On April 1, 2009, Katie Glennemeier and Jen Carlston will begin a 2,200 mile charity hike of the Appalachian Trail, from Georgia to Maine. The cause for which we are hiking is to build a nature trail in St. Bernard State Park, Louisiana.
St. Bernard State Park lies in St. Bernard Parish, a hurricane ravaged area southeast of New Orleans, Louisiana. One hundred percent of the county was under water after Hurricane Katrina. Every house. Every building. Every life affected. Three years after the storm which changed so many lives, St. Bernard Parish is still struggling to rebuild. Population is down 40%, local government is floundering, and community programs are sparse.
The schools of St. Bernard Parish are also slow to recover. Most schools that do exist are modular buildings to which the students are bussed from all over the area. Open space and nature are as much a teaching resource as pencils and paper.
The purpose of the nature trail at St. Bernard Parish is to provide a teaching resource about the trees, animals, and dynamic ecology of Louisiana’s precious wetlands. Signs will display information which will be applicable to a variety of age levels, and will tie into elementary science curriculum. Trees, plants, and birds will have signs to aid in identification. Viewing areas will be set up to where it’s possible to see turtles and alligators.
The money raised for St. Bernard State Park through Hike for a Cause will be used to create nature signs, gravel the trail, build benches and birdhouses, and possibly rebuild an amphitheater. Local schools and media will be contacted to encourage field trips and community use of the nature trail.
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