Fourth-graders to tour UofL urban forest


    LOUISVILLE, Ky.–Around 330 fourth-graders from five Louisville schools will tour the University of Louisville’s urban forest April 11 and hear their classmates present reports through an environmental program for youngsters.

    The students are taking part in Louisville Engaging Children Outdoors (ECHO), an environmental education program that helps children with limited experience in wooded settings learn about ecology and sustainability and encourages them to pursue careers in science.

    “We’re pleased to be an ECHO host this year because having students on a college campus stimulates the idea that they can become a college student in the future,” said Tommy Parker, an assistant biology professor who directs UofL’s Urban Wildlife Research Lab.

    Students from Cane Run, Chenoweth, Coral Ridge, Portland and Young elementary schools will take tree tours of Belknap Campus and will present reports in Swain Student Activities Center’s Floyd Theater on what they have learned about the environment over the school year. The program will run from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

    Louisville Metro Parks started ECHO in 2008 with U.S. Forest Service seed money. Parker’s research lab, Daniel Boone National Forest and Jefferson County Public Schools are partners. Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Kentucky and several Metro council members help fund the program.

    UofL’s efforts to manage the 2,500 trees on its campuses have earned it recognition as a Tree Campus USA from the Arbor Day Foundation for three straight years.

    For more details, call Parker at 502-852-4709, Julie Kredens of Metro Parks at 502-456-1857 or see