The National Audubon Society and Toyota have joined forces to launch TogetherGreen, a nationwide initiative that aims to inspire environmental leadership and community-based action. Announced in March 2008, TogetherGreen represents an important alliance between Audubon and Toyota, created through a shared belief that we must all work together if we hope to confront the tremendous environmental challenges and opportunities of today and the years ahead. TogetherGreen supports building a greener, healthier future through innovation, leadership and volunteerism by engaging communities to work together toward progressive environmental goals.
The Ashley Ridge High School Nature Trail will be implemented under TogetherGreen Youth. Audubon, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums have proposed TogetherGreen Youth as a national program designed to offer real-world, hands-on opportunities to students. The basic goals of TogetherGreen Youth include educational training, programming and outreach, leadership development, and building connections to nature through experiential learning. Students will explore environmental issues and apply knowledge to engage the next generation in understanding and caring for the environment.
TogetherGreen Youth couples an Audubon intern, Emily Cavell here at Francis Beidler Forest, with area high school students, who work together to achieve a common environmental goal. As part of Audubon SC’s TogetherGreen Youth grant, the Education Department at Francis Beidler Forest will facilitate a community action project involving the Ashley Ridge High School community. ARHS students will plan and develop an on-campus nature trail, identify and catalog flora and fauna around the trail, prepare informational materials regarding the trail (research, content, photography, video, artwork, webpage, brochure, etc.), and map all aspects of the project using Global Positioning System (GPS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) technologies. The ARHS Nature Trail will provide an outdoor space to investigate curriculum opportunities that stretch far beyond the traditional classroom setting, facilitating dynamic educational experiences for students and increased accessibility to hands-on outlets for teachers. The addition of the ARHS Nature Trail will aid in fulfilling South Carolina Department of Education high school standards, perpetuate continued opportunity for students to create, develop and implement innovative ideas, and nurture exploration and discovery of the natural world.