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Michelle Medina, OTD

Individual Award

Michelle Medina is an occupational therapist and homeschool parent with a passion for helping families connect in nature. “Forest Friends” weekly meetups started in 2022 with 6 homeschool families and has grown into an online community of nearly 600 families. Wild+Free RGV is a network connecting nature-oriented families to weekly meetups, educational programs from area nature centers and local nature advocacy initiatives. Michelle has continually sought to grow her own understanding to serve the community. She has completed training in multiple nature curriculums including Project Learning Tree, Project Wild and Growing-Up Wild. In 2023, she joined TCINN and has partnered with local nature and state parks to coordinate low cost/no cost educational programs. Through her weekly groups and partnerships, she helps more than 50 families per week to get out and grow in nature. Her free, weekly, child-led nature play group draws in a diverse group of families. Participants of “Adventure Club” are all ages and come from cities throughout the Rio Grande Valley and Mexico. As a group leader, she has fostered a welcoming, accessible, bilingual space for all families. Michelle has expanded her volunteer efforts as a Texas Master Naturalist. She has educated families at community nature fairs and presented for Easter Seals and the McAllen Public Library. Michelle has become a nature play advocate for her community, meeting and educating city leaders on the benefits of nature play.

2023 Children in Nature Champion Individual Award Winner: Michelle Medina