The Clean Memphis Education team took third graders from Compass schools on a field trip to TO Fuller State Park. The students got to explore the park, learn of the history and the nature within!

T.O Fuller state park was one of the first parks to open to African Americans. The park changed its name in 1942 In honor of Dr. Thomas O. Fuller, a prominent African-American educator, civil leader, pastor, and politician. He spent his days empowering and educating. The students learned the historical importance from Park Manager Jimmy Warren, who has been coming to the park since he was a kid.

They learned of the park’s historical importance and how the park is an ecosystem, habitat, and home for many different animals. They saw some of the animals that made up the ecosystem, like Gizmo the screech owl, and learned what they could do to take care of the park.

Then the students embarked on a hike lead by a park ranger, Jessica Gosset! This hike was a first for many of them. They identified different plant species, saw insects, and learned all the components of the ecosystem.

Afterward, teachers received a kit for a “paper plate habitat” that will allow the students to build a habitat of grasslands, a tree and show where different animals make their homes in an ecosystem: In or on a tree, underground or in the grasslands.