Nicodemus Wilderness Project
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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Brubaker Park, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA

Brubaker Park, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA


Registered: December 2014
City/Town/Province: Narvon
Posts: 1
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Before measures can be taken to ensure that our environments remain beautiful for years to come, people need to educated about the environment and in what ways they can personally work towards improving ecosystems at home and abroad. What better place to begin this education, than with children in elementary school. Ag Awareness Day (which I have been in charge of for the past two years) is an event for third graders attending four local elementary schools. This day serves the purpose of educating the children about healthy conservation practices as well how agriculture and the outdoor world affects each person, every day of their lives. The event is fittingly held outside at a local park in early October. Led by high school students, it is an event that is highly anticipated by both the third graders and their teachers. Essential questions we strive to answer throughout the day include: “How can we maintain healthy forest and aquatic environments?” and “What can I do to ensure there is a strong future for agricultural land and clean waterways?” By the end of the day, both the teachers (high school students) and the students (third graders) better understand the importance of working together to build a beautiful community through developed agricultural and conservation practices.
I was inspired to lead this project because of a few main reasons. First of all, I was excited for the opportunity to teach young kids in our area about agriculture, the environment, and why it is important to make sure that our communities are kept clean and green. Secondly, I was inspired to take on the main leadership role by my agricultural advisors. They have always pushed me to step up and take charge, especially when it comes to promoting a healthy environment for all. A few of the responsibilities that came along with the leadership position included choosing topics to be addressed at each learning station, finding high school students to teach at 12 learning stations, contacting four elementary schools to plan a date for the event, and reserving Brubaker Park as the venue for the event.
Goals were an extremely large part of ensuring that Ag Awareness Day was a success. The two primary goals of the event were to (1) Educate the children about conservation and creating healthy environments, and (2) Provide a fun-filled atmosphere where both the children and the high school presenters gain a respect for those who diligently work towards preserving healthy ecosystems across our state. We reached these goals through careful preparation by station leaders, arranging details early on in the school year, and acquiring hands-on materials for the children to use by working with local businesses.
Careful planning, taking the steps needed to accomplish individual tasks, and working together as a group to reach our goals were all essential to ensuring that Ag Awareness Day went smoothly and that each child came away with a fun and fantastic learning experience! Hearing many good comments from the elementary school teachers and their students about how much they learned and how much fun they had, really was the icing on the cake and made all of the work well worth it.
There were only a couple negative experiences, or obstacles, that came from the organization and carrying out of the event. One obstacle I dealt with was that I sometimes found myself worrying that everything would not go as planned. I tried to overcome this by thinking about all of the great peers I had behind me to help make the day a success. I also checked in with each group of presenters to see what progress they were making, and also assisted them as they had need. Another obstacle was dealing with a few overly energetic third graders. We were able to handle this by continually involving them in the lessons and by the end of the day the situation was much better. No matter how well an event is planned, there are always obstacles that present themselves somewhere along the way. But by working together as a team, our group was able to complete Ag Awareness Day to the best of our ability, and in a manner that benefited each child who came.
Our project has benefited the community in many ways. First of all it has brought together different age groups, both young and old, to join together in learning and encouraging settings. The event has been able to spark an interest in the lives of young people to stand up and become apart of creating healthy environments at home and throughout the state. Though we do not know now, it is possible that through this first exposure to agriculture and the environment, one young child may be inspired to become a leader in either one of these fields. Through this event, the public and our community can see that the next generation cares deeply about creating and maintaining a clean outdoor environment for all. Hopefully the kids we have taught will desire to take action throughout their lives to better the environments in which they live. If that is accomplished, it makes the undertaking of an event like Ag Awareness Day very fulfilling.
Date: December 30, 2014 Views: 5133 File size: 37.6kb : 350 x 263
Hours Volunteered: 400
Volunteers: 40
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 18 & 14 to 18
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