Just a few hour’s worth of dedicated conservation work gives us a brand new trail to the beach!
On Tuesday, October 11th middle schoolers from River Valley took part in the Sauk County Conservation Day here at Upham Woods. This event was organized by the Sauk County Land Resources and Environment department in collaboration with the DNR, and the Sauk County Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS). Throughout the day, students were exposed to different conservation professions to help them understand different jobs that they could have in the future.
Most of the day was filled with fun choice activities. Some students learned archery with help from some of our local DNR conservation wardens. The wardens said many bullseyes were hit! Animals signs with the NRCs staff was also popular! After learning about different types of animal signs, students hiked along the Riverbend trail to put their observation skills to the test. Some kids even found a skull! Students are excited to continue to look for animal signs back at home. Other activities included water ecology, fishing, and nature art.
After choice activities, every student participated in a service learning project: building a trail. Erosion ruined our last trail, so we rerouted the trail to reduce its effect. During this project, students were taught the proper use of trail-building tools such as a rake, shovel, and McLeod. After gearing up with hard hats, they were put into small groups to clear debris and to re-establish a critical edge along that stretch of trail. This critical edge serves to mitigate erosion and is of the utmost importance when building a trail. When the session wrapped up, a lot of the kids wanted to keep working even though it was tiring. With the assistance provided by the River Valley Middle schoolers, we were able to finish over 80% of this trail. Thank you River Valley!
By Matt Becraft, WisCorps Service Member