HARRISBURG, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection recently announced that the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Wildlife on WiFi (WoW) program is the winner of the nationwide Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence.
The award is presented to leading collaborative groups representing the efforts of state employees to raise awareness and educate citizens of the Commonwealth about the environment and natural resources.
The Game Commission launched the WoW online conservation learning program in April 2020, shortly after the COVID-19 orders went into effect. The goal was to ensure the continuity of the Game Commission’s educational and public information service during the pandemic, but WoW has been so successful that it is now a permanent program that is nationally recognized. WoW provides high-risk educators, students, parents and health communities, as well as the general public, homeschooling conservation and science, with classes and activities, live virtual sessions, webinars for field researchers, and social media games.
“With the unprecedented challenges facing parents and educators during COVID-19, we launched Wildlife on WiFi with a vision to connect Pennsylvanians everywhere to the wildlife of their state,” said Lauren Ferreri, Game Commission Biological & Visitor Manager of the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area. “We are honored to be recognized for the program and encourage everyone to explore WoW’s online resources and teachings.”
The popularity of the first campaign makes WoW a valuable addition to the game-commissioned toolbox for wildlife education.
“Not everyone has been to a State Game Lands, one of our regional offices or visitor centers, or talked to a game warden,” said Steve Smith, director of the Game Commission Information and Education Bureau. “WoW empowers the Game Commission to connect every Pennsylvania resident to the conservation and wildlife of our state, regardless of where they are located and in a variety of content formats.”
Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans said he is proud of the staff who made this innovative program possible.
“Wildlife on WiFi provides home learning resources and ‘virtual field trips’ opportunities for educators, students and wildlife enthusiasts,” he said. “kudos to the staff who made this possible.”
WoW tailors content to different age levels and audiences and provides access through the Game Commission website www.pgc.pa.gov and Facebook page.
MEDIA CONTACT: Travis Lau- 717-705-6541