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State Honoree

Jack Moffit

Oklahoma

Jack Moffit, 18, of Mannford, Okla., a senior at Mannford High School, turned a local dumping ground into an outdoor science classroom for his school district, complete with trails, a large gazebo, picnic/study tables, bird and bat houses, natural landscaping and more. Jack says he’s always enjoyed science and nature, but regretted that he did not have much opportunity to study science outdoors when he was younger. “I thought it would be great to have a classroom outside where you could learn more about nature and science,” he said. After obtaining permission from his school superintendent and city administrators, Jack began planning his project. Realizing he could not do it alone, he spent a great deal of time recruiting and supervising more than 350 volunteers from his school, Boy Scout troop, local businesses and churches, the Wildlife Conservation, and the Corp of Engineers. Together, with $70,000 of grant money and private donations, Jack and his helpers constructed 2,000 feet of trails, a classroom-sized gazebo, a pond with a dam and bridge, flower beds, bird and bat houses, and a parking lot. “It turned a dumping ground into a beautiful area where students and the community can go and enjoy nature,” said Jack.