What’s Working: Local park ranger connects with kids in the classroom through nature

BLUFF CITY, TN (WJHL) – Marty Silver loves the environment and he travels to different schools throughout the year passing that passion on to the next generation of students.

“The purpose of this is, number 1, help kids discover that being outdoors in nature is fun and pleasurable. More importantly, it’s worthy of protection and concern. They can learn through their senses common natural things,” said naturalist Marty Silver.

Silver is a Park Ranger and has been giving his lessons to students since 1979.

“He’s a nut, but he connects with kids. They just really buy into his enthusiasm he can have a large group of kids combining two or three classes and they are still on every word that he says,” said Weaver Elementary Principal Randy Gentry.

On this day, 4th grade students and Weaver Elementary are having a seed race.

“We’re creating a web of life to understand the connections among living things in the forest followed by a chance to add to new growth with these milk weeds,” said Silver.

The day also includes a classroom lesson, “It’s obvious he has a passion for the environment taking care of nature and that shows in what he says,” said Gentry,

He’s made some lasting impressions in his 37 years.

“I had a woman not long ago, a grown woman who said to me, ‘Hey Marty. Remember me?  I’m the one who the hawk pooped on my shirt,'” said Silver

Silver will continue to make memories for years to come.

“It’s a chance to make a difference with the children,” remarked Silver.

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