Department of Parks
Cumberland Falls Campaign Will Have Kids Talkin' Trash
FRANKFORT, Ky. – The natural beauty of Kentucky state parks is one of its strongest selling points for visitors, but litter is a constant threat to mar that beauty.
Litter is a homegrown problem that requires a homegrown solution, a point not lost on Lisa Davis, park manager at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park near Corbin. Littering also is a habit that children learn from adults.
Last year, while serving in the same position at Carter Caves State Resort Park, Davis launched a program asking schoolchildren to lead a campaign to ask friends and family to sign a pledge to refrain from littering for one year.
The response was overwhelming. In a few short weeks, students collected more than 26,000 signatures, representing nearly the entire population of Carter County.
Davis has taken the idea to Cumberland Falls, home to the most recognizable natural feature in Kentucky, the “Niagara of the South.”
The park and Whitley County Schools are partnering for an anti-litter pledge campaign. From now through May 4, students in grades 4 through 12 in Whitley County schools will be challenged to collect signatures on anti-litter pledge sheets. The classroom with the most signatures will be rewarded with a free lunch and field trip at Cumberland Falls.
Teachers will be encouraged to lead classroom discussions on the negative impact of litter.
Also, children in kindergarten through grade 3 will participate in a poster coloring contest. The winner in each classroom will receive a free meal at Cumberland Falls for everyone in the immediate family.
“I was amazed at the reaction of at Carter Caves,” Davis said. “We had kids collect signatures from all over the region. They really got caught up in the excitement of competing to get the most signatures. I’m confident we’ll get the same response here.”
“I’m very pleased to see this program taking place at Cumberland Falls,” said Deputy Parks Commissioner John Kington. “It reflects the department’s critical mission of promoting and supporting the state’s natural beauty.”
The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 52 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Commerce Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges -- more than any other state. Each year, Kentucky parks draw 7 million visitors and contribute $317 million to the economy. For more information on Kentucky parks, visit our Web site at http://www.parks.ky.gov