Senior Project Connects Students with State Park

by Will Galloway

Some of my fondest memories of my early childhood were spent in a johnboat with my dad carefully searching South Carolina’s wetlands for the perfect spot to duck hunt. I have always loved the cypress knees, the dark water, and the natural serenity of the wetlands. Needless to say, I was thrilled when my senior project presented me with an opportunity to kayak the wetlands of Goodale State Park in Camden, South Carolina.

The kayak excursion led by Global EcoAdventures Adventurer Club connected high school students with the outdoors while encouraging discussion about the environment.

Seniors in the Honors Forum at Blythewood High School are required to complete a “senior project” that challenges them to identify and explore a passion. I knew I wanted to do something with my love for the outdoors, and I called Tom Mullikin from the Mullikin Law Firm (an environmental law firm) and Global Eco-Adventures to ask for advice.

We decided to do a project focused on learning about finding solutions to environmental solutions that would be both environmentally and economically sustainable.

The first part of our project was an informational seminar that introduced our participants to the basics of environmental science, issues facing the environment today, and feasible solutions to these issues.

For the second part, our seminar participants traveled to Goodale State Park in Camden to learn about the importance of wetlands to our environment.

Goodale State Park is absolutely gorgeous – a 140 acre lake, a civil war area mill pond, and a winding kayak trail converged into the perfect learning environment. Our students learned how wetlands function as the “kidneys of the landscape,” purifying water systems and providing a barrier against flooding. We also had the opportunity to see beautiful wildlife and stunning landscape.

In addition to a 140-acre lake, that is a Civil War era mill pond, the park also has canoe access to Pine Tree Creek.

I would encourage all South Carolinians to take a day trip to Goodale State Park, pack a lunch, and explore! You will be glad you did.

Our group of project participants was able to dive headfirst into exploring their state, and all look forward to future opportunities to continue doing so. To parents of young kids, I strongly encourage you to spend time outdoors with your family. To my peers in high school, I encourage you to take a day, close Snapchat, and visit a state park. You might just discover a new passion.

The kayak excursion led by Global Eco Adventures Adventurer Club connected high school students with the outdoors while encouraging discussion about the environment. Above: From left to right, Camryn Price, Ansley Stone, Will Galloway, Tom Mullikin, Thomas Mullikin Jr, Kellan Young and Carly Clark.