During the last days of April, Haddonfield Friends School had the opportunity to visit the MSU’s New Jersey School of Conservation in Stokes State Forest. The students participated in a variety of classes including herpetology where they looked for and found salamanders and frogs. Forest Ecology featured a walk through the forest investigating the role of woodland communities in the health of the planet. In Black Bear Ecology, students saw sighs of recent bear activity in Stokes and learned how researchers trap bears in order to study them.
All the students enjoyed the different environmental education classes and the NJSOC faculty remarked at how well the students performed in each of the classes. One student enthusiastically expressed how much she enjoyed hiking around campus: "My favorite part was the hikes and just seeing all the natural beauty surrounding us".
A particular highlight of the trip was the boating activity, led by AmeriCorps member Bobby Demarinis. As the students paddled around Lake Wapalanne, they found many different turtles including a baby musk turtle and a large snapping turtle.
According to Hadonfield's coordinator, Susan Miles, "It’s important for the students to just be outside. It is truly a novelty for many of the students and is extremely valuable today when most of their time is spent inside". Thanks go out to Ms. Miles and NJSOC program planner Lisa Mills for making the trip possible. Everyone at the School of Conservation looks forward to working with this wonderful school group again next year!