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Boyd-Calhoun Nature Trail is unveiled at Brewton-Parker
| Dr. Haywood Boyd (L) and his wife, Carol, both of Mount Vernon, and Professor Ann Calhoun unveil the new Brewton-Parker nature trail’s sign Jan. 18 in the Snooks Student Activities Center. Both Dr. Boyd and Professor Calhoun were pleasantly surprised by the trail’s new name, the Boyd-Calhoun Nature Trail. (Photo by Kelley Arnold)
By Kelley Arnold
Director of News and Public Information
MOUNT VERNON – The faces of two long-time Brewton-Parker educators said it all last Thursday during a dedication ceremony of the college’s new nature trail on the Mount Vernon campus. The trail’s name was kept a “secret” until its unveiling Jan. 18.
Obvious shock quickly turned to delight as the Boyd-Calhoun Nature Trail’s sign was uncovered by the honored professors, Miss Ann Calhoun and Dr. Haywood Boyd. The ceremony was well-attended by the college’s Board of Trustees and many students, administration, faculty and staff in the Snooks Student Activities Center. Boyd’s wife, Carol, who was a happy accomplice in the ceremony’s planning, assisted with the unveiling.
“The Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences is excited that the nature trail will be known as the Boyd-Calhoun Nature Trail – not only because it is named after two faculty that had so much to do with its completion, but also because of their influence and contributions to the Division and BPC,” said Dr. David McMillin, division chair.
|Members of Brewton-Parker’s Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences –both past and present – gathered to celebrate the naming of the new Boyd-Calhoun Nature Trail, located on the Mount Vernon campus. Shown from left to right in the back row are Professor Ann Calhoun, Dr. Jon Shuman, Dr. Christopher Jones and Mr. Forrest Rich. Front row, left to right, are: Dr. Mariam George, Carol Boyd, Dr. Haywood Boyd, Mrs. Sherra Durden, and Dr. David McMillin. (Photo by Kelley Arnold)
The trail is a unique partnership between the college and Montgomery County Elementary School.
Dr. Boyd taught at Brewton-Parker for 35 years until he retired in 2000. A former division chair, he taught a variety of courses, including general biology, ecology and genetics. He and Carol live in Mount Vernon.
“Although (Boyd) retired in 2000, he still was responsible for laying the entire length of the trail route so it would go by as many habitats and types of vegetation as was possible. When he was done, he refused to be compensated for his work,” Dr. McMillin added.
“This is something I’ve been wanting to see for a long, long time,” said Dr. Boyd. “I’m an outdoor and nature person so this is something I’m very proud of. I hope it gets lots and lots of wear and tear for students and faculty.”
Professor Calhoun currently serves as the college’s assistant professor of physics and mathematics, and has done so for the last 33 years. Dr. McMillin explained that Professor Calhoun not only secured the lumber needed for the trail, but built the trail’s bridges and lined its path with the logs, marking the trail’s boundaries. She also worked “tirelessly” to see its completion, he added.
“The trail is a great gift and legacy to our students and their future children – our future,” said Dr. David R. Smith, president of Brewton-Parker College. “We looked for ways to tie our school to the community and we found it in the hard work of these two individuals and their division. The trail (winds) through some of the most interesting, scenic and remote areas of our 300-acre campus.”
The trail’s two entrances provide easy access to both students and faculty at both MCES and BPC, though it is also open to members of the public who are interested in hiking and nature discovery. One opening is located in the Historic Village near the campus’ Tyre Chapel, and the other is located across the street from the elementary school’s front parking lot. The estimated 1.1-mile trail will receive a few more upgrades in both length and appearance in the coming months, Dr. McMillin said.
MCES Principal Randy Rogers thanked the college and the honored professors for this new partnership and projected much trail use among the coming generations of Montgomery County schoolchildren.
“On behalf of our 642 students and 112 staff members, I want to say thank you for this wonderful opportunity for our children,” Rogers said. “I know my teachers are excited about utilizing the trail. A lot of students are going to have fun traipsing its path.”
Dr. McMillin added the trail meets several division goals for its students as well.
“The first goal is to provide the best possible laboratory experiences for students taking science courses. Field courses such as ecology, environmental science and botany will have a dynamic outdoor learning laboratory. The trail will also link science courses with other disciplines – Education being one of them,” the division chair said. “The Division sees the trail as an important part for students, faculty, staff and others from the community to have a place to stop and enjoy nature.”