TMI's Appalachia program is an active partner in the local community. The results of TMI's work are evident throughout the world, but our efforts begin close by, on Spruce Knob Mountain and in the communities that surround it. Our trademark Reading the Landscape environmental literacy programs were first offered to Circleville’s North Fork Elementary School. The positive impact was immediately apparent. The students were enthusiastic, the teachers were impressed, and once we had a few years worth of data, we were able to show statistically what we suspected all along – that students’ test scores improved after participating in Reading the Landscape. For more information on this, please see Reading the Results: Improved Science Test Scores after Three Years of Reading the Landscape in the Spring 2009 Spruce Knob News. The Pendleton Times featured the North Fork program (which can be seen on our facebook page) on September 28, 2010.
On the other side of the mountain, we help to run the Randolph County Outdoor Education Program (RCOEP). RCOEP is fueled by the old adage that “it takes a village.” Every fifth grader in the county participates in RCOEP. For more information on the program, see the RCOEP page.
Through our Appalachian Watershed & Stream Monitors program, we have worked with students to plant thousands of trees and evaluate stream quality throughout West Virginia. Between all of our programs, we worked with over three thousand West Virginian students in the past five years.
In addition to our efforts in education, TMI is involved in a number of conservation projects in Appalachia. We have completed work alongside The Nature Conservancy in Grant County to restore historical native prairie habitat in Smoke Hole Canyon.
TMI's newest summer program, Mountain Trail Monitors, provides local teenagers an outlet for adventure, service, and education in the Monongahela National Forest. Via a collaborative grant with the United States Forest Service TMI is able to provide this program free of cost to interested teenagers. Participants embark on a weeklong backpacking adventure where days are devoted to providing badly needing maintenance to the existing trail system within the National Forest. Evenings are spent exploring the natural world while participating in a variety of hands on activities and reflective campfires. The first year of Mountain Trail Monitors has been a huge success with 50 miles of trails improved thus far. TMI is excited to expand the program in the coming years and reach out to many more motivated students. Click here for more information on MTM.