Partner Spotlight: Maddie Koenig, The Anacostia Watershed Society

This post is part of our Destination Spotlight series, where our partners from various museums, monuments, and sites across the Washington, DC area reflect on their locations, career, and working with Live It Learn It.

Maddie Koenig
Maddie Koenig, Senior Environmental Educator at the Anacostia Watershed Society

In today’s post, we hear from Maddie Koenig. Maddie is the Senior Environmental Educator at the Anacostia Watershed Society. She has been at the organization for almost five years. 

LILI: What is your favorite place in DC? 

Maddie: I really love visiting Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. It’s such a unique place! A national park with lily pads – how cool! There’s always something interesting to see and observe – turtles, frogs, egrets, herons, beaver, beautiful plants, etc. Plus, it’s right on the Anacostia River!

LILI: Tell us about your experience working with LILI and its groups.

Maddie: So many of the students who join us with LILI have never been on a boat on the Anacostia River before! It’s really wonderful to share the river with these students. To watch their apprehension about the experience turn into excitement and enjoyment is incredibly rewarding.

LILI student looks for wildlife along the Anacostia River
LILI students ride a pontoon boat and look for wildlife during their visit with AWS. 

LILI: What are some tips you can offer teachers who want to plan a visit with AWS? 

Maddie: It’s important to contact us as early as possible if you want to arrange an on-river experience with your students because the calendar fills up quickly. It’s also important to prepare your students for the experience to the best of your abilities. We have had groups arrive in the past where students don’t even know they will be going on a boat!

LILI: What is something you love to see during your programs? Why?

Maddie: I love seeing bald eagles. They are such big, charismatic animals that so many kids and adults relate to in a strong way. Their presence along the Anacostia River is a sign that the river is getting cleaner and healthier for all of us.

LILI: How did you become a museum/site educator?

Students plant wetland plant plants to help improve the health of the river.

Maddie: I’ve never enjoyed jobs where I’ve had to sit at a desk all day. I love spending time outdoors and working with kids. I followed these interests and they led me to my role at the Anacostia Watershed Society, where I get to do both!

LILI: What is something that you love about Washington, DC?

Maddie: I grew up in the greater Washington, DC area and have spent my entire life here. As a result, my “map” of the world has been filled in with really beautiful detail. There is so much to discover in and around Washington, DC. I don’t think I’ll ever be done exploring!

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