Markian Feduschak: An Eagle County High Country Character
December 5, 2008
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” Markian Feduschak is like many of Eagle County’s dwellers ” fond of nature and the outdoors. Where he differs is in his passion for it, and in his lifelong journey of dedication to not only loving the environment, but trying to take care of it as best as he can.
Feduschak, originally from Toronto but raised in Colorado since he was 4 years old, loves the mountains. He was always interested in education, too. While attending the University of Colorado at Boulder, he realized that he wanted to turn his love for both into a career. Teaching was a calling, but he knew he didn’t want to do it in a classroom. It was then he realized he would probably fulfill that dream best somewhere at home in Colorado.
Feduschak, now the executive director of the Gore Range Natural Science School, wouldn’t live anywhere else, and if he has to someday, his new home had better be in the mountains or near them.
Vail Daily: How long have you been with the Gore Range Natural Science School?
Markian Feduschak : I came to the school four years ago. I’ve been in outdoor education for my entire professional career ” spent 14 years working with the Colorado Outward Bound school, with the majority of that time In Leadville.
VD: Why the outdoor education career path?
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MK: I have a love of the outdoors, the environment and teaching. I wanted to be part of people learning about the natural world in hopes they would be inspired to become stewards (of the environment).
VD: How do you teach this environmental stewardship?
MK: The school provides field science programs in local schools and works with other teachers. We provide hands-on science education that correlates with their curriculum. By getting kids outdoors and connecting them with nature ” that’s what matters. I’ve seen first-hand the powerful learning experience that it is through both of my daughters.
VD: Why is the valley an appropriate place for this type of education?
MK: We live in such a unique place and we don’t always realize that. We want people to realize that. Seventy percent of the lands here are public lands ” there are few places in the country like this. We want people to have a better ecological understanding of this place. … If people are educated and have a real connection with nature ” a real respect for it, not just admiring the views ” then we can create a sustainable community.
VD: Why do you love living here so much?
MK: I think many people feel a connection to certain places in nature. I grew up on the edge of the mountains my whole life; the mountains are where I feel most comfortable. … Some people travel to cities, (my family) goes to wilderness areas. Our kids don’t watch TV, they have to go to the park ” that’s the curse of living in our house.