Eastern Kentucky PRIDE

Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment

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NLMS tours Salato Wildlife Center with PRIDE

North Laurel Group

North Laurel Middle School

As a reward for winning the PRIDE Champion of the Earth Award, North Laurel Middle School students toured the Salato Wildlife Education Center in Frankfort on May 31.  At the Salato Center, they experienced Kentucky’s diverse regional ecosystems and the state’s wealth of fish, plants and animals. They toured the native plant greenhouse and then explored the many interactive exhibits and outdoor trails through large, natural habitats filled with native animals. An albino catfish and bald eagle were the most unusual things seen at Salato by seventh-grader Tori Hess and sixth-grader Micah Holcomb. “It was an interesting time, full of enjoyment and animals,” said sixth-grader John Bowling.

NLMS already received a trophy and $750 cash prize for winning the Champion of the Earth Award, which distinguishes the region’s most accomplished environmental education programs. NLMS used the $750 to buy an indoor grow lab to help start plants for the greenhouse and garden.

At NLMS, students study a variety of subjects in the expansive outdoor classroom, which includes a community garden, wetlands, aquaculture station, classroom shelter, greenhouse, local watershed model and much more. A solar panel helps power the school while allowing students to observe an alternative energy source. NLMS students mentor at local elementary schools, monitor local water quality, clean the road near campus and volunteer for local PRIDE cleanups. The school participates in the City of London’s recycling program.

The NLMS environmental education program is sponsored by teacher Mike Bowling and counselor Shannon Ball.

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