Hagerman Wildlife Refuge educational pavilion dedicated to late Denison teacher
SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge is back open after shutting down for two years because of the Coronavirus pandemic and will be dedicating a new educational pavilion to one of their late volunteers.
Katie Palmer started a series of several children’s programs during her time as a volunteer for the refuge and taught them for many years.
“She did Saturday programs for kids, she taught them how to look at nature in a new way, they went on hikes,” said Cathy Van Bebber. “So when we decided to build the education pavilion it was just a given that we would dedicate it to Katie.”
Through a fundraiser by the Friends of Hagerman and monetary donations by the public, to the tune of $24 thousand, the $56 thousand pavilion was constructed for hosting outdoor educational programs.
“One of Katie’s life long friends had sent the refuge manager here an email,” said John Palmer, Katie’s husband. “She asked if some of Katie’s friends could purchase a bench and put Katie’s name on it as a way of memorializing her here at Hagerman, which is one of her most favorite places. The friends of Hagerman contacted us and said ‘we’re going to do you one better.’”
Palmer said Katie loved the outdoors, nature, animals and loved Hagerman.
“We brought our kids here from when they were young and could barely walk,” Palmer said. “We’ve driven on these back roads, we’ve hiked, we’ve looked at nature. Katie was at home here.”
Saturday at noon there will be a dedication ceremony for the pavilion for Katie Palmer followed by a day of activities, including classes on migratory birds, snakes, mammals of Grayson County and more.
Activities will begin Saturday at 8:30 am with a bird walk, and finish with a star gaze at 9 pm.
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