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KINGS COUNTY — The Burris Park Outdoor Education Program is ‘growing’ as it welcomes a new naturalist and two new construction projects.

Burris Park Foundation and the Kings County Office of Education have welcomed Jean Goulart as a new Naturalist at the Burris Park Outdoor Education Program, according to a press release from the foundation.

Goulart, raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, is a University of California, Davis, naturalist and an early childhood education program director with a master’s degree in human development leadership in Education, Human Services Specialization.

Prior to moving to Hanford, Goulart created and cultivated her early childhood outdoor practice as owner of Bundle of Joy Nature Preschool Childcare, a certified Nature Explore Classroom and Outdoor Classroom Program (OCP) demonstration site. Her passion for photography has earned awards, and through photography she’s had the pleasure of documenting children’s’ discovery of nature.

“I feel honored to be the steward of the Burris Park Outdoor Education Program and guide students’ discovery of nature,” Goulart said. “Each person I have met in the community that experienced the program in school hold fond memories to share with me of the park, museum, teachers and friends.”

In the Burris Park Outdoor Education Program, students experience hands-on outdoor education investigations at the park. The program started in 2008 and is a collaboration between the Burris Park Foundation, Kings County Office of Education, Kings County Public Works and Kings County Museum.

The program is fully funded by Burris Park Foundation thanks to an endowment from Donald Souza. The foundation also offers the Donald Souza Memorial Scholarship to Kings County High School seniors continuing their education in agriculture-related occupations.

Goulart said she is eager to partner with Kings County teachers to inspire students to be lifelong learners and proactive stewards of the environment.

Burris Park Foundation has also announced two new construction projects currently underway at Burris Park, a 150-seat amphitheater and the “Grow It” greenhouse. The 90-day construction project at the park began Sept. 23.

Students will use the amphitheater as a gathering spot for storytelling and demonstrations. When not in use by the program, the amphitheater will be available for public use through reservations.

The greenhouse is expected to offer the opportunity for multiple learning experiences and experiments. A dedication and open house are slated for early spring 2020.

All Kings County schools, public or private, are encouraged to schedule a visit to the Burris Park Outdoor Education Program. Curriculum is available for preschool through high school and after school programs free of charge.

For more information about Burris Park Foundation, email burrispark@kingscoe.org

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The reporter can be reached at 583-2423 or jzavala@hanfordsentinel.com

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