The purpose of the Regional Environmental And Community Habitats or REACH program at Fernbank Science Center is to develop programming to enrich environmental education in the DeKalb County School District and the community. The DeKalb County Park System will provide habitats that will be used by Fernbank Science Center staff to lead classes for the students of the county. Each school will have a deignated park to attend. The parks will be chosen based on the features of their natural environment and the proximity to the school. In this way, students and the community will be engaged in environmental education in green spaces near where they attend school and live.

The initial classes designated for the program include the classes that have traditionally been taught in Fernbank Forest. This would include Kindergarten Forest Walks, First Grade Nature Study, Habitats in a Deciduous Forest, and Special Education Nature Walks. As the program develops we anticipate that additional formal classes will be offered in the REACH program.

In addition to formal classes, Fernbank Science Center would like to establish community-based programs that will educate the public about the biodiversity of the green spaces in the Dekalb County Park System. These programs would include activities such as Bird Walks, Nature Walks in the Parks and establishing community gardens, among others.

Fernbank Science Center is proud to be part of the DeKalb County School District and we look forward to supporting the school system's mission... "that every child in every part of our community will have access to a quality education…an education that provides every student the opportunity to actualize their highest potential and become a productive citizen."

Published May 10, 2012