It looks like Carpenters Elementary School really hit on something special with its creation of a living, outdoor learning place for students.
On the heels of winning the Conservation Organization of the Year Award — presented by the Tennessee Wildlife Federation at the 50th annual Conservation Achievement Awards in Nashville — comes a study that finds students in schools surrounded by more green space have an educational edge.
And at Carpenters it adds the educational benefit of exciting hands-on learning. The young students learn about birds, creeks, crustaceans, decomposition, insects, plants, springs and wetlands. They dip nets into the creek to catch aquatic insects, crawfish, fish, salamanders and tadpoles. Not only that, but the community benefits by raising generations of Blount Countians with knowledge of and respect for the natural environment. What could be more appropriate for a county that extends into Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one of the most diverse eco-systems in North America? When these young Blount Countians become adults and are tasked with deciding how to balance development with environment, it is important they understand the significance of losing land where foliage and wildlife thrive. Once lost, green space is rarely recovered.
Matthew Stewart-The Daily Times