represent Twelve Hills at open houses and other outreach opportunities. He also is there to help with the fundraiser, to borrow tents and whatever else I need from the Irish Festival, or wherever else he has access. He also had some very useful laminated posters made for Twelve Hills showing the history of the land.”
Lee’s other volunteering activities have included major work at Cedar Ridge Preserve, assisting Rose Mercer with outreach activities, volunteering with the Texas Wildlife Association’s L.A.N.D.S. (Learning Across New Dimensions in Science) to educate Texas youth about natural resources, wildlife and land stewardship, volunteering at Texas Discovery Gardens, and serving on the Nature Discovery Trunk Committee as the Mammal Trunk Wrangler.
Ginger Greatens, Community Education Director, adds that “Lee sets up our booths for the Annual Irish Festival where he is our project leader, Oak Cliff Earth Day (he supports his wife Lybo in the major work she does to hold the event), and Garland Earth Day. As a newer member, I have found Lee to be supportive and very welcoming to the NTMN organization. He is approachable, funny, and an all around great guy! He has been an integral part of our community education efforts not only setting up several booths but also organizing volunteers.”
When I recently visited Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation Center for the spring Big Chapter Project, he was there as a volunteer to explain the birds to visitors. When I asked him a question about one of the birds, he said, “I do not know.” I asked him what he did know. He wisely said, “I know a lot of other things. The great part of being a master naturalist is that there are a lot of people who have great expertise and I can continue to learn from them.”
Lee is always there with his cheerful disposition when we need him. He is very deserving of our Chapter’s Quarterly Award.
As with other winners, we were honored to present Lee with a copy of Shinners & Mahler’s Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas by George Diggs, Robert J. O’Kennon, Barney L. Lipscomb, and Robert O’Kennon.