Graig Mason & Shelly Hope

King Conservation Leadership Academy: Celebrating Urban Green Spaces

DATE: October 11, 2023
LOCATION: Virtual via Zoom, registration required

Graig Mason, Senior Manager, King Conservation Leadership Academy joined the Chicago Zoological Society in June 2022, where he oversees the development and delivery of the programs of the KCLA Community Engagement team. This includes general Community Outreach programming, several programmatic structures within Zoo Adventure Passport (ZAP!), and the project-based middle school programs of the King Conservation Science Explorers (King Explorers). Mr. Mason has more than 17 years of experience in K-8 elementary public education, as a middle school science teacher, principal, and director of curriculum for all content areas. He earned his bachelor's degree in biology, Psychology, and Secondary Education from Augustana College and his master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Concordia University.


Shelly Hope, Community Engagement Coordinator has served as a facilitator of experiential learning opportunities with the Chicago Zoological Society since August 2015, fostering connections between people, nature, and wildlife. She is responsible for the development and delivery of community-based programming throughout several Chicagoland neighborhoods including but not limited to: Back of the Yards, Pilsen, and Cicero. She is currently leading the development of the ZAP!: Conservation Through Gardening programmatic structure in collaboration and partnership with the leadership of the Bishop Shepard Little Memorial Center. Prior to her time with CZS, Shelly had 11-years of experience working with the children and families of Englewood and Fuller Park. Shelly obtained her teaching certification and master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, with an emphasis in Outdoor Teacher Education, from Northern Illinois University.

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