Most of our Ecosystems work is conducted at the Rockcastle River Wilderness Site in Livingston, KY. In 2013, with the help of service learning groups, boy scouts, and Centre College interns, we did a lot of grounds and facilities work: clean-up, maintenance, and signage. Now, exhibits and programs explore the relationships between all forest species – and the features and creatures specific to the Appalachia Mesophytic Cover Forest. However, mold continues to be a huge problem. We are working to bring programs to the public through the Natural Science Road Show.
Education: We offer field trips to elementary-, middle- and high-school students. We also offer monthly programs open to the public and home school groups. Our Professional Development Courses for teachers are approved by the Kentucky Department of Education. Our tireless education coordinator has constructed the Nature Center’s exhibits to align with and engage students in the Next Generation Science Standards.
Service Learning: Our service learning program has maintained a steady stream of eager college students from Notre Dame and Loyola in the spring and fall. Without their help, our facilities would be less colorful, less stable, and a lot less fun! We host other organized groups like the boy scouts and National Challenge Academy.
Community Outreach: We work closely with the City of Livingston, and support all of their efforts to promote outdoor recreation.
Demonstrations: All of the facilities are demonstrations of simple and sustainable living. We have compost toilets, the cordwood building, solar house, organic garden, cistern, and many other unique demonstrations that serve as the basis for many of our technical papers.