Pond Scientists on the Rise at Hartley Nature Center

Many Student Groups Flocking for Field Trips to Northland Educational Hub

DULUTH, Minn. – In this week’s Animal Answers we’re taking you on a field trip!

For some, it may be a trip to the park, museum or movie theater. However, many groups of Northland students are becoming seasoned pond scientists.

“I think if you start kids at an early enough age they’ll have an appreciation for the outdoors,” said Matt Willey, Environmental Education Intern at Hartley Nature Center in Duluth.

Every year as June rolls around, students have the tendency to be timed out in the classroom.

With a handful of days remaining, one class of Barnum Bombers is learning everything they need to know about tiny critters all around us.

“Frogs make lots of different sounds and there are lots of different baby animals,” said Ruth, a second grader from Barnum Elementary.

“If we can get any of these kids interested in the outdoors then they’re going to become the environmental stewards of the next generation,” said Willey.

For Willey, a love of learning and exploring the outdoors recently drew him into his first year teaching at Hartley Nature Center.

“Animals come in a lot of different size and shapes. Everyone’s always kind of attracted to the big cool animals,” said Willey.

Becoming hooked on lions, tigers, bears and more, Willey says young students often forget about small creatures so critical to our ecosystem.

“They might not be as exciting as a bear or a wolf but they’re definitely just as important to the ecosystem as everything else,” said Willey.

“Grabbing the nets and digging through the water to find different sorts of animals was fun and I learned a lot,” said Ruth.

Gallons of water encompassing life lessons right in our Northland backyard.

“It’s a great opportunity for them to come on a field trip to Hartley and put some of that stuff they’ve learned all year into action,” said Brett Amundson, Director of Operations at Hartley Nature Center.

Action, helping this group of second graders find answers to life and science.

“It was just a lot of fun and there are a lot of smart people who taught us about the pond,” said Ruth.

Hartley Nature Center will offer summer camps throughout the next few months.

Classroom trips are still available. Click here to find more information and to sign your class up for a visit to Hartley Nature Center.

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