Grant to fund field trips

Students set up a tent at Big Hill Park in preparation for a camping experience. The Welty Environmental Center recently received a Community Impact Grant from the Stateline Community Foundation to fund field trips with area youth. The field trips will be a cooperative effort with the Stateline Boys and Girls Club and Community Action.

BELOIT—Welty Environmental Center received a $4,700 Community Impact Grant from the Stateline Community Foundation this spring.

This grant funds a collaboration between Welty, the Stateline Boys and Girls Club and Community Action for the summer of 2021, supporting three field trips and two overnight events for youth at Big Hill Center. These trips will give day campers the opportunity to learn outdoor survival skills, cook over a fire, hike and have nature-based fun. For the field trips, Welty staff would plan and lead programs at area parks, such as: Big Hill Park, Beckman Mill, Nygren Wetland Preserve, Rock Cut State Park, and Merrill Community Gardens.

Welty will provide the lesson plans and materials for the outdoor activities, while Stateline Boys and Girls Club and Community Action staff will lead the evening’s activities and chaperone overnight. The intention for these longer visits is to expose intermediate and high school students to the thrill of wilderness camping, without going too far from home.

This collaboration fits with the missions of each agency. Welty reaches an underserved population that they usually only interact with on school field trips. Stateline Boys and Girls Club and Community Action are able to offer challenging, nature-based programming designed specifically for their clients to help meet summer learning goals.