Black Hill Partnership Blog
In the fall of 2015, Barnesville embarked on a school-wide partnership with Black Hill Regional Park to enhance outdoor and environmental education across the School’s curriculum. This blog chronicles related programs and activities.
Each year, Barnesville chooses a nature theme that is integrated into student studies across all grade levels, providing opportunities for cross-curricular learning, buddy activities, and environmental awareness. This year’s school-wide theme is "water" -- where to find it, why all living things need it, the impact of water pollution and water-related natural disasters. The water theme will also be incorporated into our educational partnership with Black Hill Regional Park.
Kindergarten was the first class to work with Black Hill this school year. Naturalists took the students for a nature walk around Barnesville's campus to find sources of water for animals. In damp places, students found huge mushrooms. In addition to finding places where water collects naturally, students learned about the barrels we use to collect rainwater near our garden and greenhouse. Naturalists also pointed out areas where water has eroded the land.
While visiting Black Hill the next day, Barnesville students learned about the many animals that live in and around the lake. They also learned about pollinators like dragonflies and butterflies. Students also got to tag Monarch Butterflies and then let them loose in the park garden. You can see additional photos on Facebook.
As the kindergarten class starts to care for the bird feeders around Barnesville’s campus, they will be all the more aware of the wildlife that shares our space and their need for water too!
Ms. Katrina, a naturalist from Black Hill Regional Park, visited with the kindergarten class to teach them about how to explore natural habitats found on campus. Following is some of what they did:
- Learned how to use binoculars
- Talked about rules for observing birds in the wild
- Walked around campus looking and listening for birds
- Saw empty shells from molted Cicadas
- Walked behind the fenceline and found funnel spider webs and a fox skull!
- Listened to birds in Explorer Woods
- Found a Persimmon Tree -- foxes love persimmon fruit
A few days later, the class took a field trip to Black HIll Regional Park:
- Watched a live webcam of a Peregrine Falcon in Baltimore
- Talked about Bald Eagles
- Learned about Monarch Butterflies
- Helped tag Monarch Butterflies to help with a study by the University of Kansas
- Helped release Monarch Butterflies
- Saat in a bird blind to watch for birds
- Explored different habitats around the Park looking for birds and other wildlife
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