“C-A-M-P-F-I-R-E-S-O-N-G Song. It would help if you just sing along!”

This has been such a great week at Shepherd’s Corner. We hosted a group of local youngsters for a week filled with summer camp fun!

On Monday I was able to meet the campers, and it was such a joy to see how excited they were, and to see that they were so eager to learn all about mother nature. They learned all about composting, and how recycling goes way beyond just putting paper and plastic in bins. With composting, microorganisms, such as worms, break down materials, such as food scraps and vegetation, to turn it into organic materials to create a rich, nutrient-filled soil. This is then used in gardens to provide nutrients to the plants, and the process starts all over again. It’s the ultimate recycling!earth

Matt, my co-worker who is doing a year long stay at Shepherd’s Corner through Americorp., and I took the kids on a woods walk through the big woods on Friday. It was so much fun! We stopped at so many interesting spots along the path and had short lessons to go with them. For example, we stopped at the tree with the giant Pileated woodpecker holes where the kids were able to get up close and touch the holes. Did you know that woodpeckers have really really long tongues that they store by wrapping it up into the back of their heads?! It’s gross, but fascinating! We also stopped at a tree that is in the process of falling over, and the roots are exposed. Matt and I connected this with the life cycle of a tree; a seed is dispersed, a sapling/baby tree forms, a mature tree develops and becomes the home and support system for many animals for animals and surrounding vegetation, the tree grows old and dies, the tree becomes week and falls becoming food for decomposers, and that decomposed tree is transformed into nutrients for the next tree that will grow in its place. There were so many other stops and lessons along the way, and this experience made me even more confident in my choice of eventually becoming a biology teacher.

It was so important to have the kids out to Shepherd’s Corner because they are the future… literally. No pressure to them, or the rest of the younger generations, but the well-being of the earth is in their hands. However, they will not know how to take care of it if they don’t learn from those that already know what they are doing. Teaching these kids about conservation, gardening, and care for all of the earth has restored my faith that Earth is in good hands, and that it will thrive for many more generations to come.

In continuation towards preserving the earth, the resurveying for Ask the Land is still going strong! I have contacted everyone on the list given to me by Mark Dilley, and we have three confirmations from people that are willing to come and survey at Shepherd’s Corner!!! Jeff Bates (wetland specialist), Dan Boone (plant specialist), and Michael Hoggarth (malacologist – mollusk specialist) will be visiting to do their resurveying in July, and I cannot wait to be by their side and take in all of their knowledge that they have to share.

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About Shak's Summer

I am the 2015 Shepherd's Corner Summer Intern. I will be a senior at Ohio Dominican University, majoring in biology, environmental science, and life science secondary education. I am president of the ODU Birding Club, President of Panther's for Peace, member of ODU's Sustainability Club, and on the Cross Country and Track & Field teams. I love being outside where I can give my love and care to all of mother nature!!!
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