A great field trip, in our own backyard
To the Editor:
I want to extend a huge thank you to Judy Coolidge and her family for hosting such a valuable and fun field trip on their land for the Woodstock, Andover and Crescent Park students. What a great day we had tromping around on their beautiful land, finding so many signs of wildlife and learning about conservation and the natural wonder that surrounds us. And thank you to all the experts in their fields who took the time to teach the kids. In an academic year that has been emotional and draining for a lot of us because of budget cuts and possible school closings, it was a bright spot to see people who love kids point out the natural wonder of the world around us.
We learned how a compass works, how to recycle, how to look for signs of wild animals, and what to do when you’re lost in the wilderness. We counted tree rings and learned to recognize some of the trees found in Maine. We talked about habitats and food chains, listened to bird calls, and caught tadpoles and mayflies and other critters that live in ponds.
It’s hard to convey in a letter like this how magical the day was, but it really was heartwarming that Judy and the presenters took the time to point out things like Lady’s Slippers and apple blossoms and the Bobolink bird, and sent the kids on their way with a toothbrush made of yellow birch, a sunburned nose, and a deeper appreciation of the things we see every day but sometimes forget to notice. And it was especially nice to enjoy the experience right here at home on the land of a local family, and hear from friends and neighbors who work close to nature. Thank you to everyone who played a part — it was a great field trip right here in our own backyard.