JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Jackson Public School’s Environmental Learning Center located on Highway 18 is introducing new sports activities for the district’s high school students.

School officials say this is an effort to keep students engaged in a fun and educational way.

Brooklin Jones participated in a favorite activity among students who visit the Environmental Learning Center- fishing.

The Forest Hill High School student says it’s peaked her interest in the sport.

“I think I might start fishing because if I get a fish for my grandfather, he is going to cook it,” said Jones.

The Environmental Learning Center is dubbed ‘Mississippi’s only outdoor university.’

Denavia Bell, Science Instructional Coach for JPS’ High School Division, says her favorite part about her job is creating life-changing moments with young scholars and to show them that science is everywhere.

The Environmental Learning Center is equipped with a cross country course, a vegetable garden grown by students, a catfish pond, and more.

Another new addition in the works is a mindfulness garden.

“We have people who need to get away for awhile. Get away from everything that’s out here in society, and we thought a mindfulness garden would be a great opportunity,” said Gibson.

“Our students are excited. Our district is excited,” said Laketia Marshall-Thomas, Assistant Superintendent for JPS’ High School Division.

Students also get the chance to learn about the breeding program that’s available on-site.

“Our idea is to eventually have a chicken that lays a lot of large eggs on a daily basis,” said Gibson.

JPS officials say they are working to bring the science career fair to the Environmental Learning Center.

“Children need something to do. I prefer them to come here instead of going to parties, getting in trouble. I prefer them to come here, hang out, fish, do what they need to do and have fun,” said Jones.