Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Students Create Walking Trail That Teaches Visitors About Importance of Creek

Soon residents will be able to learn about the area’s native plants while enjoying nature along the newly created Creekside Native Woodland Plant Walking Trail behind Cleveland Elementary School in Fayette County.

The school’s enrichment students from Laura Brown’s class are creating the trail that is also an entry in the Disney Planet Challenge, an environmental competition for elementary and middle school students throughout the United States. The program inspires students to be good stewards of the environment and empowers them to make a difference in their school, at home, and in their local communities, all while teaching the about science, conservation, and positive ways to impact the planet.

Students have done a ton of research on the creek that runs behind the school, learning that it impacts the quality of downstream waters, and ultimately the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers. They have also learned about what plants are important to preventing erosion along the creek’s banks, and which ones need to go.

The class has been working diligently creating the trail, installing missing native plants and labeling some of the trees and vegetation. Visitors will enjoy the outdoor activity cards with suggestions of things to do along the trail as well as facts about the creek and the native plants growing along it.

Brown hopes she and her students will have the trail completed by mid February since that is the deadline for submitting the project for the Disney competition. Thousands of dollars in cash and prizes are being awarded to winning schools.

“I am very proud of my students because we only meet once a week and entered the competition late. We hope to win money for our school, but if not, I am still proud of them,” says Brown.

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