News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2005
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Wendy N. McDougal

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Fourth-grade students from Chestnut Grove Elementary School watch a young alligator during a recent field trip to Wetlands Edge Environmental Center. From left are Heather Abusaleem, environmental educator Marc Slate, Audra Reeves and Kendall Harrison.

Fourth-graders explore Wetlands Edge Environmental Center

Wendy's word

Sunday is here, and for anyone with children it also means fall break. If you are traveling or just enjoying a few days at home with your little ones, have a fun time together. That's the important thing, just being together, whatever it is you may be doing. Make it be a blessed day for you all.

There is quite a bit going on around town, so let's see what the "chatter" is . . .

Wetlands adventure

A multitude of tropical fish, plants, alligators, turtles and snakes are just a sampling of what you might find during a visit to the Wetlands Edge Environmental Center. The center, a partnership between BP and Decatur City Schools, provides hands-on environmental educational opportunities across the K-12 grade curriculum to all Decatur City Schools students. Located on BP's 500-plus acres of award-winning, certified wildlife habitat, students have a brand new chance to explore the natural world in a setting that combines native species and natural beauty.

Getting a taste of environmental science on a recent field trip were fourth-grade students Allen Stephenson, Audra Reeves, Austin Landgraf, Ben Johnson, Caroline Lilly, Chandler Busing, Heather Abusaleem, Kaitlin Duez, Kaleb Smith, Katherine Blakely, Kendall Harrison, Lauren Kirk, Mackenzie Rowland, Mary Ann McDougal, Peyton Miller, Rachael Whitten, Shelby McSwain, Tanasia Miller, Taylor Ziak and Julie Hosier, teacher. Tammy Abusaleem, Kimberly Kirk and Jesslyn Reeves served as chaperones.

The day-long trip offered a chance to see classroom/labs with numerous live displays, including two floor-touch tanks, a 1,650-gallon marine tank and a 780-gallon freshwater ecosystem. In addition, more than two miles of trails traverse the habitat enabling visitors to see diverse ecosystems including a swamp, a marsh, a pond, bottomland hardwoods, upland species, young pines and an old oak grove climax community.

Field trip requests for this semester are being accepted now through Dec. 14, Tuesday through Friday. Second semester scheduling begins Nov. 4 for field trips between Jan. 4 and May 24, Tuesday through Thursday.

This is a must see for students and adults. What an experience. For more information on field trips, which are available to other school districts, call educators Susan Estes and Marc Slate, 301-1559, or visit the Web site at www.weec.dcs.edu.

Grab a hose, towel and change of clothes. Prepare to get down and dirty, but also get ready for a tremendous and unforgettable time of learning.

IAAP

The Decatur chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals will have open house Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Decatur Campus of Calhoun Community College in the Aerospace Training Building.

Guest speaker for the evening is Ellen Mahathey CPS, IAAP Alabama Division president.

An invitation from the Decatur Chapter of IAAP is extended to all administrative professionals in the area to attend the meeting and learn more about IAAP, a group that promotes its mission, to inspire and equip all administrative professionals to attain excellence.

For more information, contact Pamela Jones CPS/CAP, Decatur Chapter of IAAP, president, 974-9795.

'75 DHS graduates

Calling all Decatur High graduates from 1975. Join in some "high school" fun at your 30-year reunion Saturday. Beginning at 6 p.m., you can reminisce with friends and catch up with former classmates under the tent at the Riverwalk Marina. For $15 per person, party until midnight and enjoy a time of casual dress, great food and fellowship.

Plan to be a part of the fun by mailing your reservation today. Make checks payable to DHS Class of '75 Reunion, and send to John Whitley, c/o Peoples Bank of North Alabama, 201 Sixth Ave. S.E., Decatur, AL 35601. For questions or additional information on any "missing" classmates, call Rhea Carrell Fisher, 353-8011.

UDC

Joe Wheeler Chapter No. 291 United Daughters of the Confederacy began its new chapter year with the September meeting at Decatur Public Library. Kay McCarley and Judy Blackwell hosted. President McCarley opened the meeting with a welcome to members and prospective members Linda Edwards, Laverne Foster and Linda Clemons.

Reports were heard from secretary Sarah Gray, treasurer Ginger Reeves and vice president Blackwell. Doris Chitwood received her membership certificate and was welcomed as a new member. Glendora James displayed fleece throws made by Amanda James that will be delivered to the Tutt Fann Veterans Home in Huntsville.

The chapter voted to continue the restoration work on the Confederate Cemetery. Another project adopted by the membership will be placing a bronze marker for the Confederate monument. A special ceremony to dedicate the monument with the new plaque will be in December, followed by a reception at the historic McEntire house.

Voted into membership upon completion of membership papers were Savann Sherrill, Edwards, Foster and Clemons.

James, guest speaker, presented a Power Point presentation on "Artists of the War Between the States."

That's all for now. It's been great "chattin" with ya!

Let me know what is going on in your little corner of the world. Fall special events, family get-togethers and tailgating tales make great Chatterbox items. Just e-mail me at ddchatter box@yahoo.com, or call me at 350-5730.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Wendy N. McDougal Wendy N. McDougal
DAILY Staff Writer

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