Environmental Education Highlights
by Shane Gibson, Environmental Education Director
This article originally appeared in the fall 2019 issue of The Twig, our member newsletter. To see more articles and past issues, click here.
Our Environmental Education program aims to get people of all ages comfortable in the outdoors, interested in nature, and dedicated to protecting it. This spring and summer we were pleased to bring our free, hands-on programming to lots of groups in beautiful southern Indiana! Here are some of my favorite recent adventures.
BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB OF MONROE COUNTY
Teen campers discovered a box turtle, tried some wild edible plants, and learned about Monroe County history and the Mt. Carmel fault line.
Sycamore partnered with Cindy Creek’s second-grade class for an Archer Foundation Grant that funded the planting of six trees at school, tree ID books, and tree interpretive signs.
The uplands of Porter West Preserve (Monroe County) were in full bloom. Perfect for a spring hike and lunch in the woods with fifth and sixth graders.
IU HIKING CLUB
We’ve partnered with this private hiking group, which includes several Sycamore members, to lead fun outings in the past year. This spring included a hike at Dilcher-Turner Canyon Forest (Greene County).
Every student, K-6th grade, planted a tree in the woodland edge. But first students had to clear briars, vines, and invasive shrubs to make room.
STONE BELT CAMP SOAR
In an ongoing partnership with this summer camp for teens with disabilities, we had a great time fishing, doing insect sweeps and scavenger hunts, studying trees through story time and crafts, planting native flowers, and more hands-on fun outdoors.
In our public kids’ hiking series, ids and their grown-ups discovered leeches, frogs, salamanders, minnows, crawdads, fossils, and more at Yellowwood Farm, a private Brown County property protected by a Sycamore conservation easement.
1st and 2nd graders immersed in the creek, woodland, and meadow habitats of Yellowwood Farm.