Matt Handrick

  • 1998 Anoka High School Grad
  • 2003 University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point; Biology and Water Toxicology Major
  • Currently working as a biology research project supervisor for the BLM in Alaska, studying Sockeye Salmon and it’s ecology.

Handrick credits his interest in a biology career to his course work at Anoka High School in the outdoor education program. Recalling the importance of his class work in the Nature Preserve, Matt says “I learned the first step in research, ‘careful observation’, during the many hours spent in our outdoor classroom–the former Rum River Nature Area”. Handrick also links his experiences in the Preserve to his passion for hiking, backpacking and fly fishing.



Matt Henry

  • Anoka High School Grad
  • Math/Science Teacher

I grew up in a neighborhood just across 7th Avenue from the park. My earliest memory of going outside my neighborhood by myself is when I rode my bike into the park. Even though lots of neighborhood kids were riding with me, I thought I was going to get lost and never find my out.

I grew up fishing the Rum from the park. In high school, I played soccer, and we ran in the park to get in shape for the season. After college, I started to run in the park. I hadn’t been there in a few years, and I was surprised when I came across the west meadow. I’d forgotten it was there! Here, in the middle of civilization was a place where I could look around and not see anything but nature! It filled me with hope.

A hope that places like this will remain, and people can escape into it. Now, I am a middle school math and science teacher. In my teachings, I try to instill a respect for creation in my students. I also point out that it is a responsibility to share what they learn with others. As students, they also can be teachers.

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