RICHMOND, Ky. — In a collaborative effort, several Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) centers, departments and faculty were awarded funding for their GONE FISHIN’ grant proposal submitted through EKU’s Cross College Interdisciplinary Collaboration (CCIC). The GONE FISHIN project aims to assess the feasibility of outdoor programming and wilderness training for youth and young people in Eastern Kentucky, demonstrating EKU’s commitment to the economic vitality and creative capacity of the region it serves.
The CCIC-funded grant project began in January and is slated to be completed by May this year. Throughout the spring semester, the project will conduct a feasibility study on wildlands certification, a pilot workshop in a place-based oral history for high school students and a pilot wilderness first aid class for high school students and youth. In May, the team will evaluate the pilot workshops and feasibility study and deliver their final assessment of the potential opportunities and challenges in developing outdoor programming for youth in Eastern Kentucky.
The potential impacts of the project include building the capacity for communities and the region to work together on developing strategies to address challenges and create opportunities for youth, position EKU to receive additional funding for outdoor youth programs, allow high school students to see potential in their home communities and park systems and enable EKU students to gain valuable career experience.
The project was awarded $15,324 to administer a feasibility study for youth outdoor programming and conduct two pilot workshops. With in-kind contributions of $9,116, the total project value is $24,440.
The GONE FISHIN’ team includes EKU’s Center for Outdoor Education and Research, Center for Wilderness and Outdoor Public Safety, William H. Berge Oral History Center, Department of Recreation and Parks Administration, faculty and staff members Dr. Stephanie McSpirit, Dr. Brian Clark, Neil Kasiak and David Fifer, as well as student participants.