Irvin Hendrix | 8/30/2011 6:51:31 PM
The 2011 Wild Woods Wanderings (WWW) Camps, recently held July 10-15 and July 24-29, continued the success in addressing environmental education objectives of the LSU AgCenter and collaborating agencies. The camp completed its 18th year giving youth and adults an opportunity to explore and study the bottomland hardwoods ecosystem, which comprises a majority of the land in northeast Louisiana.
Two camps are held each year in July and are designed for students in grades 9-12, college undergraduates, college graduate students and teachers. Teachers may receive professional development credit in biological science and college undergraduate/graduate students can receive three hours of course credit through the LSU College of Agriculture.
The 2011 camps, held at the Poverty Point State Historic Site and Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge, hosted 29 participants from 14 Louisiana parishes, one Mississippi county and one Texas county. Parishes participating included: West Carroll, Morehouse, Vernon, Franklin, Vermillion, Cameron, Assumption, Lafayette, Caddo, Avoyelles, Tangipahoa, Richland, St. Charles and Beauregard Parishes. Students and volunteers from Warren County, Mississippi and Smith County, Texas also participated.
Camp evaluations indicated a significant gain in knowledge, as well as application of that knowledge, of the bottomland hardwoods ecosystem, including fragile biological processes and factors affecting sustainability.
An added educational activity included in this year’s camps was kayaking the Tensas River. Participants and instructors paddled the river in canoes and kayaks, studying stream dynamics, stream assessment, habitat and water safety.
The 29 youth attending this year’s camps have hopes of being selected to attend the WWW Advanced Camp to be held during the fall of 2011.
Partnering agencies providing support and staff for instruction included: LSU AgCenter; Louisiana Department of Natural Resources; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; U.S. Department of Agriculture; Natural Resources Conservation Service; Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality; Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism; Poverty Point State Historic Site; Murphy Family Foundation; and Poverty Point Reservoir State Park.
The camp staff and participants would like to thank supporters that donated funds for purchase of kayaks for future camps and outreach programs. Supporters included: Cross Keys Bank, Tensas State Bank, Anderson-Tully Lumber Company, Louisiana Hardwood Products, Morning Gardeners Garden Club in Vicksburg, Miss. and Dr. Michele Abington-Cooper.
For more information about the Wild Woods Wanderings camps, please contact James Hendrix at 318-435-7551, 766-3320.