Valley County Conservation District Hosts 30th Annual Outdoor Classroom


Courtesy Photo / For the Courier

Glenn Guenther (pictured far left) and his horses taught students about horses and horse safety. Boo and Sage may have been the stars of the day.

Students from Frazer, Glasgow, Nashua, Hinsdale, Lustre and area homeschools gathered on May 10 at Downstream Campground in Fort Peck for the 30th annual Outdoor Classroom.

For most of the students their day began at Irle Elementary with an edible bug assembly. MSU County Extension Agent Roubie Younkin presented to the students information on edible bugs and had muffins and rice krispies baked with the edible bugs, she gathered herself.

From there students got back on their buses and traveled to Downstream Campground where they would spend the rest of the day learning from area animal and land conservation gurus. Nearly 100 students made their way through nine stations spending 20 minutes at each station. Those stations were:

Rolling River Trailer- Roubie Younkin – Students were given a hands-on experience building streams, rivers and damns and experienced how erosion and other factors affect them.

Fish Education – MT Fish Wildlife and Parks. Students identified some fish that had been previously caught and held in live cages. They were able to fish from the docks. Not many fish were caught; the few that were caught were released.

Bird Watching – MT Fish Wildlife and Parks. Students learned how to properly use binoculars. Presenter Marc Kloker had posted jokes around the camping area for students to find with their binoculars. They then went on a walk to view and identify birds.

Fire Education – BLM. Students learned about fire safety around in and around their homes.

Plant Identification – FPAC/NRCS. Students took a walk and were helped to identify plants, dig to find root length, and what plants are native to our area. A large bull snake hung in the area throughout the day and most groups were able to spy the slithery reptile. By the end of the day he was gifted the name Fred.

You Are What You Eat! - USFWS/USACE. Students learned how to identify carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores by different qualities of their skulls and teeth.

GPS Surveying – USDA/NRCS. Students learned what GPS is used for, job opportunities available and hands-on approach in small groups to use the GPS equipment.

Worms – Malta NRCS – Students learned about the importance of worms and how they live. They even took part in a relay race where they were only allowed to crawl like a worm. Needless to say, humans don't make good night crawlers.

Horse Safety – Glenn Guenther - Glenn and his horses taught students about horses and horse safety. Boo and Sage may have been the stars of the day.

It was a beautiful day spent outside. The presenters make the day so much fun for the students attending and with any luck they went home with a little more knowledge then when they arrived.


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