City of Fort Collins Natural Areas
2020 Outstanding Retiring Environmental Educator Recognition Recipient
From 1994-2019, Sue Kenney served as the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department’s outreach and education specialist. Sue was hired expressly to start the “Master Naturalist Program” to train volunteers to be educators, as part of the effort to increase appreciation and awareness of the City’s fledgling natural areas conservation goal. The highly successful Master Naturalist Program is now in its 27th year and remains highly respected locally, regionally, and nationally.
Sue initiated the mission, vision, and goals for the department’s education program, which are still in use. She introduced the concepts of interpretation to all education efforts including programming and print/digital information. Additionally, she was instrumental in the writing, illustration, fabrication, and installation of all on-site interpretive products and features for the department including more than 200 signs across the natural areas system. She also developed, wrote, and produced brochures, flyers, displays, and other public information materials. She even dabbled in the writing and production of portions of a cable television series about Fort Collins natural areas.
Sue has presented hundreds of talks on diverse topics in national and international settings and presented regularly at professional conferences and workshops. Sue is also a facilitator or worked with Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Project Learning Tree, Fire Ecology, Project Wet, Project Wild, and was a Certified Wildlife Watch instructor. In addition to working for the City of Fort Collins, Sue has led eco-tours to Kenya, Peru, Brazil, the Galapagos, and the Caribbean. She specializes in programs about wildlife behavior and its implications as well as human actions for conservation.
In retirement, Sue is staying active as an education and community science volunteer with the Natural Areas Department, volunteering for Sew Safe (mask making during the pandemic), teaching the Certified Interpretive Guide course, and as a Trip Leader for the Recreation Department.