Meduxnekeag River Association
Central Carleton students after walking the Red trail, October 14, 2005
Central Carleton students get on TV with CBC's School Zone
Grade 10 Environmental Science class from Nackawic High on the Black trail, October 12, 2005

“The Way Field Trips Should Be”
Elementary School Class Visits to the Meduxnekeag Valley Nature Preserve

In the Fall of 2002, the Meduxnekeag River Association began offering local elementary schools the opportunity for each of their Grade 3, 4 and 5 classes to go on a one hour guided walk on a part of the nature trails of the Meduxnekeag Valley Nature Preserve.

Response from schools was immediate and strong, and between late November and late January when the snow got too deep, a total of just over 250 students and 25 teachers, teacher’s aides and accompanying parents visited the Preserve.

That Spring we began the program again, and another 220 students and two dozen adults visited, this time including some Grade 1 and 2 classes as well.

That initial year set the pattern, and we now offer curriculum-relevant guided walks at all elementary school levels from K-5. More than 500 students along with teachers, aides, and parents took part during the 2003-2004 school year.

We generally use either the Red or Yellow trails since they can be walked in about an hour with frequent stops, and tie the experience in to some aspect of each grade’s curriculum: the community of living things and habitat; roots and leaves; weather and climate.

In winter, students are able to see animal tracks when there’s snow on the trails (rabbit, deer, moose, fox, squirrel, grouse), and scat (deer poop is a big hit!). We usually see birds (black-capped chickadee, hairy woodpecker, blue jay) and squirrels; often a varying hare.

The Spring tours focus on flowering plants, birds - there’s lots of bird song in the Preserve, and last year one class was able to watch a pileated woodpecker watching them from its cavity nest near the trail - and the sounds and smells of Spring in the forest.

Reaction both from the adults and from the students has been positive: the title quote comes from a Grade 4 student reporting to his mother.

We also offer class visits at both the Middle School and High School levels, using different trails and focusing on different aspects of curriculum.

For information, or to plan a class visit, call us at 328-8227.



Community Stewardship for the Meduxnekeag Watershed Region
Last update : October 19, 2005
October 19, 2005