Clay Salisbury, NRCS Soil Scientist in Clinton, helps the students
understand how much we rely on soil to grow food we eat, and how soil
provides cleaner air are and water through plants that grow in soil.
Students gathered around a fish aquarium provided by the J.A. Manning
Fish hatchery. Representatives from the Hatchery helped the kids
identify a variety of fish found in Oklahoma’s rivers, lakes and ponds.
Donna Phillips, Earth Team Volunteer and volunteer at the Wildlife
Refuge, has the students build a water cycle bracelet, with each bead
representing a step in the water cycle.
Gary Grose, of Tipton Valley Honey Company visited with the kids about
how honey bees make honey and their importance in the pollination of
plants and flowers in our communities.
Comanche County Conservation District Manager David Kuntz and Comanche
County District Conservationist Kirk Schreiner cook a barbecue chicken
lunch to serve to the dozens of volunteers. They prepared a different
meal each day as a way to say “thank you” for the time and effort put
forth by everyone involved.
Spring Fever has been in full swing in classrooms across
Oklahoma. The nice days have both teachers and students begging to be
outside instead of stuck inside working on lessons from their school
The Comanche County Conservation District and the Natural Resources
Conservation Service (NRCS) in Lawton found a way to combine learning
and being outside.
The beautiful Wichita Mountains provided the perfect setting as over 900
fourth graders from southern Oklahoma took part in the Fourth Annual
Natural Resources Journey held at the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge
the week of April 29 through May 2.
Over the course of the four days, school buses from 20 elementary
schools rolled into the Environmental Education Center at Quanah Parker
Lake in the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge for a full day of outdoor
Each day, students traveled along a nature trail where they spent 20
minutes at each of the nine learning stations on the Natural Resources
Representatives from Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma Department of
Agriculture, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife,
US Fish and Wildlife Service, the USDA-NRCS, and others set up learning
Clay Salisbury, soil scientist for NRCS, gave a demonstration that
showed the students how big of a role soil plays in our every day lives
– from minerals we need to food we eat.
Other stations included interactive and fun presentations on water
quality, Ag in the Classroom, bicycle safety, wildlife, fish, fire
safety, plants, and farm animals.
“We appreciate this day so much,” said a fourth grade teacher from
Cache. “This is my fourth year to bring students here. They just love it
and get so much out of it.”
One of the students favorite stations was where snake handler Ron Orf,
with the Apache Rattlesnake Association, showed them various live snakes
and provided information about how to respond when they see a snake and
what to do when someone is snake bit.
“We’ve learned a lot of really cool stuff,” said one Cache fourth
grader. “I can’t wait to go home and tell my parents some of this stuff.
They’re going to think I’m really smart!”
“We are proud to be able to offer this opportunity to local schools,”
stated Kirk Shreiner, NRCS district conservationist in Lawton. “We
couldn’t do it without all the great volunteers and our district board’s
involvement. We really value the cooperation of all the other agencies
and partners that spent the whole week here to provide the kids with
this unique learning experience.”