Natchez Trace Parkway partnered with Tupelo Public School District (TPSD) to offer a fun and educational Every Kid in a Park (EKIP) Environmental Camp for fourth grade students who are attending summer day camp at the Haven Acres Boys and Girls Club. The EKIP Environmental Camp was held at the Beech Springs Outdoor Classroom near the Parkway Visitor Center, milepost 266 north of Tupelo, Mississippi.
The National Environmental Education Foundation awarded the Parkway and the TPSD with a grant to pay for the EKIP Environmental Camp. Teachers Allison Bedillion and Gail Burton wrote lesson plans based on Mississippi State curriculum. “We wanted to keep the activities fun and engaging, while including vocabulary and standards that supplement classroom instruction,” said Burton. The theme for the EKIP Environmental Camp was human’s impact on the environment. Students learned about worm life cycles and creating and maintaining healthy worm habitats, planted butterfly milkweed in celebration of National Pollinator Week, and donated a bat house to Tupelo Parks and Recreation Department to increase habitat for bats. When Camron Harris was asked to reflect on his EKIP Environmental Camp experience he said, “I learned that bats aren’t bad. They eat mosquitoes, and that helps us.”
America’s federal lands and waters are living classrooms. Make learning come alive by participating in Every Kid in Park. All current fourth grade students and their families can visit national parks, monuments, seashores and more for free. Learn more at www.everykidinapark.gov.