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City of Chandler Insider EEC naturalist guides discovery


A little oasis in the middle of the city where nature and urban life meet is where one can find Sandy Muñoz- Weingarten, the City of Chandler’s naturalist at the Environmental Education Center (EEC) at Veterans Oasis Park. “At its best, a naturalist gets to help people discover what is all around them. A good naturalist gives people the tools and support to help them make those discoveries themselves,” says Munoz-Weingarten, who loves talking to visitors at the EEC who come in to ask questions about things they’ve seen in the park. “The conversation naturally turns to the importance of protecting places we love, which is the first step in conservation.” Her own interest in becoming a


naturalist was piqued by her parents. Her mother was an English teacher from Puerto Rico and her father an electrical engineer from New York City. Neither knew much about nature. “Even so, they had the guts to take all


seven members of my family camping all over New England and Canada when we were growing up, exposing us to some incredible country and giving us some unforgettable adventures. They also had the wisdom when we asked ‘What’s the name of that tree?’ and ‘Where does this river come from?’ to not only admit they didn’t know, but to work with us to


April 21 – May 4, 2012


List Mother’s Day events


DISCOVERY DIRECTOR: Naturalist Sandy Munoz-Weingarten enables budding nature lovers to gather the tools they need to discover on their own. Submitted photo


discover the answers.” Muñoz-Weingarten also credits a number of teachers who taught her how to work in harmony with those systems, whether spending time landscaping, pruning trees, working with wildlife or backpacking. A five-year employee of the City of Chandler, Munoz-Weingarten previously worked for the City of Phoenix for 12 years.


Her co-workers may be surprised to


learn she has been singing ever since she was a child, including in a choir throughout grade school and high school.


“To those around the office who have


to put up with my habit of constantly humming, I guess this wouldn’t really be a surprise!”


During her time away from work,


Muñoz-Weingarten sings in a women’s choir in Phoenix that performs three times a year. She plays guitar, harmonica, a variety of percussion instruments and is a member of a small vocal and percussion group that will host their first concert this fall.


Information provided by the City of Chandler Communications and Public Affairs Department.


Let the SanTan Sun News help publicize your Mother’s Day events in a special section. Is your restaurant having a Mom’s Day brunch? Are you hosting a Mother’s Day craft activity for children or some other event honoring mothers? If so, email details to Lynda@SanTanSun.com. Include a brief description of the event; times, days and dates; cost or free; if registration is required; venue and address; publishable phone number; website if applicable; and contact information for verification purposes. We encourage photos, which must be 300 dpi JPEGs or taken on a digital camera on the “best” or “highest quality” setting. Information is due by noon on April 24 for the May 5 issue, which is the last one before Mother’s Day on May 13. Submission does not guarantee placement.


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