Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Students' Field Trip May Not Happen ; Shutdown Closes Park

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Students' Field Trip May Not Happen ; Shutdown Closes Park

Article excerpt

A 30-year tradition for two Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. middle schools may fall victim to the current federal government shutdown. Each year, sixth-graders at Perry Heights Middle School and Helfrich Park STEM Academy make a weekend field trip to Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area in Western Kentucky for both the learning experience and to build camaraderie among students and teachers.

This year, though, the federal government shutdown that started more than a week ago may force the cancellation of the trip for at least Perry Heights students, who are scheduled to visit Oct. 18- 20.

The LBL, which is administered by U.S. Forest Service, is currently closed.

The recreation's website and office answering machine both report a similar message: Due to the lapse in federal government funding, the USDA Forest Service Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area, as with other federal agencies, is closed with the exception of certain essential services. However, we will attempt to make timely updates about public health and safety on this website as appropriate. We sincerely regret this inconvenience.

Perry Heights Principal Charles Goodman said the school received notice the recreational area was closed the day after the government announced the shutdown. But he remains hopeful it will reopen by the time his sixth-graders are scheduled to visit a week and a half from now.

"We haven't really told the kids yet because we know they will be disappointed... We don't have any choice but to cancel (if a resolution is not made)," he said. "Or to see if there's another weekend, but they're usually pretty booked," Goodman said. "The shame of it is that it's a tightly funded place anyway, and they're losing revenues while they're in this shutdown, which is too bad for them because it's a wonderful, wonderful place."

Goodman said the trip is used to help students from the two feeder schools for Perry Heights - Daniel Wertz and West Terrace elementary schools - bond during an out-of-school weekend with one another and the teachers. …

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