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'Frogshackle Lady' A Hometown Hero

People Profile

Muriel Spetzman’s dedication to teaching children about nature at Claude Moore Park’s Frogshackle Nature Center in Loudoun County has earned her the affectionate nickname “the Frogshackle Lady,” and, more recently, the title of one of “WETA’s Hometown Heroes.” A volunteer for the Environmental Education program at the park since 1993, the 86-year-old Spetzman’s most notable accomplishment at the park has been her development of a hands-on discovery room housed in the 1860’s log cabin on the Claude Moore Park grounds.

Visiting young people view exhibits, insect information cards, and rock collection checklists. As an especial crowd-pleaser, “[Spetzman] put together discovery boards that light up when you match the right information,” says Dodie Lewis, the park naturalist. “She’s constantly thinking of new ideas and new ways she can contribute to our Nature Center here.”

Spetzman also contributes to the park’s special events and outreach programs, but the bulk of her time is devoted to the Environmental Education program. “It’s incredible to me the amount of enthusiasm and energy she’s always had,” Lewis commented further. “She’s so interested in sharing what she knows.”

“When [the children] start asking questions- that’s when it gets fun,” Spetzman said.

Spetzman’s profile will air on both WETA Channel 26 and 90.9 FM throughout the month of September.