The ‘natural’ outgrowth of a successful Rancocas Creek Book Fair & Forum held at the Burlington County Lyceum of History and Natural Science in historic Mt. Holly village, is an agenda of genuine progress. With over one-hundred and fifty forum participants at the day’s many events, a resounding message was registered by those in attendance; L
Rancocas Discovery School was founded in response to the community’s enthusiastic nudge, Rancocas Pathways is continuing to develop a range of hands-on, discovery experiences through our Learning is Fun, Naturally programs, to include: Guided kayak and paddle-sport excursions, as individual and group events from April through October; and, our Fun in the Sun, Naturally recreational activities during the summer months which are offered in collaboration with local recreation departments and various non-profit organizations.
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In direct response to the overwhelmingly positive response from the community, RP’s board of directors authorized the planning and development of the ‘Rancocas Discovery School’ at a location to be determined. John Anderson, RP’s program director, has been directed to begin an evaluation of several sites along the Rancocas, to include a focus on historic Mt. Holly, where an active partnership exists with the municipality’s recreation department and where local officials. Additionally, Mt. Holly residents and officials have been outspoken in their continuing support of national water trail designation for the Rancocas.
Sponsored and managed by Rancocas Pathways, the proposed National Water Trail serves as heightened visibility for the improvement and preservation of the Rancocas Creek and the entire Rancocas Watershed. Further development of educational and recreational programs aim to enhance water quality, improve access and promote greater use of this remarkable tributary of the historic Delaware River. This unique, tidal waterway has far too long been “hidden in plain sight.” RP, through the NWT Initiative, quite purposefully aims to engage a new generation of Garden State youngsters in STEM-centric activities grounded in a hopeful and practical attitude about how “a rising tide lifts all boats.”
Rancocas Discovery School anchors “creative enterprise”, an “incubator” and “entrepreneurship” that serve as hand-tools in the Rancocas Discovery School’s multi-faceted toolbox. Such an orientation represents a distinctive outlook emphasizing the vital importance of independent thinking, critical reasoning, and a problem-solving orientation toward experiential learning in the midst of an outdoor laboratory and classroom. The “discovery” in the Rancocas Discovery School is found at the nexus of conservation recreation, experimentation, understanding and, most importantly, FUN.
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