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Environmental Educators Conference Returns to Cheaha State Park

Cheaha State Park is the perfect place to host events such as the upcoming Environmental Education Association of Alabama conference. To learn more, visit www.alapark.com. -- Photo by David Rainer, ADCNR

The Environmental Education Association of Alabama (EEAA) will hold its annual conference at Cheaha State Park from February 28 to March 2, 2019. The event is open to both formal and informal environmental educators looking to enhance their knowledge and teaching skills. Registration for the event is required. To register, visit www.eeaa.us/2019conference.

The theme of this year’s event is “Magic on the Mountain.”  The event will offer several workshops and field trips including a tour of Munford Elementary School, a tour of the Talladega National Forest, and waterfall and interpretive hikes in Cheaha State Park.

The 2019 EEAA conference holds a special place in the heart of Cheaha Superintendent Renee Raney.

“This is a unique event for Cheaha and a theme that is dear to my heart as a 30-year environmental educator for the state,” Raney said. “I became an EEAA board member 14 years ago when the organization last held its conference at Cheaha. This year, I have the honor of hosting the conference as Superintendent of Cheaha State Park. I am so excited to share the wonders of the park with this vital group of educators.”

This year, the conference will feature two keynote speakers. Dr. Steve Jones, a renowned environmental educator, author, and public speaker, will lead a talk on Thursday, February 28. On Friday March 1, award-winning magician Steve Trash will perform and present a talk on the beauty, wonder, and “magic” in nature.

The festivities kick off with a special pre-conference workshop on Thursday, February 28, entitled "Campus Critters: Exploring Schoolyard Biodiversity." This workshop will focus on activities that involve plants and animals that can be found on the grounds of most Alabama schools. Teachers will receive a curriculum and teaching tools. This workshop is limited to 30 participants and requires a separate registration.

Lodging is not included in the conference registration cost, so attendees must make overnight reservations separately. Lodging at Cheaha State Park includes hotel rooms, cabins, chalets, and camping. The park also features a full-service restaurant. For information about discounted lodging rates for conference attendees on hotel rooms, cabins or chalets, or to make reservations, call 256-488-5115.  To make camping reservations, call 256-488-5111.

Nestled in the Appalachian foothills, Cheaha State Park is located in northern Clay and southwestern Cleburne counties. Cheaha is Alabama's oldest continuously operating state park and includes the state’s highest elevation, Cheaha Mountain (more than 2,400 feet above sea level). Park facilities include a lodge, restaurant, camp store, campsites, fishing and swimming lake, hiking and mountain biking trails, a Native American relic museum, and the Pinhoti Mineral and Gem Mining Company. Learn more at www.alapark.com/cheaha-state-park.

Alabama’s state parks are the perfect places to host events such as the upcoming EEAA conference. Park facilities can accommodate groups from 5 to 500 people and have the flexibility to handle business meetings, conventions, conferences, corporate retreats, or weddings. To learn more, visit www.alapark.com.

The Environmental Education Association of Alabama is a group of educators located throughout the state who share a passion for teaching all Alabamians about the state’s diverse and abundant natural resources. For more information, visit www.eeaa.us.

The Alabama State Parks Division relies on visitor fees and the support of other partners like local communities to fund the majority of its operations. To learn more, visit www.alapark.com.

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