Eastern Kentucky PRIDE

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Wolf Creek Fish Hatchery hosts Eco Adventure Day

Moria Painter, Environmental Education Specialist for the Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery, accepted the hatchery's award from PRIDE’s Jennifer Johnson.

Moria Painter, Environmental Education Specialist for the Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery, accepted the hatchery’s award from PRIDE’s Jennifer Johnson.

The Wolf Creek Dam National Fish Hatchery earned the PRIDE Environmental Education Project of the Month Award for treating Russell County’s fourth-grade students to a fun day exploring nature.

Nearly 200 fourth-graders, along with their teachers, attended the hatchery’s annual Outdoor Eco Adventure Day on Oct. 17, 2014. They learned about diverse natural resources from 11 presenters representing nine agencies. Three community volunteers helped with the event.

“When we learn by doing, we tend to understand and remember more, and that’s why the Outdoor Eco Adventure Day was so effective,” said PRIDE’s Jennifer Johnson, who presented the award.

“The lessons learned will last a lifetime,” agreed Moria Painter, who is the hatchery’s Environmental Education Specialist. “Through hands-on learning, kids are more inclined to take knowledge back home with them and share it with others.”

“I spoke to a mother a week after the event who told me her son had talked ever since the event about the endangered species,” Painter added.

“We commend Moria and her colleagues at the hatchery for hosting such a successful event,” Johnson said. “The hatchery is a unique resource that benefits our area in so many ways, and its environmental education program is outstanding.”

“We also thank the agencies and volunteers who invested their day in these students,” Johnson added.

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture showed students how to make butter from cream at its “Kentucky Dairy: Building Strong Bones for Kids” station, and the students had the chance to taste their creations. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Division of Wildlife Inspectors showcased confiscated items at its endangered species station. Proper waste management and recycling were the topics at the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection station. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers station focused on water safety, including a demonstration of hypothermia that challenged students to screw together nuts and bolts after submerging their hands and arms in ice water. The Natural Resources Conservation Service taught conservation practices. The Kentucky Division of Water Quality presented “Water, Water, Everywhere!” The Kentucky Division of Air Quality led a session called “Clean Air for Kentucky.” Hatchery staff led students on tours of the hatchery and the environmental education center.

“A big thank you to all of these sponsors and the many wonderful volunteers and the teachers, bus drives and students,” Painter said. “We look forward to next year and many more.”

The PRIDE Environmental Education Project of the Month Award rewards creative, effective ways of promoting environmental awareness and stewardship. PRIDE presents one award each month to an education project within the 42 counties of southern and eastern Kentucky.

PRIDE is a nonprofit organization supporting environmental cleanup and education efforts in the region.

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