CREA Field Trips at Cathance River Nature Preserve are Off & Running

Nearly 400 elementary school students (20 classrooms) have visited the Ecology Center in the past few weeks, with more visits scheduled virtually each day until the end of school in mid-June. Topsham 4th graders are using wind meters and light meters to measure different sources of renewable energy around the preserve. Thanks to grant funding from Battelle, we were able to buy four new wind meters this spring, giving students more opportunity to use these tools. Everyone also had a chance to gently hold salamander eggs — an incredibly eye-opening “first” for many students. Brunswick 3rd graders have been busy exploring habitats from the perspective of different animals, testing to see if the soil is damp enough for a salamander, or if the pond has enough basking logs and sun exposure for turtles. These students are also using nets and buckets to scoop up insect larvae from the pond. Tricky life cycle vocabulary terms like “larvae” really take on a whole new meaning when you discover one in real life, squirming amidst the pond muck in your dishpan! Kids and teachers alike are grateful for the chance to be outside exploring together, making discoveries all morning long. One group was lucky enough to see a surprise baby turtle emerge from its nest and travel towards the pond! We look forward to our next few weeks of field trip adventures with local students and teachers.