OUTDOOR DAYS

Kentucky Fourth Graders Visit the Dupree Nature Preserve
by Kenneth Brooks, Volunteer Preserve Monitor

Fourth grade students from Rosenwald-Dunbar and Wilmore Elementary Schools in Jessamine County and Camp Dick Robinson Elementary in Garrard County visited the Dupree Nature Preserve at the end of September. The visits took place as part of “Outdoor Days” sponsored by The Nature Conservancy’s Kentucky Chapter and local partner Bluegrass Greensource, with financial support from Toyota in Georgetown. This was the second year that area fourth graders participated.

During their visit, students hiked for about a mile within the nature preserve, stopping at four teaching stations along the way.

Fourth-grade students from Garrard and Jessamine counties hike in The Nature Conservancy's Dupree Nature Preserve.
Fourth-grade students from Garrard and Jessamine counties hike in the Conservancy’s Dupree Nature Preserve.

At each teaching station they engaged in a well-planned learning experience developed by Bluegrass Greensource staff on topics including tree identification, pioneer life, skulls of animals likely living in the preserve and protecting the environment. At midday, the students took a break to enjoy a sack lunch.

Kentucky fourth-graders participated in outdoor learning at The Nature Conservancy's Dupree Nature Preserve.
Kentucky fourth-graders participated in outdoor learning at The Nature Conservancy’s Dupree Nature Preserve.

Parent Ali Michell came along for the day and noted, “It was very worthwhile and a different way to learn.” Another parent, Lindsey Davis, and her daughter Isabella described the day as “very good.” Briana Campbell, a fourth grader from Wilmore, declared the day “awesome.” Upon their departure, the teachers chimed in about what a profitable and enjoyable day it had been and expressed hope that they could return next year.

Kentucky fourth-grade students relax outdoors at the Conservancy’s Dupree Nature Preserve.

The Dupree Nature Preserve is one of three Nature Conservancy preserves located in the Kentucky River Palisades. It includes nearly 300 acres and about 6 miles of hiking trails meandering through open fields or prairies (filled this time of the year with beautiful flowers including sun flowers, wind stem, golden rod and asters and native grasses) and mature woodlands with lots of views of the river, limestone cliffs and sinkholes. The trails also go to the banks of the Kentucky River following the route of a historic roadway. All three preserves are have parking areas and hiking trails and are open to the public without charge from daylight to dark.