The Emmy Award winning television show produced by RockWater, LLC

University School Naturalists

A great philosopher (one of our producer’s fifth grade teacher) once said that life is one long learning experience. True words, for sure, especially when they apply to young students. And even more so if those students are just beginning to see and appreciate the wonders of the natural world. The Young Naturalists Program at University School of Nashville makes sure that students from kindergarten through high school integrate classroom work with nature trips to places like Long Hunter State Park. Kids actually see the plants and animals they read about in books. Wild Side Guide Alan Griggs shows us how hands-on experience and up-close sightings provide an education that is second to none.

A big part of the fourth graders’ trip to Long Hunter is the opportunity for the kids to get familiar with kayaking. They’ll put those paddling skills to work later in the school year when they travel to the Duck River, one of North America’s most biologically diverse streams, for a hands-on lesson about mussels. Their Duck River excursion will be made under the watchful eyes of the excellent river guides at Higher Pursuits. Located near Columbia, Higher Pursuits rents canoes and kayaks, provided guided trips on the Duck River, canoe instruction, kayak instruction, and are an authorized dealer for Jackson Fishing and Recreational Kayaks. To learn more, visit them at

Located just east of Nashville, Long Hunter became a state park in 1974. A variety of recreational activities can be enjoyed on its 2,600 acres, including fishing and hiking. There are two boat launch ramps on J. Percy Priest Lake, a group camp, a backcountry campsite, meeting facility and a visitor center. The more than 20 miles of hiking trails provide a variety of terrain and habitats and range from pleasant strolls to longer jaunts for the more adventurous. Trails include a self-guided, paved arboretum trail and the five and a half -mile Volunteer Trail that follows the lakeshore.

University School of Nashville is a K-12 school community that challenges intellect in pursuit of independent thinking, strengthens character by encouraging personal responsibility, and sees arts and athletics as fundamentally complementary to academics.

From show 2906