We’re excited to continue our monthly Member Moment, featuring the wonderful members of the Alice Ferguson Foundation. As a close neighbor and former educator, this month’s member spotlight is no stranger to the Alice Ferguson Foundation. Enjoy!
Le Etta Townsend and her family moved to the Moyaone Community in 1977. Not long after, she was invited to the Foundation’s Annual Holiday Party by E. Kenah, Fergie’s secretary, marking the beginning of her special 25+ year relationship with the Alice Ferguson Foundation.
In 1980, Le Etta began working part-time at the Foundation as an environmental educator and also lending a hand in the office. She enjoyed working with young students visiting for the day, especially those who feared being outside and watching them become at ease as they explored the world around them.
Le Etta recalls this specific story from one of her programs…
“I can think of one girl, who was in a special needs class. She was very fearful and could not get her to go into the barnyard. There was a large pile of hay that was made for students to jump in, near the barn. She started jumping in, laughing and enjoying herself. Her teachers said they had never heard her laugh before. They let her stay at the pile of hay while the rest of the class continued on with the farm tour because she enjoyed it so much. That’s a memory.”
Le Etta also spent time here as the Capital Improvements Project Manager. She oversaw the digging of deep wells, burying electric lines, and the Living Building project in its infancy. In fact, Le Etta wrote the proposals for architects to take on the project.
In her interview, Le Etta noted she is looking forward to the completion of the education pavilion. As a member of the original building committee it would be a “long-awaited culmination of the projects I helped to start as a staff member.”
Why did Le Etta become a member of the Alice Ferguson Foundation? After her introduction and spending time on the Farm, she felt a strong connection to our mission of introducing children to the environment and hands-on science.
What’s something not many would know about Le Etta? She biked across the state of Maryland in just one week with a bicycle she was gifted from the Foundation when she retired.
Now retired, Le Etta enjoys gardening, jigsaw puzzles, and reading. Occasionally she will catch a travel bug to explore somewhere new, as well as revisist places near and dear to her heart. After all, she’s traveled to all 50 states and all seven continents. What a cool accomplishment!
Thank you Le Etta for your long-time friendship and support of our work in environmental education. We appreciate you!