Bringing Ecology To Life

Students benefit from Forever Earth houseboat

Published in the February 2011 Issue Published online: Feb 24, 2011 Ask The Expert
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Forever Resorts, the industry leader in environmentally sound best practices, officially unveiled and dedicated its award-winning Forever Earth houseboat at the Diablo East Marina on Lake Amistad back in November.

Forever Earth is a 67-foot floating environmental classroom that represents a public/private partnership between the Lake Amistad National Recreation Area and Forever Resorts, which donated the vessel through the Big Bend Natural History Association. It was designed to support and encourage environmental education and study at Lake Amistad as well as to improve and enhance understanding of the history and environmental importance of the lake by school groups.

Through its "Lessons on the Lake" program, Forever Earth provides four-hour, on-the-water field trips geared toward fifth graders. During each field trip, students learn about local geologic processes, prehistoric people of the Lower Pecos, as well as adaptations of plants and animals in the Chihuahuan Desert. Students are also instructed in boat and water safety during the excursion. Since the start of the program during the 2000-2001 school year, Forever Earth has hosted 9,524 students from the San Felipe Del Rio Consolidated Independent School District (CISD), as well as the Comstock and Brackettville Independent School Districts.

"I am happy to report that your partnership has yielded fruit," said Julio C. Ramos, former assistant superintendent for Instruction, San Felipe Del Rio CISD. "District-wide science scores have improved by 12 percentage points and we are seeing an increase in student excitement and interest in the natural sciences. I know that the participation of these children in the fifth grade `Lessons on the Lake' program is directly responsible."

Forever Earth programs meet state and local standards for science, math, technology and social studies (among other disciplines).The curriculum students encounter aboard the vessel was designed to support the State of Texas' Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and Texas Academic Assessment of Skills (TAKS) testing.

Forever Resorts is an exceptional collection of destinations providing hospitality services throughout the world. The company focuses on properties with access to nature and one-of-a-kind surroundings for vacations, including houseboating adventures. Since 1981, Forever Resorts has provided custom-built luxury rental houseboats for use at numerous lake and national park destinations across the United States. Its manufacturing facility-Fun Country Marine Industries located in Muncie, Ind.-builds and maintains the Forever Resort fleet. All Forever Houseboats in the fleet are National Marine Manufacturing Association certified and built to ABYC and U.S. Coast Guard specifications. For more information visit www.foreverresorts.com.

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