Good afternoon Senator, thank you for the opportunity to discuss my involvement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program.
I am the principal at the Deer Creek Elementary School, which is located in Edmond, Oklahoma. I first became involve with the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program in 2002, when I contacted Terry Dupree and Jontie Aldrich of the Oklahoma Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program for assistance with my school's Outdoor Classroom. We had contracted with a private vendor to develop a wetland, but it turned out to be a disaster and a liability. We were desperately in need of assistance and the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program came to our aid and provided funding and a new wetland design.
To successfully educate young people on our natural resources, Outdoor Classrooms provide the ideal structured learning environment. The teachers and students have taken ownership in our Outdoor Classroom. Our Outdoor Classroom features a gazebo, walkways with animal tracks, artificial nesting structures for wildlife, provides wildlife habitat and provides a interpretive and interactive learning environment.
I want to thank you Senator Inhofe, for supporting the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program. I think the technical and financial assistance of the Partner's Program has helped turn our Outdoor Classroom into a wonderful project. This is “one” government program that truly benefits all.