Ken Voorhis, executive director of Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont received the Tennessee Environmental Education Association’s Distinguished Service Award at their annual meeting in September at Reelfoot Lake in Hornbeak.
“His leadership at Tremont has been an example to all involved in environmental education in non-formal settings,” said Jim Holt, past-president of TEEA. “Ken’s vision and dedication has led the way. He’s been a stalwart of environmental education since I became involved in the field.”
“I have been a part of TEEA for 23 years. It is a huge and humbling honor to receive this award. TEEA consists of a group of doers when it comes to environmental education in Tennessee,” said Voorhis.
The Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor bestowed by TEEA, is for a lifetime of connecting people and nature to promote awareness, appreciation, understanding and stewardship of our natural and cultural resources.
Voorhis has served as Tremont’s executive director since 1984 where he and his staff have developed a varied schedule of successful programs that encourage people in the appreciation of the Smokies and their connection to the natural world. Tremont is nationally known and respected as being one of only a few residential environmental education centers with a national park.
Voorhis served on TEEA’s board and served two terms as president. He holds a bachelors from West Virginia University in park and recreation with an emphasis in nature interpretation and a masters in experiential education from Mankato State University in Minnesota. He has been involved in connecting people and nature for nearly 30 years working in programs in Ohio, North Carolina, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and now Tennessee.
TEEA is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting environmental education throughout Tennessee. See www.eeintennessee.org for more information.