FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Elizabeth Wiles
Morgantown Learning Academy
National Wildlife Federation Certifies New Wildlife Habitat at Morgantown Learning Academy
Local students making a difference to protect wildlife
MORGANTOWN, WV– September 8, 2015 – National Wildlife Federation (NWF), America’s largest wildlife conservation and education organization, is pleased to recognize that Morgantown Learning Academy (MLA) in partnership with the Mountain Stewardship and Outdoor Leadership School (Mountain SOL) has successfully created a Certified Wildlife Habitat® through its Garden for Wildlife program. NWF celebrates the efforts of MLAto create a garden space that improves habitat for birds, butterflies, frogs and other species by providing essential elements needed by all wildlife – natural food sources, clean water, shelter, and places to raise young. Certification also makes this Certified Wildlife Habitat® part of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a national effort to restore critical habitat for pollinators.
“We are so excited to have another passionate wildlife gardener join us and create a Certified Wildlife Habitat. Over the last 40 years, nearly 200,000 wildlife gardeners have joined NWF’s Garden for Wildlife movement and helped restore wildlife habitat right in their own yards and neighborhoods,” said David Mizejewski, naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation. “Whether you garden in a suburban yard, an apartment balcony or a 10-acre farm, a schoolyard or a business park, or anything in between, everyone can create a home for local wildlife. Turning your space into a Certified Wildlife Habitat is fun, easy and makes a big difference for neighborhood wildlife,” he added.
MLA summer camp students were actively involved in the certification process. “Our wildlife habitat was created as part of a fun learning curriculum for our summer camp students,” says Stacy Clovis-Woofter, Garden Educator at MLA and the Mountain SOL School.
“MLA is unique because we provide outdoor education through our partnership with Mountain SOL,” Clovis-Woofter explains. “In our recent ‘Wild Lives in the Garden’ summer camp, our students explored MLA's 12 acres of land, outdoor classrooms, and gardens to find signs of existing wildlife habitats. We also worked to create several new wildlife habitats for a variety of song birds, hummingbirds, butterflies and moths, insects, frogs, toads and other amphibians. Through our innovative summer camp, students learned about the four necessary components of a healthy wildlife habitat: food, water, cover/shelter, and places to raise young. Students also reviewed the requirements for certification and helped me complete the application.”
Eve Ammons-Ward, Director at MLA, feels the new wildlife habitats embody the school’s hands-on style of learning. “Child development research shows that children come to understand concepts through repeated active exploration of material, versus only through abstract descriptions. MLA’s projects and activities, such as the newly certified wildlife habitats, are designed to encourage active exploration and experimentation,” says Ammons-Ward. “At MLA, children are encouraged to solve problems actively, to set their own goals, to evaluate their own progress, and to develop an ability to apply skills in real situations.”
Located on the campus of Morgantown Learning Academy, Mountain SOL has been offering in-class environmental education programs to the students at MLA, and afterschool outdoor education classes to all local students, since 2014. Morgantown Learning Academy is a non-profit, non-church affiliated, private school for children from preschool to eighth grade located in Morgantown, West Virginia. For more information about Morgantown Learning Academy, visit www.learningacademy.org or call 304-296-9554. For more information about Mountain SOL, please visit www.mountainsol.org.
About Morgantown Learning Academy:
Morgantown Learning Academy is a non-profit, non-church affiliated, private school for children from preschool to eighth grade located in Morgantown, West Virginia. The school was established in 1963 to provide an alternative education of the highest quality for children of all racial, cultural, religious, and economic backgrounds. The MLA educational program is based on a child-centered philosophy that is committed to teaching children in the ways they learn best, including smaller classrooms, parent involvment, personalized instruction, and hands-on learning.
About Mountain Stewardship and Outdoor Leadership School:
Located on the campus of Morgantown Learning Academy, the Mountain Stewardship and Outdoor Leadership school (Mountain SOL) has been offering environmental education programs to the students at MLA, and afterschool outdoor education classes to all local students, since 2014. Through Mountain SOL, students participate in an active outdoor educational lesson a minimum of once per week. Mountain SOL curriculum builds upon the students’ indoor classroom studies and meets West Virginia Content Standards and Objectives (CSOs).