This month, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park Act was signed into law which changed the designation of this National Park Service (NPS) unit from a national historic site to a national historic park. Did you know that in 1996 NPT donated three parcels of land to benefit the park?
In 1996 NPT worked with NPS to purchase three parcels of privately held land to be added to the park. NPS removed dilapidated buildings on the properties which made it possible to create a “welcoming gateway” for visitors to the park. The purchase also made construction of better parking facilities and consequently better access to the park possible.
In addition, thanks to support from the Georgia-Pacific Foundation, M. Agnes Jones Elementary has been a part of the Buddy Bison School Program (BBSP) for 4 years. BBSP provided opportunities for third graders from M. Agnes Jones to visit this important historic site. These students learned not only about the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. but also that our national parks chronicle the story of our country and thus are worthy of protection and preservation.
It’s award season! We all know about the Emmys, the Oscars and the Tonys. This month, NPT surprised Chelsea Vines from M. Agnes Jones Elementary with The Buddy Award our National Educator Award for Excellence in Environmental Stewardship.
Every year we honor an extraordinary environmental education leader. Chelsea has played an important lead role in the implementation of the Buddy Bison Program at her school, engaging their 3rd-grade students with local parks and the great outdoors. She uses parks to enhance the classroom curricula and creates priceless memories for her students at the same time. Congratulations Chelsea!
M. Agnes Jones has been a Buddy Bison School for 4 years. During this time, students have experienced the Chattahoochee Nature Center, Sweetwater Creek State Park, MLK National Historic Park, Serenbe Farms, and the Fernbank and Tellus Museums. Agnes Jones is sponsored by the Georgia-Pacific Foundation which underwrites all of these experiential adventures. Principal Margul Woolfolk, Curley Dossman, head of the foundation and Beverly Ferguson, Senior Director of Community Affairs at Georgia-Pacific helped us plan for this surprise presentation to honor Chelsea. And boy was she surprised!
Thank you Chelsea and M. Agnes Jones Elementary School for leading by example and showing your students how beneficial and great the outdoors really are!