Thursday, May 18, 2017

Timberwolf Trail - Weeks 30 & 31 - 2016-17 Edition

As we approach the end of another school year, this nature kindergarten has been working hard to take their knowledge and experiences and work to improve their outdoor learning area and extend their nature service into their community. We have done so many an amazing things the last two weeks.

First, our classroom obtained a birdfeeder photobooth which takes pictures of the birds that land to feed on it. With opinion writing on our minds, we worked to create opinion pieces that expressed where students thought would be an appropriate spot to place our feeder. Then, after sharing our writing, we placed the feeder outside. Throughout the last few weeks, we have moved the feeder and explained the reasoning behind the new placement.

Pulling garlic mustard is becoming a routine part of our outdoor time. We took the garlic mustard pull show on the road as we hosted two events out in the community. First, nearly thirty people met along the Hartland Segment of the Ice Age Trail. A few days later, on a much more humid and buggy night, about a dozen people met at our high school to work on a trail being developed. Overall, many, many bags of this invasive species were collected.

Besides doing work, we also took the time to have some fun. One new activity was our bug hunt. After learning about insects, we went out and tried to find as many six-legged friends as possible.

When it was time to get back to work, we spent time working on our trail's newest addition: a sugar maple tree donated by a local landscaping crew. Every day. we take some time to help this young tree out by giving it a drink.

One of the highlights of our work was a project that was a year in the making. Last May, my previous class chose a spot and placed a tarp on the land in two separate locations. these tarps would kill the grass and jumpstart our prairie restoration. This year, my class moved the tarps to a new location and even helped discard some tarping that had been tattered and torn, most likely by some strong winds.

Once the fresh ground was once again exposed, it was time to fill it up with recently acquired prairie plants. From milkweed to blazingstar and butterflyweed to coneflower, we hope to see a vibrant prairie plant patch soon.

To help with the planting process, my class was trained on how to prepare the ground for planting, get our plant in the ground, and secure it intuits new home, They took that training and helped kindergarteners from other classes plant nearly 100 new prairie plants.

After a few weeks of taking care of the land, it was time to play. And play we did!

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