Earth Science Exploration, often referred to as Nature Walks, is offered every Friday from around 3:45 – 5:15 pm, weather permitting. For the shorter trips we set out from the Club grounds and explore the surrounding parks and conservation areas, including visits to old growth forests and vernal pools. For the longer trips, we visit important geological features such as Mount Wachusett and Mount Moonosnoc.
Classroom sessions include Tree Identification, understanding the O2, CO2, and H2O cycles. On the walks themselves, children learn about bird watching, hiking, tracking animals and tapping maple trees, and after returning to the Club, they are able to investigate microscopic life using donated microscopes to examine pond and drinking water, sap, and other small specimens they collect during the walks.
Also included in Earth Science/Nature Walk is a class on Field Safety, which involves proper behavior towards animals and others, including identification and avoidance of potentially harmful plant and animals, such as poison ivy, poison oak, ticks, wild animals or stray dogs.
Children are interested in our environment, and it is vital for them to understand the value of conservation, natural habitats and our life- sustaining eco-systems.
Environmental education is facilitated by an employee of the MA Department of Environmental protection, and is a popular program.