Letters to the Editor regarding Ebersole Center:
Lansing State Journal, May 26, 2010
I recently heard the possible recommendation to drop the Ebersole Environmental Center from the Lansing School District's budget. It would be a grave mistake.
For 14 years, I served as an out-of district teacher who, for one week every spring, took fifth-graders to Ebersole.
For approximately 1,100 students, this experience was wonderful, and, in some cases, life-changing! Ebersole, with its unique location close to lakes, woodlands, prairies, marshlands and on-site classrooms, provides a rich environmental/educational experience.
The staff at Ebersole is working on a shoestring budget and doing a wonderful job of stretching every dollar. Torie Byington, the camp director, has been in charge for two years. In that time, she has built the number of schools and groups that use the facility.
If given the opportunity, Ebersole will show profit for the district. With the growing national green trend and Michigan State University's emphasis on building environmental facilities, I would think Lansing schools could be on the cutting edge in environmental education. Keeping Ebersole would be vital to achieving this goal.
Lansing State Journal, June 2, 2010
The Lansing Board of Education, in reviewing the district budget for the 2010-2011 school year, has proposed to close an educational center that has served Lansing School District students since the 1970s.
As a retired Lansing teacher, I know the Ebersole Center is a unique program in the district that provides a way for children to relate their classroom learning to the world around them.
While the Ebersole Center is providing educational experiences for our youth, it is at the same time bringing in a revenue way beyond its operating budget. Therefore, it baffles me that the board would even think of closing such a prestigious facility that contributes to the district's own income.
Thousands of children in our city have had their lives touched by the experiences that they have had while attending the center. I would urge those past students, parents and teachers to make your voices heard at this time, because if this environmental gem is closed, it will be lost to the future generations of Lansing forever.
Please do not close Camp Ebersole. At Camp Ebersole, you learn life skills while you are having fun. When you do archery and fishing, you learn patience. When you go canoeing, you learn teamwork. You also learn how to make fun crafts such as kites, dream catchers, and how to enjoy nature. The best thing was that I did all this with my friends.
Have you been to camp? If not, I think you should go this summer.
If you close the camp, what are you going to do with the land? Are you going to take this away from kids and do nothing good with the land? Why isn't the district looking out for the students? You are trying to close something that is good for generations of kids. Why would you close Ebersole if they already have all the things they need to run camp? Why don't you just inspire more schools to go so they will make more money?
Please think of all this before you decide to close it.
Lilian Churchill, 11
Environmental Education and Conference Center
3400 2nd Street,
Wayland, Michigan 49348