The Army Corps of Engineers Green River Lake, Campbellsville, Kentucky, is one of 186 federal sites selected to receive a 2015 field trip grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. This grant, part of the Foundation’s Open Outdoors for Kids program, supports the White House youth initiative Every Kid in a Park.
Adair County School District is the partner who secured the grant with the cooperation of USACE. These funds will go directly to the school district partner, which will use the funds for travel expenses for buses and equipment to conduct field trips for approximately 200 fourth graders to Green River Lake. The Green River Lake Visitor Center and area has traditionally been a popular field trip destination for surrounding school districts, including Adair County. However, with recent budget constraints within the school systems and the travel expense of buses and extra personnel, school field trips are at risk of becoming a thing of the past. That’s why this grant is so important. Hopefully, other school districts will learn of these successes and partner with their local federal agency to apply for future grants, if available.
“We want to introduce people, from all backgrounds and locations, to the wonders of public lands and waters and to help them discover how these national treasures—national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and other public lands and waters are relevant to their lives,” said Lori Brewster, manager, Green River Lake. “The best way to do that is to give people the opportunity to experience them first-hand.”
“By receiving this grant, we are hoping to reveal to children in the local school system what a gem they have in their own back yard at Green River Lake,” said Larry Lemmon, lead ranger at Green River Lake. “Their field trip experience here will hopefully plant a seed that will grow into a future appreciation of their public lands and the importance of protecting and enjoying them as they grow into adulthood.”
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said, “These generous grants will ensure children across the country have an opportunity to experience the great outdoors in their community while developing a lifelong connection to our nation’s land, water and wildlife.”