KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knox County high school students are helping younger students connect with the wonders of nature. 

Christenberry Elementary School students had the chance to learn in, and from, the great outdoors. Fulton High School students in the Environmental and Community Leaders Fellowship hosted “Exploring with the Falcons” for younger students to nurture a love of nature. 

“They really want to get these kids when they are younger to understand the power of the outdoors and the healing aspects of it and how it can rejuvenate the mind,” Megan Womack, Tremont’s development manager, said.

The ECLF students work with staff at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont at least once per month during the school year. They learn to appreciate nature, meet professionals in environmental and outdoor careers and share that knowledge with the community. 

“Knowing that it’s going to provide you with leadership skills, provide you with access to outdoor spaces. It’s going to really change the way that you think and the way that you lead within your community,” Womack said. 

During their fellowship, students are tasked with a community service project. This year, they raised money to cover costs for the event at Christenberry Elementary School.  

Four groups of children visited four stations pursuing outdoor adventures. Elijah Roach and another fellow were in charge of the echolocation station. 

“I’m honestly really excited because I think if I was a third grader and I got to play this game I would be over the moon honestly,” Roach said. 

Christenberry students also enjoyed watercolor painting, a read aloud and making animal masks. 

“I want to give them a good experience. I want to make sure they know that there’s so many interesting things going on outside that we don’t know about, especially at such a young age. There’s always something new to learn about,” Roach said. 

Several ECLF students attended Christenberry during elementary school and were excited to share this experience with the younger students and show them what they have to look forward to in high school.