As 2017 comes to a close, it is a wonderful time to reflect on an incredibly amazing and successful year in the education department at The Parklands of Floyds Fork. Throughout 2017, we tromped, pedaled, paddled and explored all around The Parklands “Outdoor Classroom” with folks of all ages. We wondered about the great mysteries of the natural world in Wednesday Wonders—from whether or not bugs sleep to how plants communicate. We turned our gaze skyward to celebrate the Great American Eclipse with the Louisville Astronomical Society (and Mayor Fischer!) We taught Next Generation science and sense of place to K-12th graders. We splashed through the fork and explored animal habitats in summer camp, and even celebrated birthdays. Our participants learned so much while having a ton of fun, but we would not have been able to do any of this without YOUR support.
Parklands Members and visitors like you keep us going. Your curiosity, thirst for knowledge, and explorer’s spirit challenge us every day to find new and interesting ways to share these amazing parks with you. Below are a few highlights of 2017 that were made possible because of YOUR support:
- 19,500 Education participants
- Over 10,000 K-12 field trip participants from 48 area zip codes
- 4,200 underserved youth participated free of charge
- Over 700 miles walked and over 83,000 calories burned by Parklands Explorers
- 1500 early childhood education participants
- 114 Birthday parties hosted
- 333 Summer Camp participants
- 320 Junior Explorers
- 480 Member Hike participants
- Over 200 boy and girl scout participants
- Over 21,000 Welcome Center visits
- 5,700 volunteer hours contributed
With your support in 2018, we will continue our mission of teaching science and natural history education through dynamic experiences in the field that stimulate curiosity, critical thinking and discovery. In the New Year, look for fresh summer camp offerings, school outreach programs, a revamped Parklands Explorer and member program experience; double the amount of Junior Explorer offerings, and monthly astronomy programs with the Louisville Astronomical Society. This is all in addition to mainstay programs like Wednesday Wonders, K-12 school field trips, scout campouts, and birthday parties.
If you are looking for some educational fun for your kiddo(s) this winter season, join us for our Winter Break day camps that will bring out the nature explorer in every child. Each day we will hike a different trail as we “get out and play” in the winter Parklands landscape.
We wish you a wonderful holiday season and THANK YOU for supporting outdoor science education at The Parklands of Floyds Fork!
About the Author
As Director of Education, Curtis Carman oversees The Parklands Outdoor Classroom, promoting STEAM-based education through engaging, hands-on learning both outdoors and inside the classroom. Each year, his team of Education Specialists, Interpretive Rangers and Camp Counselors guide nearly 20,000 participants of all ages through school field trips, camps, Parklands Explorer, Junior Explorer and Wednesday Wonders. Prior to his promotion to Education Director in May of 2018, Curtis first joined The Parklands team as an Interpretive Ranger and led the department as Education Coordinator for three years. A native of Louisville and a graduate of Ballard High School, Curtis returned to his hometown after having worked as an environmental educator in Maine and Colorado at Acadia and Rocky Mountain National Parks. Curtis also served as Membership Manager at the Rocky Mountain Conservancy. Curtis enjoys hiking, biking, camping and kayaking.