For her capstone project, RSU senior Mikenzi Taber wanted to help promote the nature reserve located on the RSU campus in Claremore.
To this end, the Claremore native decided to elevate the scope of the reserve’s presence by creating a social media campaign to promote the nature reserve, formally named the RSU Conservation Education Reserve.
“I’ve always been interested in nature and conservation,” Taber said. “I grew up in Claremore, and all through school, we would take tours of and field trips to the nature reserve, which made me grow to really appreciate nature even more.
“After high school, I came to Rogers State, where I went to work on getting my degree in strategic communications,” she continued, “and for my capstone project, I wanted to do something to highlight the nature reserve, to get the word out about the biodiversity it contains and get the word out about it as a resource and an asset to the university and to the community.”
Launched in September 2023, the Rogers State University Nature Reserve Facebook page’s purpose is to encourage conservation through education and to highlight the importance and ongoing work of the conservation district.
Prior to Taber’s efforts, the nature reserve had little social media presence, a problem she hopes to rectify with the reserve’s new Facebook page through frequent postings and updates.
“I built it (the Facebook page) basically from the ground up with the approval from (Rogers County Conservation District Manager) Robert Gibbs, and it’s been slowly gaining momentum in terms of interaction and promoting recognition of the nature reserve,” she said. “Only a few months old, and the page is already seeing a lot of online traffic, which is the idea.”
Although Taber is slated to finish earning her degree at the end of the fall 2023 semester, she plans to continue to maintain the nature reserve page well after graduation.
“I’ve been interning at Grand River Dam Authority and after I graduate, I hope to get some
environmental certifications, eventually moving into a full-time role at GRDA,” she said. “Even so, I fully intend to continue running the nature reserve Facebook page after I graduate. It’s important to get the word out about the amazing resource it is and to use it as a means to educate people about the importance of conservation.”
The nature reserve, also known as the Rogers County Conservation District, is a 100-acre plot located on Rogers State University’s Claremore campus.
The reserve’s education coordinator handles field trips from school groups, homeschool groups and other community organizations from surrounding towns and across Oklahoma. The reserve is maintained by the district allowing the public access year-round to walking trails and ponds in which to fish.
Nature reserve points of interest include a butterfly garden, wetland boardwalk, wildlife viewing area, fishing pond, hardwood trail, tall grass prairie trail, rain garden pollinator garden and an outdoor amphitheater.
To view Taber’s nature reserve page, search for the Rogers State University Nature Reserve page on Facebook. To learn more about RSU, visit www.rsu.edu.