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July 14, 2006

Camp Hollis Adds Environmental Education to Its Curriculum




Students on Lakeshore

OUTDOOR CLASSROOM – Oswego City School District students gather around Matt Wood, team leader for Project X, as he describes the unique ecosystems of the Lake Ontario shoreline at Camp Hollis. The environmental education program, which served 800 students, was made possible by a grant from Constellation Energy.

OSWEGO – Hundreds of local elementary students ended their school year with a lesson in the outdoor classroom of Camp Hollis, thanks to a donation from Constellation Energy’s Nine Mile Point Station. The Project X environmental education program is a joint initiative of Constellation Energy, the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, and Friends of Camp Hollis.

Kathleen Fenlon, director of the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, said the curriculum was designed to help youths develop awareness of their environment and to meet state educational standards for alternative learning environments.

“Constellation Energy donated $5,000 to pay for environmental educators from Project X to lead classes at Camp Hollis,” explained Fenlon. “Ten Oswego County schools have participated so far, and more are scheduled for the fall. The grant also covers transportation costs. We truly appreciate Constellation’s proactive approach to teaching our young people about the environmental issues, and Friends of Camp Hollis for their ongoing support.”

Eight hundred children from local elementary schools visited the camp near Lake Ontario, where they learned about the habitat of the Lake Ontario shoreline, hiked nature trails, and studied plants, animals and songbirds that live in the different ecosystems throughout Camp Hollis. Environmental educators Matt Wood and Gina Holsopple of Project X taught the students.

“Constellation Energy is mindful that the nature of our business directly links us with the natural resources we all share,” said Timothy O’Connor, vice president of Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station. “We are pleased to enter into partnerships with organizations that share our passion for environmental stewardship.”

Friends of Camp Hollis is a nonprofit organization that raises funds and services to support the resources of Camp Hollis.

“The environmental education component is truly a valuable opportunity for schools. The lessons can be applied to science, math and language arts,” said Jim Farfaglia, senior youth services specialist for the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau. “Camp Hollis offers an alternative learning environment that enriches the school experience. The kids get to see what Camp Hollis has to offer -- and they have fun while they’re learning.”

Sheila Crandall, a Nine Mile Point Community Council member, had the opportunity to participate in Project X in June with sixth graders from the Oswego City School District.

“It was great to get a firsthand look at the students’ enthusiasm for this program,” said Crandall. “They were also very interested in learning about Constellation Energy’s commitment to the environment. Camp Hollis could not offer Project X without Constellation Energy’s support. We really are making a difference to these teachers and kids.”

Camp Hollis is available for use by businesses, organizations and families when it’s not being used a residential camp. Project X also offers team-building exercises and training at the Camp Hollis Challenge Course. The park is located on Lakeshore Road in the Town of Oswego. For information, contact the youth bureau at 349-3451 or 349-3241 or visit the Oswego County Web site at www.oswegocounty.com/youth

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