Students from across Pee Dee to get hands-on learning at Kalmia Gardens with help from Duke Energy

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Hartsville, S.C. – Jan. 25, 2017 – A $5,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation will enable 1,000 Pee Dee area schoolchildren to have a firsthand experience with environmental education at Kalmia Gardens of Coker College.

The goal of the program is to give K-12 grade level students in the Pee Dee region a hands-on experience that will lead to an understanding of watersheds, water quality and the factors that affect them.

“Often we find schools aren’t able to take this type of field trip for financial reasons,” said Mindy Taylor, government and community relations manager for Duke Energy. “Funding for this project will cover all expenses for the schools to travel to Kalmia Gardens and have a fulfilling standards-based environmental learning.”

Students will be able to describe several different habitats and niches and how human activity can influence them. The students will make observations in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems using different sampling methods, and will be challenged to engineer solutions to the various negative factors that can affect the different environments.

“The staff and the Kalmia Gardens Board of Directors are all very excited to be able to provide this educational opportunity to local area schools who may otherwise not be able to afford the cost of such an experience,” Dan Hill Assistant Director of Kalmia Gardens “We thank Duke Energy for providing the necessary funding to make this amazing environmental experience for Pee Dee area students happen.”     



Coker College is a student-focused, private liberal arts college located in Hartsville, South Carolina. Coker combines round table, discussion-based learning with hands-on experiences to encourage active participation in and out of the classroom. A supportive, close-knit community prepares Coker students with the confidence and practical life skills they need to reach their personal best, in college and beyond.

Founded in 1908, Coker is a bachelor’s and master’s degree-granting institution and competes in 24 NCAA Division II sports. Coker is ranked among the "Best Colleges" in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review, and by Washington Monthly as one of the Southeast's "Best Bang for the Buck" colleges.