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- May 2006 / Multi-purpose nature trail bring constructed
on BPC campus
Multi-purpose nature trail
being constructed on BPC campus
“Outdoor laboratory” slated for completion this fall
BPC Director of Marketing
|One of the many views along the new Brewton-Parker College Nature Trail.
(Photo by Dr. Jon Shuman)
It has been
the hope of faculty members of the Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
at Brewton-Parker College
to have an “outdoor laboratory” on
campus so students will have the chance to get out of the classroom and experience
hands-on learning as they walk among the different species of plants in which
they are studying.
Led by Dr. David McMillin, chair of the Division of Mathematics and Natural
Sciences, funding has been secured to complete the construction of a multi-purpose
nature trail which will enhance not only the educational experience of Brewton-Parker
College students but also their younger counterparts in the Montgomery County
School System. Previously, funds were also obtained by the Division for the
initial start of the trail at the suggestion of Ann Calhoun, assistant professor
of Physics and Mathematics.
at Tyre Chapel – the small white chapel next to the Brewton-Parker
College Historic Village – the trail will wind its way through approximately
1 ¼ miles of forest and terminate across the street from Montgomery
County Elementary School.
This new trail will be much longer than its predecessor, which ended at what
is now the Bartow and Jean Snooks Student Activities Center.
“The previous nature trail was also put in by the faculty in our division
with assistance from volunteers in other divisions on campus years ago before
I came to Brewton-Parker,” said Dr. McMillin. “On the previous
trail, however, none of the plants were marked which made it difficult to conduct
any type of outdoor science lab.”
began to realize the need for a longer trail which would allow for the marking
of different species
of plants – some of which are native
to this area – thereby giving the students and faculty a fresh alternative
to the everyday reading of textbooks and taking of lecture notes.
|One of the many types of plants that line the new Brewton-Parker College
Nature Trail. The 1 1/4 mile trail, which will be open to the public for
the study of plants as well as exercise, is scheduled to be completed this
fall. (Photo by Dr. Jon Shuman)
Dr. Boyd, an ecologist, marked out the trail so it would be useful for biology
classes and interesting to other people walking along the trail. After he began
to clear part of the trail, the faculty members of the Division of Mathematics
and Natural Sciences finished clearing the marked trail and then Dr. Shuman
and Professor Calhoun lined the trail with fallen timber.
As the new trail was being marked, the workers came upon little creek beds
which broke up the continuity of the trail. The only way to solve the problem
of the creek beds would be to construct walking bridges at various points throughout
Now that the funding has been secured through the Brewton-Parker College Strategic
Planning Executive Committee, the division is one major step closer to seeing
their dream of an outdoor laboratory become a reality.
With the help of Ray Hamilton and Kenny Wickstrom from Brewton-Parker College
Plant Operations, Dr. Shuman and Professor Calhoun, with help from other Division
faculty, have constructed the first thirty foot walkway and have completed
the first bridge.
“We anticipate the completion of the bridges and the subsequent opening
of the trail to be sometime this fall,” said Dr. McMillin.
|One of the first bridges to be completed on the new Brewton-Parker College
Nature Trail. The trail stretches 1 1/4 miles from the Brewton-Parker College
Historic Village to Montgomery County Elementary School. (Photo by Dr.
Dr. McMillin is quick to point out the positive effects of the trail ending
across the street from Montgomery County Elementary School. For one, it opens
the door for the teachers and students of Montgomery County to take learning
to the next level by participating in nature walks. It will also allow the
teachers and students to join with the Brewton-Parker College Math and Science
faculty in various activities on campus.
“We believe this will only increase the awareness of different activities
which we host on campus.” said Dr. McMillin. “From our rocket blasts
to our math and science festivals, the possibilities for interaction with Montgomery
County Schools are endless.”
Montgomery County School Superintendent Dale Clark is thrilled about the opportunities
that await her students as a result of the nature trail.
“As Superintendent of Montgomery Schools, I am thankful for the relationship
that we have with Brewton-Parker College,” said Mrs. Clark. “The
nature trail is just another example of Brewton-Parker's willingness to share
facilities and resources to enhance the education of our students. Our elementary
students learn best by ‘hands on’ experiences. The nature trail
provides this kind of experience for our students.”
Dr. David Smith, president of Brewton-Parker, is excited about expanding the
already positive relationship between Brewton-Parker College and the Montgomery
County School System.
“When Brewton-Parker College and other important Montgomery County institutions
can work together, it always benefits our community,” said Dr. Smith. “BPC
has a warm and close relationship with Montgomery County schools and their
excellent superintendent Dale Clark.”
Dr. Smith is quick to give praise to the Math and Science faculty for their
insight in developing the trail and the hard work that has already gone into
“We are grateful for the hard work of professors Ann Calhoun, Jon Shuman,
Haywood Boyd and David McMillin, as well as other volunteers, who are creating
this educational nature trail,” said Dr. Smith.
to serving as an educational tool, the nature trail will be open to the general
public during daylight
hours and will function as a means of
exercise for anyone wanting to walk the 1 ¼ mile path. There is also
discussion of adding exercise stations throughout the trail in the future.