Salamanders, Trout, & Trail Hikes!
Spring is in the air and local students are in the 1889 Park! As the weather gets warmer, our education program schedule fills up very fast here at the District. We held our first education program of the year on April 16, when we hosted roughly 25 local students.
Our education staff has been busy with programs throughout April, and are gearing up for a packed May. Various schools from around the area, as well as Boy and Girl Scout troops bring youth to our Disasters Edge Environmental Center. Students from all ages receive hands on experiences in a variety of subjects pertaining to the environment, and learn how to preserve and protect resources for humans and wildlife.
In our recent programs, students were introduced to a relatively new program that involves animals, habitat, observation, and hiking. Flags are set up around the trail at the 1889 Park in areas where animal evidence is present. Students are given a list of written clues as well as pictures of animals typically seen around the park. As the students maneuver from flag to flag, they are tasked with reading the habitat clues and trying to match the animal to their habitat. This program has been played with children in grades ranging from kindergarten through 4th grade, with slight adaptions being made based on age.
Students were eager to meet and learn about the animals that call the Edge home. Some of the most popular animals they had the opportunity to learn about were the hognose snake, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, and box turtles. In addition to programs at the Edge, we also assisted some lucky students from Blacklick Valley High School participating in the release of trout that they raised from egg to fingerlings, in conjunction with the “Trout in the Classroom” program. The District conducted a station throughout the day focusing on amphibians. Blacklick Valley students learned some basic, as well as some not so well known facts about amphibians in this outdoor classroom atmosphere. They then had the opportunity to go and look for salamanders themselves! Several common salamanders were found, which included the slimy salamander and the red back salamander, along with one group even finding a small garter snake!
May is just getting started! Look for more of the programs the District participates in through the month of May and June!