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Falkville school earns state award

By Staff
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Falkville Elementary School has been recognized as the first school in Morgan County and the 10th in Alabama to be certified as an official Outdoor Classroom site through the Alabama Outdoor Classroom program. The recognition was extended by the Alabama Wildlife Federation and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources at a recent dedication ceremony.
The student body, faculty members and project supporters witnessed a presentation of awards to commemorate the achievement. A Schoolyard Habitats certificate was awarded by the National Wildlife Federation. In addition, an Alabama Outdoor Classroom certificate and a sign to post on the school grounds were received from Jason Dockery, a conservation education specialist with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Accepting the awards were Hank Summerford, principal, Anna Henderson, project leader, and Logan Smith, student representative.
"Your outdoor classroom is a wonderful asset for your school and community and you are to be commended," Dockery said. "It can be used in so many ways to enrich the learning process. It will continue to grow and develop and offer new and exciting hands-on learning opportunities."
Henderson said students have become more aware of environmental changes taking place around them since the outdoor classroom project was started three years ago. The outdoor environmental center includes a learning shelter and amphitheater surrounded by nesting boxes, dry stream bed, raised bed gardens, weather station, bird feeders and shaded benches.
"Our goal is to teach students to become environmentally aware and be good stewards of our natural resources. We also want to provide them with an ongoing outdoor learning experience," she said.
Several organizations and individuals were recognized for their support of the project. They included Alabama Wildlife Federation, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Alabama Forestry Commission, ALFA, Apple's Florist, Eagle Scouts, Flint Creek Watershed, HATS-STEDTRAIN, Legacy, Inc., Falkville High School FFA Chapter, Mike Reeves, Master Gardeners, Rep. Ronald Grantland, Sen. Tommy Ed Roberts, Falkville VFW Post, Vulcan Materials and Wal-Mart Distribution Center.