Monday, May 18, 2015

2015 Isabella County Environmental Education Day

Last Friday the Isabella Conservation District hosted our annual Environmental Education Day.  This was the sixth year that we have put on this event.  We offer this event to every Third Grade classroom in Isabella County - this year we had twenty-nine classroom attend.  The planning for this event takes several months and the few days prior to the even are full of last-minute preparations.  This is why I only published two posts last week.

We couldn't host this event without the participation of dozens of volunteers.  Starting about six months before the Environmental Education Day I start contacting groups that have presented in previous years.  I try to end up with about 20 different activities for the students.  Most of the organizations/individuals that volunteer their time have been supporting this event since year one.

On Wednesday and Thursday I spent hours getting things ready for Friday.  On Friday, I arrived at Chipp-A-Waters Park before 7:00AM to open the gates, set up canopies, set up our (Isabella Conservation District) activities, and direct people to their locations as they arrive.  The two hours before the students arrive are my busiest, most stressful, hours of the year.  Once everyone has set up and the students arrive I am able to relax considerably.

Here are a few photographs from Friday.  Despite rainy weather throughout the day, everything went according to plans and the students had a great time learning new things.

Garbage bag "raincoats" keep out the weather

Toni Pastotnik from the Natural Resources Conservation Service teaches students about soil

Students and parents learn about Michigan's Turtles at the Nature Discovery exhibit

Students lined up at the Isabella Conservation District diplay

Cathy Murray talking to students at the Isabella Conservation District booth

Learning about fungi from Sister Marie Kopin

Staff from the US Forest Service smile for the camera

Students learn about honey bees at the Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum table

Michigan Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Technician Katie Keen shows students a mammal skull

The reptiles and amphibians at the Nature Discovery exhibit are always a huge hit with students

Identifying mammal tracks at the Isabella Conservation District display

Members of the Leon P. Martuch Chapter of Trout Unlimited teach students how to tie flies

Sheree Hall from the CMU Museum of Cultural and Natural History displays a solar oven made from a pizza box

Checking out a leopard at the Safari Club Sensory Safari Trailer

Students examine a replica "Montreal canoe"

Searching for aquatic invertebrates with the water quality staff from the Saginaw Chippewa Indian tribe

Getting a close view of the voyageur canoe

Checking out the Michigan Forest Foundation's "Wanigan" education trailer

Making bicycle-powered smoothies with the staff from the GreenTree Cooperative Grcery

My mom and dad had fun volunteering at the Isabella Conservation District  booth

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