Thursday, October 21, 2010

Connecting Children with Nature

For the third year, the CRFPO was able to provide a field trip for students from Heritage High School through the "Connecting People with Nature" small grant fund. This year we traveled to Steigerwald National Wildlife Refuge to get outside. We collected some aquatic insects and water samples from Gibbons Creek to assess the water quality. Lots of insects were collected and identified including stoneflies, mayflies, and caddisflies. The students determined from the large diversity of insects and high levels of dissolved oxygen, that the stream was fairly healthy. While collecting insects, a coho fry and red-legged frog were also scooped up, further indicating a stream that supports salmon and amphibians.

After a bit of data collection, the entire group embarked on a discovery hike down the trail to the Columbia River. We talked about wetlands, found insects and more frogs along the way. Trees and other vegetation were identified through use of field guides. The students hypothesized about what might be living in or using some of the many wetland areas we crossed.

All in all, it was a great day. The students were engaged the whole time and very sad when their field day was nearing to an end. And so was I. I encouraged them all to bring their families back down to the refuge anytime for another hike and I bet some of them will.

Submitted by Donna Allard

1 comment:

  1. It was a great time and the students want to know when we will do it again. Thanks for investing in their outdoor education. Mrs. Keller