Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter USDA Blog Feed Watch USDA videos on YouTube Subscribe to receive e-mail updates View USDA Photos on Flickr Subscribe to RSS Feeds

North Georgia Students Study Appalachian Trail as Part of Classroom Program

Taylor Hamilton, a Forest Service recreation trails tech, guides students from Union County Middle School on a trek to Springer Mountain as part of the Trails to Every Classroom program (May 16, 2012). Springer Mountain is the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail located within miles of the school. (USDA Forest Service photo/Donnie Kelley)

Summer brings to an end an incredible school year for Union County Middle School students in North Georgia who have been immersed in learning about a famous 2,181 mile-long trail.

The Appalachian Trail, with its trailhead located nearby, was the subject of a school-wide, year-long education and outreach program called The Trail to Every Classroom. The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests partnered with the school, the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to conduct the classroom project which is the ATC’s flagship student education program.

Embracing subjects such as math, science, music, art and everything in between, the Appalachian Trail was the overarching theme of the school’s program curriculum. As part of the year-long program, students created oil pastels, sculptures and origami, produced books and brochures for local visitor centers, developed multimedia projects, wrote songs, read books and articles about the trail, interviewed hikers, kept journals, solved trail-related math problems, created history timelines and wrote poetry. The school’s band even learned to perform “Appalachian Spring.”

Teachers competed for $2,181 for their classrooms by earning “white blazes” as part of the innovative strategy to involve all subject areas. The activities culminated in spring and fall hikes on the Appalachian Trail in the Chattahoochee National Forest. Andy Baker, a forest district ranger, and Taylor Hamilton, the forest’s recreation trails technician, joined the students on the trail to talk about the Forest Service’s unique role in managing the trail in Georgia.

“The Trails to Every Classroom effort in Union County is an outstanding example of successful youth outdoor outreach,” said Baker. “Through it, students connect with the nature, history and culture in their backyard. It gives them a real sense of place, and it helps them understand and embrace the Forest Service mission.”

Students created a video about their remarkable school year and the impact it has had on their lives.

Two students wrote the following Appalachian Trail haikus:

The great east coast trail
called the Appalachian Trail
many miles long.
- Dakota Reeves

Appalachian Trail
from Georgia to Maine very
long from start to end.
- Isaiah Beavers

2 Responses to “North Georgia Students Study Appalachian Trail as Part of Classroom Program”

  1. Lenora Tooher says:

    Why this endeavor USDA has provided youth might even prompt someone to be given approval for their PhD dissertation idea for their future degree in Neuroscience: Human interaction with the outdoors may prompt the reduction of less socially unacceptable behaviors. Go for it! Thank you USDA for making this a potential reality for a future American college graduate.;-)

  2. Donnie says:

    Girl Power!

Leave a Reply