May 2, 2017
For Immediate Release

Amy Berry, instructor of environmental science at Campbellsville University and environmental educator at the Clay Hill Memorial Forest, speaks at the Campbellsville University’s Women’s Alliance, about Clay Hill Memorial Forest. (Campbellsville University Photo by Josh Christian)

Amy Berry, instructor of environmental science at Campbellsville University and environmental educator at the Clay Hill Memorial Forest, speaks at the Campbellsville University’s Women’s Alliance, about Clay Hill Memorial Forest. (Campbellsville University Photo by Josh Christian)

By Josh Christian, student news writer

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – “A toad eats 30,000 insects in one summer,” Nikki McCamish, a Campbellsville University senior from Elizabethtown, Ky., said at Campbellsville University’s Women’s Alliance celebration of Earth Day on April 22.

Women from Campbellsville, Ky. and the surrounding communities gathered for the meeting in the university’s Banquet Hall.

As part of building community between women, a mission of the Women’s Alliance, the Women’s Alliance “shares all the good things at Campbellsville University with each other,” according to Debbie Carter, wife of university president Michael V. Carter.

“For this reason, we are highlighting the Clay Hill Memorial Forest,” Carter said.

The Clay Hill Memorial Forest is a research forest and environmental education center that is managed by Campbellsville University.

“We promote conservation by increasing public awareness of aesthetic, recreational and economic importance of forests. We believe that forests can be managed in ways that will allow their sustained use for all those values that man derives from them. We believe that our best hope for achieving sustainability lies in inclusive, research-based education,” Amy Berry, instructor of environmental science at Campbellsville University and environmental educator at the Clay Hill Memorial Forest, said.

Berry shared the various roles that Clay Hill Memorial Forest plays in the community.

“Clay Hill has about five workshops per year,” Berry said. “In these workshops, kids are actually doing scientific work.”

From the Clay Hill Memorial Forest’s “Day with a scientist” program, involving high school and middle school students, to field trips geared toward children in grade school, Clay Hill has been visited by over 35,000 children since 1996, according to Berry.

Teachers are also affected by the Clay Hill Memorial Forest. Over 350 kindergarten to 12th-grade teachers participated in the onsite summer environmental education workshops.

Berry also discussed her work with the Taylor County Public Library as they host many events including “Bug Night,” where children can “celebrate bugs” with a story walk, movie and insect costume station.

The Clay Hill Memorial Forest has also become more involved in the campus of Campbellsville University, inviting all interested students to events at Clay Hill.

“We want the campus to use Clay Hill,” Berry said.

Students majoring in environmental science at Campbellsville University also expressed the impact the Clay Hill Memorial Forest has had on their lives.

Katie Cappel, a Campbellsville University senior from Dunnville, Ky., gave a testimony about the environmental science program and utilizing the Clay Hill Memorial Forest.

Cappel has been conducting a bat experiment over the course of the last two years. First, she recorded sonar waves and collected them throughout a year-long study. She has now begun to chart the study.

“Clay Hill is my home away from home,” Cappel said.

“At Clay Hill, we use skills we learn in the classroom. It is hands on, not just memorizing,” Cappel said.

When not at school or working on her experiment, Cappel spends time at the Clay Hill Memorial Forest hiking.

McCamish also spoke about her experience at the Clay Hill Memorial Forest, saying that she also enjoys the hikes at Clay Hill.

McCamish has also been conducting a bird study and has taken advantage of many opportunities while at Clay Hill. She has participated in the environmental science internship, becoming certified with the Kentucky fish and wildlife burn crew, and even having lived in Mammoth Cave.

Education majors also have opportunities at the Clay Hill Memorial Forest, designing curriculum that utilizes Clay Hill.

The Campbellsville University Women’s Alliance works to build connections among women with the university and support special needs of the Campbellsville University students through the Student Emergency Fund.

For more information about the Women’s Alliance, contact Debbie Carter at dwcarter@campbellsville.edu or (270) 789-5106.

Campbellsville University is a widely-acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 5,000 students offering over 80 programs of study including 19 master’s degrees, six postgraduate areas and seven pre-professional programs. The university has off-campus centers in Louisville, Harrodsburg, Somerset and Hodgenville with instructional sites in Elizabethtown, Owensboro and Summersville and a full complement of online programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.