August 8, 2014
Contact: Matt Hudson
, (423) 346-6294
Obed Wild and Scenic River was awarded the 2014 keeper of the Light award for its National Park in your Backyard experiential education program, which makes contact with every sixth grade class in Morgan County. The Keeper of the Light Award for Interpretation is the highest honor bestowed by the National Park Service Division of Education & Interpretation for the Southeast Region. Keeper of the Light Award was established in 2001, to recognize parks that have excelled in interpretive efforts and in collaboration with other park divisions in support of reaching out to the visiting public with interpretation and educational messages, interpretive support, and special events.
Students who participated in the program benefited by learning about the park’s geologic history while they learn basic climbing skills, and they learned about water quality and riparian habitats as they participated in recreational river activities. By connecting the activities to the natural resources, these 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.
“We are proud of this award and would like to thank our volunteers, park partners, Leidos, and the Morgan County schools”, says Superintendent Niki Stephanie Nicholas. “Without all of these folks coming together, we would have never been able to make such an impact for these future leaders.”
The program was made possible through the dedication of the park staff, volunteers, the Morgan County schools, and Leidos Inc. in Oak Ridge, TN who awarded $1,500 for equipment for the program and to cover the transportation costs for the students.