A volunteer points out a waterfowl habitat to Crete Elementary School fourth-graders during a field trip to the Holland Company Marsh in Crete. | Supplied photo
Updated: July 24, 2013 6:19AM
Just before the end of the school year, about 60 Crete Elementary School fourth-graders took their science class on the road.
They traveled to the Holland Marsh located at the Holland Co. corporate headquarters in Crete to participate in an outdoor class about conservation and stewardship of habitat for animals and plants in a wetland ecosystem.
The students were organized into three groups as they were welcomed by Jordan C. Wolf, Holland’s president and Jack Chan, ecological engineer of Land Resource Management Group, who gave the students an overview of the day’s activities.
Each of the three groups of students then participated in planting milkweed to create a habitat for monarch caterpillars and butterflies and in planting bulrush species to create a habitat for waterfowl, frogs and turtles.
They then were led on a walk where they strolled on the boardwalk and trail around the marsh and used their senses to experience and learn about plants, birds, waterfowl and aquatic life and the habitats they live in.
The groups of students were led by Lynne Carr, project manager for Holland, Brian Glaves, plant ecologist from LRMG and Holland volunteers Charlie Saak, building maintenance; Mark Eenigenburg, product engineer, Andy Morin, senior product engineer; Steve Pissarreck, designer/drafter and Nick Martino, product engineer.
The nature park has been utilized as an outdoor classroom in the past when LRMG helped organize Earth Day events in 2009 and 2010 for Crete Elementary School fourth-graders.
The Holland staff and teachers expressed interest in more frequent outings in the future, according to officials.
Through the success of the five-year-old prairie-marsh restoration project, Holland and LRMG continue to promote conservation awareness and the important role the private, for-profit sector can fulfill in teaching children to be responsible land stewards, company officials said in a news release.