Third Graders Explore the Izaak Walton League’s Bolingbroke Park in Trappe

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“I found a salamander!” Over the past 25 years, third-graders from Talbot County Public Schools have been visiting the Izaak Walton League’s Bolingbroke Park in Trappe for a field experience led by Pickering Creek Audubon Center educators. The trip is an exciting change of scenery for the students who visit different parts of the Audubon sanctuary’s 400 acres in first and second grades.

During the visit to Bolingbroke Park, students rotate through three stations making observations and asking questions all along the way. While hiking through a diverse forest, students look for trees in every stage of growth – from saplings, to mature trees, to standing dead trees to fallen, decomposing logs. At another station, they spend time rolling over those logs where they find small animals like beetles, worms and red-backed salamanders. The students also spend some time holding and looking at signs of animals they might find in the forest including mammal skulls, furs, snake skins and live turtles.

Mrs. Higginbottom’s 3rd grade students cross a footbridge at the Izaak Walton League’s Bolingbroke Park.

“While on our hike, students are always so excited to show me they found a young seedling,” reflected Annie Weishaar, one of Pickering Creek’s educators after a field trip this week. “I love seeing my students so eager to learn about trees!”

Field experiences give students an opportunity to practice using scientific observation skills that deepen their understanding about wildlife. As a bonus, everyone loves the chance to gasp at a snake slithering up a tree branch!

Third grade field experiences with Talbot County Public Schools students at Bolingbroke Park led by Pickering Creek Audubon Center will be taking place through the middle of April. The programs fit into the third grade science curriculum and connect what to students learn in the classroom to the natural world outdoors. Educators of all age groups looking for student field experiences can call Pickering Creek at 410-822-4903 to begin planning for the 2017-2018 school year.

Bolingbroke Park is a 55 acre wooded tract maintained by the Mid-Shore Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA).  IWLA is a national conservation organization and is focused on conserving and protecting our natural resources.  Pickering Creek has been partnering with the Izaak Walton League to bring third grade students to their unique property for the last 25 years.

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