Lowndes Academy students take part in GPS program

Published 10:32 pm Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Special to the Signal

Not all learning takes place in the classroom. Sometimes you have to get outside.

That was the case this past Wednesday, Oct. 19, when 18 students from Lowndes Academy participated in a free GPS and Tree Identification for Teens program. This hands-on, minds-on land management program was designed for 10th – 12th grade students.

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The Holyground Battlefield Park served as the outdoor laboratory and was sponsored by the Lowndes County Natural Resources Council (LCNRC).

The students spent the first portion of the day learning the history and background of Global Positioning System (GPS) and how the system is used in everyday life. Additionally, they toured the grounds identifying native trees. After lunch, students put their knowledge into action. Students working in pairs were given latitude and longitude coordinates to locate specific items or trees that had been previously mapped out on the trail.

Each student received a packet of information that included information on careers in forestry and natural resources, scholarships, colleges offering degrees in forestry and natural resources and common trees of Alabama.

This outdoor learning experience was planned and conducted by Park Ranger Theodis Williams of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Urban Forestry Specialist, Jack Rowe and GPS Specialist, Chris Dillard from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Art Sullivan and Matt Mitchell served as chaperons. Members of the LCNRC also served as chaperons.

The Lowndes County Natural Resources Council is made up of local agency representatives from Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, Alabama Forestry Commission, Alabama USDA Wildlife Services, Farm Service Agency, Tuskegee University Cooperative Extension Program, US Army Corp of Engineers, and Private Landowners.

Special thanks to everyone for participating in this event.