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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Exploring the Future of County Farm Park with Faye

One of the most amazing parts of our relationship with Faye Stoner (the naturalist at County Farm Park) is how willing she is able to contribute to what we are thinking about at school. She will ask about our monthly theme, and use that as inspiration for what we learn about in the woods. Sometimes, of course, this doesn't work, but this month's theme of The Future was actually a perfect fit.

Faye greeted us as usual - the kids were so excited to see her. She is truly one of our favorite people.

We found a Jack in the Pulpit. Clementine remembered her study of this plant as she took pictures and wrote about it at the beginning of the year. It was in an entirely different state. This led to looking for more plants, and talking about how the future of a plant is a seed....and the future of a seed is a plant. "It's a big cycle!" exclaimed Oliver.

Faye showed us a picture of a baby deer. We talked about what the future deer will look like - by the second year of life the spots will be gone. Maddy knew why and could explain that the spots acted as camouflage. She hypothesized that the spots were necessary because baby deer spend a lot of time time on the ground and can't run so fast. The spots are no longer necessary when the deer get big enough to be fast runners.

Faye pointed out a big rock. Will the future rock look the same or different? We figure that the rock will get smaller, due to erosion. But that future is a very long way away.

We found the remnants of an Ash tree, taken down by the Emerald Ash Borer. There were parts of the tree with a lot of decomposition. In fact, we could scoop up handfuls of "soil" from the tree.  Eventually, this whole tree will be part of the ground underneath our feet.

Our last stop was the creek. Engineers changed the creek's course so that the water wouldn't rush so fast. Faye told us that although it looked rather ugly today, in about 10 year's time the grasses, shrubs, trees, and wildflowers that were planted will make it a lovely place for future children to play.

Our collaboration with Faye is something we cherish, and I know our children will remember her for a long time.

1 comment:

Odie Langley said...

That was a lovely time outside and I am sure the children will remember a lot more from seeing it before their eyes.