Memorial Day dedication celebrates Fairfield teacher and naturalist

On Monday, May 25, Memorial Day, at 1 p.m. friends, family and members of The Mill River Wetland Committee (MRWC) will gather at Perry’s Mill Pond, Sturges Road and Mill Hollow Park, Unquowa and Somerset Road, to honor the memory of the late Tricia Money, one of MRWC’s dedicated guides and leaders.

Monarch_Butterfly_Milkweed1An equipment locker for MRWC’s environmental education program, River-Lab, will be dedicated in her name. The locker will hold equipment used at the River-Lab Outdoor Laboratory Area on the Mill River. Subsequently, a Butterfly Garden in her memory will be dedicated in Mill Hollow Park, the plight of the Monarch being one of Money’s passions.

The Mill River Wetland Committee, Inc. an award winning nonprofit, was founded in 1967 to strengthen environmental science education through the study of river basin systems. They also promoted the purchase of open space along the Mill River. Concern for the environment prompted the launching of River-Lab, a unique hands on program of environmental science study, which was adopted as part of the science curriculum for grades 3-6 in all Fairfield public and parochial schools.

In consultation with educator and environmental experts, River-Lab provides classroom materials and activities for students, extensive training for study-trip guides and professional development for teachers, with classroom learning enhanced by study-trips to the Mill River and town estuaries.

Each year, more than 600 volunteers guide approximately 3,500 children through more than 650 trips.

One of those dedicated volunteers was Money, who became involved with the program when her children were young and continued to lead groups long afterwards.

Money went on to serve three terms on the board of MRWC. She will be remembered fondly by countless children she taught, those who taught alongside her, and all who, as she did, cherish the Mill River’s flora and fauna.

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