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County gearing up for Cool Runnings event

By Staff
Melissa Cason
Franklin County Times
The Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation District is gearing up to host their annual environmental education program, Cool Runnings.
Watershed Coordinator Robert Clement said that the program offers students the opportunity to learn about soils, wildlife, aquatics, archeology and geology, along with other environmental education topics.
"The program is targeted for students interested in pursuing careers in environmental education," Clement said. "And, we only accept a few students from each school."
Teachers will select the students who will participate, and even though the program has approximately 120 students total, only about 15 per school are selected to participate.
"They get to do hands on stuff that they just don't get to do inside the classroom," Clement said. "This is top-notch training."
He added during this event, students have an opportunity to wade in the creek to learn about fish and invertebrates
"The big picture is explained to the students from soils to land use around the creek, and how this affects the diversity of the creek and the wildlife in the area," Clement said.
Clement said that experts in the field from various agencies volunteer to teach sessions for the program. These agencies include Tennessee Valley Authority, National Resource Conservation Service, Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Southeast Anthropological Institute.
"A special thanks is due to the sponsors as well as organizations like TVA, NRCS, and the Southeastern Anthropological Institute, who provide the trainers," Clement said.
This year's sponsors include Bank Independent, Alabama Power, Johnny Mack Morrow, RC&D and Community Spirit Bank in Red Bay. The event will be held in October on a private landowner's property.