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NPT Awarded Grant to Implement Environmental Education Program in Mississippi

National Park Trust Awarded Grant to Implement Environmental Education Program in MISSISSIPPI

Program  ENHANCES  ELEMENTARY School Science CURRICULUM and promotes

Health and Wellness



(Washington, D.C. - October 21, 2013) -- National Park Trust (NPT), in partnership with Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, is proud to announce that two Mississippi schools will join their Where's Buddy Bison Been?® environmental education program. The Where's Buddy Bison Been?®  program, now in its fifth year, has been recognized by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let's Move! initiative and grew out of a need to encourage young people to discover and explore America's parks and public lands and water.

The goal of the Where's Buddy Bison Been?® program is to bring science and history lessons outdoors to parks, in order to cultivate the park stewards of tomorrow, and promote healthy living through increased activity and outdoor play. Nearly 50 schools across the country have participated in the program since it was launched in 2009.

This year's program will kick off in Mississippi the week of Oct. 21 through 25 and allow students from Moss Point Elementary and Forest Elementary to learn about their local ecosystem and their native animal and plant species. Two hundred 5th-grade students and teachers from Moss Point Elementary will visit Pascagoula River Audubon Society in Moss Point while 170, 2nd-grade students and teachers from Forest Elementary will visit LeFleur’s Bluff State Park in Jackson.

“We are excited to bring our Buddy Bison school program to Mississippi this year and look forward to working with the students and teachers at Moss Point Elementary and Forest Elementary to bring their science learning outdoors where the students can have ‘hands-on’ experiences and explore their natural world,” stated Grace Lee, executive director of National Park Trust.

As part of the company’s longstanding commitment to be a citizen wherever they serve, Mississippi Power employees will serve as volunteers and work closely with NPT to implement this year-long program. Volunteers will participate in classroom and park visits to help students understand the importance of science and encourage multiple visits to parks and public lands.

“This is a fantastic program that uses museums, nature trails, bayous and more to teach students about Mississippi’s environment,” said Mississippi Power President and CEO and member of the National Park Trust’s Leadership Council Ed Holland. “The students will be having fun and learning at the same time, which is the best way to make an impact on a young mind.”

About National Park Trust

National Park Trust is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to the preservation and protection of our nation's critical parks and engaging our youth – especially those that are under-served – to our parks and the outdoors. As people spend more time indoors and as successive generations grow up with less of a connection to nature, NPT wants to build a greater awareness and appreciation for the importance of our country's parks. NPT is preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow (www.parktrust.org).

Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe, reliable and environmentally responsible energy for more than 186,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties. Recognized throughout the utility industry for excellence in storm restoration and recovery efforts, Mississippi Power is the 2013 winner of the Edison Electric Institute’s Emergency Assistance Award. Visit our website at www.mississippipower.com, Follow us on Twitter, or Like us on Facebook.

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Media Contacts:

National Park Trust

Shana Newman Fajardo

Office: 301-279-7275 x15

Email: shana@parktrust.org