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Outdoor School Event

Last Friday, Crane Trust science staff joined several other professionals at Camp Augustine to lead classes for students from Grand Island Public School's Howard Elementary. Small student groups joined in several hands-on classes throughout the day, which ranged from outdoor activities like archery and kayaking to learning about wildlife and natural resources. Crane Trust staff led three classes including the importance of plants and pollinators, bird watching, and fish and amphibians. The plants and pollinators class, led by Joshua Wiese, focused on the importance of native plants and the decline of Monarch butterflies. Students learned about starting their own plant collections by pressing and mounting plants, while also sewing native milkweed and nectar plant seeds to support Monarch butterflies. The bird class, led by Nicole Arcilla, focused on bird identification and conservation. Students participated in a nature walk, in which they learned how to use binoculars to find and view birds throughout the campgrounds. Students were excited to see and identify migratory birds including Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Orange-crowned Warblers, and Bald Eagles, among many others, and we discussed the amazing, long journeys migratory birds make each year. The fish and amphibian class, led by Hannah English and Jenna Malzahn, focused on sampling techniques and the importance of native and invasive species of fish and amphibians in sloughs and rivers. Students were able to see a variety of species that were brought along in aquariums to the event. Despite the drizzly weather, the students were eager to learn, fully engaged, and excited to be outside enjoying nature. This was the first year for the Outdoor School event, however, we anticipate the event to be reoccurring and look forward to helping out again next year.