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DEDICATION OF OUTDOOR CLASSROOM HONORS WOODBURY SIXTH GRADER

 DEDICATION OF OUTDOOR CLASSROOM HONORS WOODBURY SIXTH GRADER
 WHAT: Dedication of the "Nicole M. Neimy Outdoor Classroom," at the Bass Ponds area of Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Bloomington, Minn.
 WHEN: Friday, Jan. 24, 1992, 12:30 p.m.
 WHY: Each year, the Fish and Wildlife Service (service) holds a contest among its employees to promote the purchase of federal duck stamps. Monies from stamp sales are used to purchase habitat for a variety of wild animals and plants; waterfowl hunters are required to purchase a duck stamp each season.
 One of the incentive prizes of this year's contest was the opportunity to name a portion of a national wildlife refuge after someone, for a period of one year. Employee Pat Percy won this prize and dedicated it to her niece, Nicole M. Neimy, who was recently diagnosed with a serious medical condition. Service lands are normally named only on a permanent basis and only for individuals who are deceased.
 Nicole, a sixth grade student at Woodbury's Middleton School, has a great love for the natural world. She has her own tackle box and rod, with which she frequently practices casting in her front yard. The biggest fish she ever caught was a HUGE sunfish! Nicole also loves trees, birds, hiking and taking walks outdoors.
 Percy chose the outdoor classroom site at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge out of love for her young niece and because Percy recognizes the importance of environmental education for children.
 It is hoped that the ponds, creek, hills and fields found in the outdoor classroom area will enhance the opportunities for school children to learn more about the natural environment.
 WHO: Nicole M. Neimy's family and sixth grade Middleton School class will attend the dedication, which will be conducted by Regional Director James C. Gritman.
 BACKGROUND: Since the Federal Duck Stamp Program began in 1934, the North Central Region (Region 3) has protected about 452,000 acres at a cost of $76 million. In fiscal year 1991 alone, Region 3 has protected about 7,600 acres of habitat at a cost of $4.3 million.
 Region 3's 1991-92 duck stamp contest resulted in 46 percent participation by its employees, nearly double that of last year. This represents an increase of duck stamp monies to purchase approximately 10 acres of new land for wildlife.
 HOW TO GET THERE: Interstate 494 to 34th Avenue; south to 86th Street; east to the entrance to Bass Ponds; continue through gate to the parking area.
 CONTACT: Joan Guilfoyle of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 612-725-3520.
 -0- 1/14/92


CO: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ST: Minnesota IN: SU:

KH -- MN007 -- 9497 01/14/92 11:01 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 14, 1992
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