By 1808Delaware; ODNR

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has announced that 50 students have been selected as members of the Conservation Teen Advisory Council (ConTAC) for this upcoming school year. ConTAC provides high school students from across Ohio with a unique opportunity to collaborate and contribute ideas to enhance ODNR’s youth outreach program efforts.

Several of those students are from Delaware County schools.

“It’s inspiring for us to see a new group of intelligent young people that are passionate about nature join our ConTAC program,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “We love their perspectives and look forward to their work this year with our ODNR experts.”

ConTAC members serve at minimum one year on the council. They have an opportunity to meet monthly with fellow members and natural resource mentors (meetings are in-person March – November, and virtually December – February). This year’s kick-off meeting was on August 11. An example of a recent meeting can be seen in this video.

This year, the group includes the following:

  • Daria Lesmerises (Sophomore), Westerville South High School
  • Divya Patria (Senior), Olentangy Orange High School
  • Kohen Wampler (Senior), Big Walnut High School
  • Maren Lawrence (Senior), Columbus Academy
  • Molly Shannon (Senior), Olentangy Orange High School

Members of ConTAC are tasked with developing and implementing campaigns and strategies that positively impact their community and environment. Examples of past projects include stream quality monitoring, habitat restoration, educating youth on environmental issues, and fundraisers. Students are strongly encouraged to bring their new skills and knowledge back into their respective communities.

Twenty-one members of ConTAC are returning to the program for the 2022-2023 school year. With 71 students, the program represents 35 counties and 56 schools. A list of ConTAC members for the 2022-2023 program year can be found at the bottom of this release.  You can learn more about the group and its mission on the ODNR website.

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