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Jefferson Award winner, October 2019: Connie Evans

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MONONA (WKOW) — Connie Evans has been volunteering at Aldo Leopold Nature Center in Monona for ten years.

She helps with the Wonder Bugs Program, teaching kids and their parents about the outdoors.

“The Wonder Bugs Program is really that first step in creating a better community, not only for the child itself, but for everyone,” says Aldo Leopold Marketing and Communications Manager Cara Erickson.

“I guess I just always loved being around kids and I feel like I connect with them really well,” says Connie.

She spent 35 years teaching special education and now uses her talent to inspire another generation.

“It feels good to help others that way and expose them to nature.”

“It takes a community to raise a child, right?” says Cara. “Well it takes a community to empower a nature center. So, having volunteers like Connie really helps us, not only fulfill our mission, but create a better sense of community here.”

Connie is always there to answer the call, no matter what the center needs, even volunteering for special events, “I probably get more from it than I give to it I think.”

“She’s got such a great attitude a wonderful personality she just brings a new level of warmth,” says Cara.

A warmth that extends to her Cottage Grove community as well.

Connie volunteers at her local food pantry, serves as a Sunday school teacher and was a Girl Scout troop leader for 10 years.

“It’s just a part of me I guess.”

“She is so giving that it’s just part of who she is,” says Cara.

It’s that giving spirit that brings joy and wonder to the hundreds of little lives she’s touched.

Amber Noggle

Anchor, 27 News at 5, 6 and 10

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