Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Lovett Students Head Back To Ecuador

In 1991, Lovett purchased the cloudforest property in Ecuador for the purpose of creating a protected preserve and establishing a research center to support tropical conservation education. Measuring 850 acres, Siempre Verde, which translates to "Forever Green," offers U.S. and Ecuadorian students an opportunity to learn conservation methods through research and the exchange of ideas. Alternative means of earning a living--rather than cutting the forests for timber, pasture, or for crops--are a central education issue.

Many Lovett students will be traveling to Ecuador this summer on the inaugural middle school trip to Siempre Verde. Lovett is also taking researchers from the Atlanta Botanical Garden, scientists from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, faculty from Pace Academy and The Galloway School, along with Lovett alumni.

Joy Patty, an art teacher at Lovett, is traveling to Ecuador to research and develop art activities related to Siempre Verde. Children in kindergarten and first grade will participate in several projects inspired by flora and fauna in the cloud forest. To complement the science curriculum for the same age range, these children will observe and discuss details of plant and animal life, examining big questions, such as “Why are trees and plants important to us?”

As an educational institution, Siempre Verde fosters an awareness of all aspects of the natural sciences. Birdwatching, nature walks (during the day and night), and research studies occupy the majority of the day. Groups are also encouraged to participate in a community service project in the nearby village of Santa Rosa. Over the past several years, Lovett students have raised money to help construct the local school and they have donated athletic, educational, and art supplies for the students.

The Siempre Verde research station features sleeping and dining accommodations for 28 people and a large laboratory for studies in botany, zoology, entomology, etc. Lovett's facility is available for use by all schools, public and independent, as well as college and university groups. For more information about Siempre Verde, visit
www.lovett.org or www.siempreverde.org .

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