SENECA CO., N.Y. — On a bright May morning in Sampson State Park, over three hundred students in the sixth grade climbed out of Seneca County school buses to participate in the 49th annual Outdoor Education Field Days, an event hosted by Seneca County CCE 4-H Youth Development and featuring local educators from the US Forest Service, the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Montezuma Audubon Center and five other organizations. The eleven stations spread over the grass beside Seneca Lake offered students a chance to explore, play and learn about bird migration, watershed ecology and pollution, invasive species, sustainable recycling, New York State geology, environmental science, animal defense mechanisms, New York’s black bears and how to participate in citizen science. “I was amazed at how well the event unfolded with all those kids and multiple schools flowing through such a tight schedule,” said Dr. Frederick Haynes of the Wayne County Gem and Mineral Club. “I was equally pleased by how responsive and interested a majority of the sixth graders were to me and to rocks and minerals.” The event, which took place on May 17th, is expected to return next summer for its 50th year and the 100th anniversary of Seneca County Cornell Cooperative Extension.
CCE 4-H Youth Development would like to thank Jeb McConnell of the Department of Environmental Conservation, L. Travis Sauerwald and Greg Flood of the US Forest Service, Jonathan Coyle and Delaney Lukowski of Wayne County and Seneca County 4-H, Donna Richardson of the Montezuma Audubon Center, Dr. Frederick Haynes of the Wayne County Gem and Mineral Club, Invasive Species/Watershed Educator Emily Staychock, Patricia Wakefield-Brown and Nadia Harvieux of the Finger Lakes Institute, Edith Davey of Ontario County Soil and Water Conservation District, Alexis VanWinkle of the Ganondagan State Historic Site, and the Teen Peer Educators of Seneca County CCE’s Seneca GR&EEN for their participation in the educational stations, as well as the Superintendent of Sampson State Park Joe Keeler for continuing to provide the park as a venue.
–Cornell Cooperative Extension Seneca County
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