Teaching The Teachers About Biodiversity

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Teachers from six Tennessee Valley states gathered last week at Lake Guntersville, Al. to attend TVA Plant Camp. This three-day workshop for middle and high school teachers and environmental educators is led by TVA experts who teach them about the Valley’s vast and unique eco-systems.

"We are trying to get our teachers out to expose them to the amazing diversity of species and amazing ecology we have right here in our backyards," said Brett Hartis, TVA Aquatic Plant Management program manager.

The competition to get one of the 24 spots is fierce; this year over 70 teachers applied. 

“I never really thought I’d get it,” said Mathew Shirley, a high school teacher in Shepherdsville, Ky. “But once I got the itinerary I was even more excited because there’s a lot of things that I’ve never experienced.”

According to Mr. Hartis the camp involves more than plants. Teachers also learn about fish, bats and how TVA uses fire to promote habitat for land plants and animals.

"The Tennessee Valley is about three times more diverse than all of Europe,” said Mr. Hartis. “Many of them [teachers] were not aware of that, but they've seen a lot of different species that we have right here at Lake Guntersville." 

Kimberly Pack, a middle school teacher from  Fannin County, Ga. cannot wait to get back to use this information with her sixth, seventh and eighth graders. “It is a big opportunity for my students. We have a stream at our school and Blue Ridge Lake. We can study plants and see if non-native plants are taking over. I think they will be excited about it,” she said.  

This is just what David Brewster, manager of Natural Resources Management—Western Operations, had hoped for the program. ”Our goals of Plant Camp are to share our knowledge of the Tennessee Valley ecology and provide interactive learning techniques for educators,” he said. “The experiences gained during the camp can help educators develop fun, hands on learning activities for their students. Plant Camp is just one example of TVA partnering with others to promote stewardship of the Valley’s lakes and resources.”

In addition to the course, TVA provides resource materials that teachers can use to augment their regular curriculum to help push lessons further.

Decoda Muller, administrator of the T.O. Fuller State Park Interpretive Center in Memphis teaches students about environmental literacy. He said, “TVA Plant Camp is the best way to learn and be taught. Hopefully the enthusiasm you get from seeing it in person will translate to the kids you teach."


April Meeting Set For Henry County's Holly Fork Shooting Complex

Public Forum On City Parks And Rec Master Plan Is Thursday

PHOTOS: 2019 Spartan Atlanta Sprint


The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission (TFWC) will hold its April meeting in Henry County at the Holly Fork Shooting Complex located near Paris. Committee meetings will start at 1 p.m. ... (click for more)

A public forum will be held Thursday with GreenPlay, LLC a national parks, recreation and open space consultant, to assist with developing the Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Master Plan. ... (click for more)

Lake Lanier Islands hosted the 2019 Spartan Atlanta Sprint on Saturday. The Sprint trailed around over three miles of the islands and featured 22 obstacles that tested the strength and ... (click for more)


Outdoors

April Meeting Set For Henry County's Holly Fork Shooting Complex

The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission (TFWC) will hold its April meeting in Henry County at the Holly Fork Shooting Complex located near Paris. Committee meetings will start at 1 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, while the regular commission meeting is Friday, April 26 at 9 a.m. The meeting will be the first with Kurt Holbert (Decaturville) serving as TFWC chair. Other ... (click for more)

Public Forum On City Parks And Rec Master Plan Is Thursday

A public forum will be held Thursday with GreenPlay, LLC a national parks, recreation and open space consultant, to assist with developing the Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The master plan will look at existing parks, recreational facilities, programs and services and determine the current and future levels of services for the community based on public input. ... (click for more)

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Roy Exum: This Ain’t Gonna’ Work

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