Thursday, March 17, 2016

Here Comes the School Bus

The spring school field trips to Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge are beginning next week, with a group of third graders scheduled to visit.  During their time at the Refuge, the youngsters will view a power point explaining what the Refuge is, will have a 30-minute hike along a portion of  Harris Creek Trail  and participate in a "Prairie Investigation Activity".  Following a picnic lunch, they will learn about Hagerman as a "Bird Migration Station" and attend "Butterfly College", learning the butterfly life cycle in the Butterfly Garden.  To help engage the students even more in the garden, the Friends have just ordered enough close-focus butterfly binoculars for each student at the station.

Harris Creek Trail hike

All of these activities are led by volunteers from Youth FIRST, from the garden docent committee and from other program areas who team up to provide a full or half day of nature activities for school children.  The volunteers are in an on-call pool, the School Team, ready to serve when needed.

"Little Grass on the Prairie" with Education Chair, Cindy Steele

The volunteers strive to gear the material for each topic to the particular age level of the visiting students.  Already on the calendar for this spring are classes ranging from first grade to 8th grade, as well as mixed aged home school groups.  Power points, nature walks, games, crafts, stories and more are employed in the various learning stations and large groups of students can be accommodated as they are divided into smaller groups and rotate among the various learning stations.  Additional learning stations are offered for larger school groups.

Thanks to the support of the Refuge staff and the Friends of Hagerman, there is no charge for these school visits, with snacks as well as craft supplies or other materials  provided. AND - new volunteers who  enjoy working with youngsters, are available on weekdays, can narrate a power point, lead a nature walk, tell a story or demonstrate a nature craft are always welcome for the School Team!

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