This month, “Rockville Reports” talks to Laura Fawks Lapole, who on Jan. 2 took over as Croydon Creek Nature Center’s new assistant supervisor.

Tell us about yourself.
I am from Waynesboro, a small town in Pennsylvania nestled at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains. I grew up spending most of my time outdoors and going on adventures with family. I decided to go to Malone University, in Ohio, where I obtained a bachelor’s in zoo and wildlife biology. I’ve worked at a variety of institutions including wildlife rehabilitation centers, zoos and parks. It’s been my privilege to work with over 200 species of animals and some amazing professionals in the field. Once I discovered environmental education and interpretation, I knew I’d found my calling. In my spare time, I love to spend time outside, read and work on recording wildlife videos.

What will you be doing at Croydon Creek?
As assistant supervisor, I’ll be helping things run smoothly at Croydon Creek Nature Center. Every day is different, so some days I’ll be caring for animals, others teaching programs and planning for future activities. I hope to utilize my experience with both animal care and education to help Croydon Creek continue to flourish!

What’s it like joining the nature center?
I’m so excited to have the opportunity to work at Croydon Creek. It’s a wonderful center, tucked back in the Hayes Forest Preserve in Rockville’s Civic Center Park. Guests can enjoy several miles of trails while keeping an eye out for wildlife. Inside the center, we have 13 different species of animals, including reptiles, amphibians and an owl. Whether you are coming for a casual visit on a weekday, having a birthday party with special animal guests or attending one of our many programs, there’s something here for everyone!

Croydon Creek, at 852 Avery Road, is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sundays. Find out more about the nature center at www.rockvillemd.gov/croydoncreek or follow it on Facebook at www.facebook.com/croydoncreek.