County won't lose 'outdoor school' area

News Brief

March 03, 1991

Sixth-graders in county middle schools won't lose out on "outdoor school" environmental education programs this year, despite a mix-up in reservations that forced school officials to scramble for space.

Alice W. Haskins, director of middle schools, was able to book one week at Summit Lake Camp in Frederick County, which students from Wilde Lake and Hammond will divide, each getting half a week.

Patapsco and Glenwood students will each spend a week at Camp Letts in Anne Arundel County.

The four schools faced the prospect of staying home from the out-door camp environmental programs this year when Haskins learned that a staff member at Summit Lake assigned Howard County's reserved weeks to Montgomery County.

Her counterpart in Montgomery County schools refused to yield any of the time that had been assigned to his school system, she said last week.

She said she used "begging" to find space for students from the schools affected by the mix-up.

The remaining middle schools that offer outdoor school programs have traditionally used Camp Letts and were unaffected by the reservation problem at Summit Lake.

Clarksville and Dunloggin middle schools do not offer the programs.

Haskins said she has already lined up dates for Howard students to attend environmental programs in the next school year, and will meet with camp officials to confirm the dates.

Howard County may get an environmental center of its own if county officials succeed in purchasing nearly 1,000 acres in the Middle Patuxent River stream valley between Routes 108 and 32, a plan that has been in the works for 10 years.

The school system would spend $1.3 million to build an environmental education center on the site and has budgeted $335,000 in planning money for the project in 1991-1992.

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