NEW HAVEN — The New Haven Town Park looks a little nicer these days thanks to a group of fourth graders from New Haven Elementary School.
Several of the students met at the park on a Saturday as part of their Earth Day curriculum, and as part of the West Virginia Make It Shine program, according to teacher Shayla Blackshire.
The students, accompanied by teachers and parents, cleaned up trash and cleared debris. They also planted two rhododendron bushes.
Earth Day is celebrated on April 22, and this year the youngsters completed a PowerPoint activity to learn of the day’s history. In addition, they participated in an Earth Day escape room.
The students are enrolled in the West Virginia Environment Program, hosted by the WV Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The program was established in 1963 with the mission to provide a challenge and an opportunity to the state’s youth to participate in environmental projects within their communities, according to the DEP website.
Each year, New Haven fourth graders participate in a number of tasks to learn how to protect their environment. One of them is “Trout in the Classroom,” which they participate in as part of the wildlife management segment of the Youth Environmental Program. Normally, the students make the trip to release the trout into state streams. This year, due to COVID-19 and the inability to take field trips, teachers involved in the project recently released the 168 trout raised at New Haven into Strange Creek, which is located in Duck, WV, Clay County.
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Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.