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Contact: Daniel Banks, 423-569-9778
Contact: Christopher DermanFor the fifth year in a row, every sixth grader in Morgan County has had the opportunity to participate in the award-winning “National Park in Your Backyard” program at Obed Wild & Scenic River. Approximately 300 students took part in the program over a 6-day period in May.
This adventure program offers sixth graders the opportunity to spend an entire day with national park rangers, learning about the outdoor recreation opportunities and natural resources that make Obed WSR so special.
Half of the day was spent underneath Lilly Bluff, where they learned about the geologic history of the area, and took part in a hands-on physics demonstration using pulleys in a mechanical advantage system to hoist an adult into the air. Students also had the opportunity to try firsthand the renowned rock climbing routes that draws visitors to Obed from around the world.
During the second half of the day students learned basic paddling skills in canoes and kayaks along the banks of Clear Creek. Here they enjoyed getting out onto the water, and learned to identify macroinvertebrates and other aquatic organisms, which are used as a way of assessing water quality.
“We are proud of this program and would like to thank our volunteers, and the Morgan County schools for their invaluable assistance and partnership,” says Superintendent Niki Stephanie Nicholas. “Without all of these folks coming together, this impactful program would not be possible.”
By connecting the activities to the natural resources, students left the park with an appreciation of their connection to the natural resources of the park, which translates into a sense of responsible stewardship. At the same time, these students practiced science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills in real life hands on situations that will translate into an understanding and appreciation of the practical use of these skills.
To learn more about the National Park in Your Backyard program, and about Obed Wild & Scenic River, please call the visitor center at 423-346-6294.