Eastern Kentucky PRIDE

Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment

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McCreary County Extension wins award for 7th-grade camp

Greg Whitis, Tammie Wilson, Dottie CottonFor its seventh-grade environmental camp, the McCreary County Extension Service has won the region’s Environmental Education Project of the Month Award.

“This camp is ideal because it takes the students outside to learn and have fun, and there’s no better way to develop their love and respect for nature,” said PRIDE’s Tammie Wilson, who presented the award July 29 at the extension service office.

“I can’t say enough about Greg Whitis, the rest of the extension service staff, and all the other people and agencies that create this unique experience for these campers,” Wilson said. “The McCreary County Extension Service is the only recipient of PRIDE grants to use the funds for an overnight camp. We are very impressed with this camp, and we encourage other educators to consider something similar.”

Seventy seventh-graders from McCreary County Middle School attended the three-day, two-night McCreary County Environmental Education Camp in May. It was held at the J.M. Feltner 4-H Camp in London.

The students participated in programs about the water cycle, wood magic, water creatures, honey bees, human DNA, forestry, insect communication, water quality, soils, recreation and first aid. They also toured the London Recycling Center and the Laurel Ridge Landfill.

Greg Whitis of the extension service said that 75 percent of the participants reported they learned a lot at the camp, 90 percent rated the camp as a lot of fun, and 84 percent said the camp increased their knowledge and awareness of their environment.

Community volunteers who supported the project were James Foster, Stacy White, Matthew Mofield, Billie Duvall and the staff member of the Feltner 4-H Camp.

Organizations that helped make the project possible were the Natural Resource Conservation Service, McCreary County Middle School, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, McCreary County Water District, University of Kentucky Department of Forestry, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, Big South Fork Beekeepers, Southern Kentucky AHEC, Eastern Kentucky University Nursing Program, London Recycling Center, Laurel Ridge Landfill and PRIDE.

The extension service received a grant from PRIDE that paid about half of the camp fees.

PRIDE is a nonprofit organization that promotes environmental cleanup and education efforts in 38 counties of southern and eastern Kentucky.

The PRIDE Environmental Education Project of the Month program rewards creative, effective ways of promoting environment awareness and stewardship.

“We give awards to thank people and to showcase the great things going on in our region, so please contact us if you want to nominate a person, school, business or organization that is helping our environment or inspiring others to care for nature,” Wilson said. “Our toll-free number is 888-577-4339.”

Click here to submit a nomination for the PRIDE Environmental Education Project of the Month Award.

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