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Roselawn Great Parks interpreter wins national recognition

Woman in flowered blouse smiles while standing in front of green trees
Great Parks
Sarah Kent was named Outstanding New Interpreter of 2021 by the National Association for Interpretation.

The force behind a push to connect the Roselawn and Bond Hill communities with nature is being recognized for her work.

Sarah Kent is outreach manager for Great Parks Nature Center at The Summit. She's also just been named Outstanding New Interpreter of 2021 by the National Association for Interpretation, a non-profit professional organization for the interpretation of natural and cultural heritage resources.

What is interpretation?

"Interpreters connect visitors to important natural, cultural, and historical resources at parks, nature centers, historical sites, aquariums, zoos, and anywhere that people come to learn about places," according to the NAI. It's "a purposeful approach to communication that facilitates meaningful, relevant, and inclusive experiences that deepen understanding, broaden perspectives, and inspire engagement with the world around us."

A co-worker nominated Kent for the award.

"I was very shocked and really grateful," Kent says. "I did not expect to get a national award ever so it was just something that was really rewarding to me and made me feel like I was doing the work I should be doing."

Sarah Kent and Student Voices Retreat participants in rain.jpg
Julie Coppens
Sarah Kent, center, with youth participants of the Democracy & Me Student Voices Retreat held Nov. 11, co-hosted by Great Parks Nature Center at the Summit.

The Summit was established in 2019 to provide environmental education and nature programming. One of Kent's biggest projects from last year was building a community garden. It should be ready for planting this spring.

"We have a full-fledged, 20-bed community garden, which is amazing," she tells WVXU. "The community of Roselawn is going to be starting (that) this year, officially, and it's free, which is pretty unique for community gardens. We wanted to make it as accessible as possible."

Chickens will arrive soon, too. Kent is expecting 10 chickens to start.

"That's community led. I have volunteers from the community that will be taking care of them and my role is just to advise them and make sure they're being taken care of, but all the eggs go back into the community. People of all ages have signed up to do that so I'm really excited about that."

Plans for an interactive forest trail are underway, too. Kent told WVXU last year the center wants to provide access to the outdoors in an urban forest so people can access nature in their community without having to travel to a park outside Roselawn and Bond Hill.

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.