One hundred 4th graders rounded up from Clinton by their leader, Kristy Eastridge, arrived by bus for their appointed experience with the out-of-doors. Five docents led them in groups of 10 in their discoveries. One group discussed plant structure from flower to fruit to seed and on to seedling, herb and tree while another learned skull features from specimens ranging from field mouse to that of the white tail deer. Other groups learned along the trails about medicinal and edible plants (may apple fruits are sweet and good while the root, stem and leaf of the plant are poisonous); insects, which have the greatest numbers and diversity of any species around, were busy chewing or resting; Aldo Leopold’s Sand County Almanac provided some good literature along the trail.
As one group of 50 students finished their sessions in the morning, loaded the bus and headed out the gate for lunch, the second group arrived for another exciting round of discovery.
It could be said that there had been some work that day on lessening the “nature deficit syndrome” so common these days as the South Fork slogan, “no child left inside,” was followed. The day had been long and busy, but a profitable and exciting one!