June News

Summer field trips, membership spotlight, and spring program photos 

New Pioneers Summer Field Trips

This summer, New Pioneers is offering FREE nature-based field trips to Kentucky students through a new initiative by Lt. Governor Coleman, the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, and the Kentucky Department of Education!

As part of a pilot effort that seeks to engage students in environmental education, we’re offering eight weeks of programming at two sites that showcase the natural beauty and ecological integrity of rural central Kentucky :

The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth campus
Nelson County
June 15 – July 23

Sisters of Loretto Motherhouse property
Marion County
July 27 – August 6

Students will spend the day exploring and learning in various outdoor settings like woodlands, wetlands, fields, and gardens. Time will also be provided for lunch, reflection, and play.

Programs are open to all K-12 students and can be scheduled for Tuesdays, Thursdays, or Fridays through a public, private, or home school group. Individual registration is not available. The only cost to participating groups is transportation and meal(s).

Teachers or group leaders can schedule a field trip by emailing whitney@newpioneersfsf.org the following information:
  • School/group name
  • Number of students
  • Grade level(s)
  • Ideal field trip date, with at least one back-up
  • Estimated arrival and departure times

Please note that the maximum group size is 100 students, and that one adult (teacher or chaperone) is required for every 10 students. Learn more at newpioneersfsf.org

Member Spotlight

Springfield Physical Therapy

This month, we’re proud to showcase one of our dedicated Corporate Members, Springfield Physical Therapy, and the two women behind this locally-owned (and locally treasured!) clinic: Kay and Dana Connor-Israel.

While Springfield Physical Therapy has been a New Pioneers member for five years, Kay joined individually in 2008, and Dana joined in 2016 after moving to Washington County.

Why did you join New Pioneers?
The mission and values speak to our souls and are in harmony with our personal values.

What is your favorite New Pioneers memory (program, event, conversation, meeting someone new, etc.)?
The Empty Bowl Supper is always a favorite!  Too many great memories of the Green Festival to list, but we love being a vendor and participant.

What does “sustainability” mean to you?
Living our lives and running our businesses in a way that protects Mother Earth and the people in our community.

Share a sustainability tip!
Seek care and services from locally owned businesses whenever possible. No need to drive further when we have great services here.

Can you recommend a favorite locally-made product?
We enjoy Gloria Jean Farms CSA and locally-produced alpaca fiber products.

Tell us about Springfield Physical Therapy!
As a family and locally owned healthcare provider, we strive to treat you like family. That can mean providing you optimal care while also considering the cost of care. As a small healthcare business, we don’t have layers of corporate salaries to support, which allows us the flexibility to keep the cost of care in perspective.

We also offer new services besides the best PT care around:

  • Dry needling
  • Spinal manipulation
  • Licensed massage therapist on staff

Our sister company, Diagnostic Solutions, also offers EMG studies and Diagnostic UltraSounds. No more driving a couple counties over to get these services!

We thank Kay, Dana, and the Springfield Physical Therapy team for their work in building a healthy and sustainable community. Join them in becoming a New Pioneers member by visiting newpioneersfsf.org or stopping by our office.

Oral History Project: Upstream, Downstream



Interviews for the Upstream, Downstream: A Community Oral History of the Beech Fork Watershed project have resumed, and we’re looking for residents with stories to share about our local waterways. From floods to dry spells, to baptisms and foot-washings, with plenty of swimming, fishing, boating and picnicking in the mix, we want to hear them all!

Upstream, Downstream is focused on illuminating and sharing the history of our region according to the people who live here. This project is supported by a grant from the Kentucky Oral History Commission to tell the story of the Beech fork Watershed through recorded interviews and community listening events. The project is sponsored by The Kentucky Waterways Alliance, Loretto Community, Washington County Public Library, and New Pioneers.

If you have a tale to tell, we’d be grateful for your participation! Since this is an oral history, we will record you telling your story. Most recordings can be conducted in 45-90 minutes, and we’ve arranged to use the Washington County Library as a central place to conduct recordings. Interested? Please contact upstreamdownstreamnp@gmail.com.

Spring Updates

As social distancing restrictions eased this spring, New Pioneers was delighted to re-engage with our community during our second annual Earth Day Cleanup Challenge, Arbor Day Tree Giveaway (which was held in conjunction with the Springfield-Washington County Chamber of Commerce’s tree dedication ceremony honoring essential workers), and summer program planning. 

Chamber Executive Director, Lora Justice, celebrates Arbor Day with New Pioneers Executive Director, Whitney Wurzel and Administrative Coordinator, Lana Gits.

Local youth show off their hard work for the Earth Day Cleanup Challenge, including Jesse McClain, Bethlehem High School students, and Susannah Hammett.

New Pioneers visits Bethlehem High School Bio Club Members, including Lilly Clark (right), NP Member and winner of this year’s Earth Day Cleanup Challenge.

New Pioneers and the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth staff team up to plan summer programs, including (left to right): NP Education Coordinator Jane Rudnick, SCN Americorps Member Julia Gerwe, NP Executive Director Whitney Wurzel, and SCN Director of Ecological Sustainability, Carolyn Cromer.

To view previous NP Newsletters click here

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