TUPELO, MS – The Natchez Trace Parkway (Parkway) partnered with the Tupelo Public School District (TPSD), National Park Foundation, and Eastern National to offer two fun and educational day camps. The Every Kid in a Park (EKIP) Environmental Camps were designed for fourth grade students attending the TPSD and the Haven Acres Boys and Girls Club. The week-long camps were held at the Beech Springs Outdoor Classroom near the Parkway Visitor Center, milepost 266 north of Tupelo, Mississippi. Artwork from the camps is currently on display at the Parkway Visitor Center.
The National Environmental Education Foundation awarded the Parkway and the TPSD with a grant to pay for the EKIP Environmental Camps. Teachers Allison Bedillion and Gail Burton wrote lesson plans based on Mississippi state curriculum standards. “We wanted to keep the activities fun and engaging, while including vocabulary and standards that supplement classroom instruction,” said Burton.
The theme for the first camp explored human impact on the environment. Campers learned about animal life cycles, conservation practices they can employ, and planted milkweed in small pots to take home to support pollinators. The second camp focused on weather and climate change. Activities included building weather instruments, comparing weather and climate, and understanding the effects of climate change.
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.