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Middlesex High science students explore Blue Ridge Parkway sites

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Above, Middlesex High School science teacher John Porter and MHS math teacher Brett Shields take in the view with student members of the MHS Environmental Science Club atop Spy Rock near Montebello. They are, top from left, Lam Quach, Cody Parrish and Wesley Summerfield; middle, John Porter, Jack Porter (Mr. Porter’s son), Brett Shields, Zach Halstead, Emily Toney and Chris Revere; bottom, Athena Gray.

On April 18 teacher John Porter’s Environmental Science Club at Middlesex High School (MHS) rose before dawn and traveled to Montebello via the Blue Ridge Parkway. While admiring the views from overlooks, club members also picked up litter in the parking lots. 

They then went to the state’s only trout fishery where a Department of Game and Inland Fisheries employee explained how they raise the multiple species of trout for release into mountain streams. Members were able to participate in the feeding of the trout.

After making lunch, the students made the 1.5-mile trek up 1,100 vertical feet to the top of Spy Rock. It is named Spy Rock because the 360-degree view made this a strategic Confederate overlook during the Civil War.

After eating lunch at the summit, multiple rock scrambles and descending, the group then hiked another two miles to the top of nearby Crabtree Falls. The falls include 1,200 feet of drops with the largest dropping 400 feet, and is generally considered the highest waterfalls east of the Mississippi.

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 04.22.2015

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