Skip to Main Content

NC Arboretum Award Recognizes Librarian Jesse Figuera

From BC Libraries:

Jesse Figuera, head of Youth Services at Pack Memorial Library, has been presented with an Appreciation Award from the North Carolina Arboretum for her significant contributions to the development of the Arboretum’s ecoExplore citizen science program for kids. The ecoExplore program started in Buncombe County in 2015 as a partnership between the Buncombe County Public Libraries and the NC Arboretum. The Arboretum award recognizes Jesse for her leadership and vision in bringing science and nature to libraries.

Developed by the NC Arboretum, ecoEXPLORE (Experiences Promoting Learning Outdoors for Research and Education) is an incentive-based program for children in grades K-8. This innovative program combines science exploration with kid-friendly technology to foster a fun learning environment.  Any ecoEXPLORER can check out equipment for plant and animal identification - including binoculars, insect nets, iPod Touch units and trail cameras - at the arboretum or public libraries. The Arboretum also hosts free events for the program at every library in Buncombe County.

Jonathan Marchal, Youth Education Manager at the Arboretum said, “We now have a one million dollar grant from the North Carolina GlaxoSmtihKline foundation to take the ecoEXPLORE initiative and two other initiatives statewide. We are leading with ecoEXPLORE, which has benefited greatly from Jesse's input, communication, enthusiasm and dedication.”

Library Director Jim Blanton added, “Jesse is a true innovator. Her passion, creativity, and leadership are tremendous assets for our library system. It’s exciting to see her recognized for the impact she is making in the library, throughout our community, and beyond.”

Congratulations Jesse on this well-deserved award and thank you for all you do for the library!

Interested in learning when the next ecoEXPLORE will be at a library near you? Click here for the full library events calendar.