Monday, 28 March 2016
On Monday and Tuesday morning, 4th – 6th graders with the Boys and Girls Club of both Hartville and Florence visited the Dargan Preserve, with nearly 50 students out on the trails exploring the natural world and, for some of them, stepping out of their comfort zones! At first, many students were worried about snakes, bears, and spiders but they all survived and found some beautiful creatures including insects, frogs, salamanders, etc. In fact, these students assist our BioBlitz greatly by identifying at least 4 species we hadn’t seen before!
As we began our discussion about the BioBlitz, we showed students a box turtle shell as an example. Immediately, the students began asking questions like “Is the turtle a vertebrate?”. It was really impressive that students were using these terms! What a great job, teachers and parents! One child also knew that yellow jasmine was the state flower. These students were teaching me new facts about South Carolina, as I am a Georgia native.
After about an hour of searching the woods for new species of plants and animals, the students walked away knowing how much effort it takes to search and find organisms. They learned that some things are easy to find, such as spiders, beetles, and millipedes but larger organisms like reptiles and amphibians are harder to find. My hope is that they went home feeling more comfortable with nature and a little less scared of bears in the coastal plain!
Below is a list of organisms these students found:
Box turtles, Carolina chickadee, ovenbird, longleaf/shortleaf/loblolly pines, American holly, highbush blueberry, slimy salamander*, millipedes (lots!), click bug*, wild rose, turkey tail mushrooms*, red bay, resurrection fern, Spanish moss, worms, and a Pinewood treefrog*.
* indicates a new species found on a field trip
Click the photo above to scroll through photos of their trip.