“Reduce, reuse, recycle!”
“Conserve and protect!”
“Make our world a better place!”
These are all phrases that third grade students at Crystal River Primary school went home to share with their families on Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015. Earlier that day, these students had a unique field trip sponsored by Kings Bay Rotary were they participated in a cleanup of a local park followed by activities to enhance their learning. Students began the day by cleaning up Hunter Springs Park in Crystal River. Eight groups, which included about ten third graders, a chaperon or teacher, and a Rotarian, spent forty minutes collecting recyclables and trash throughout the park. Students were amazed at the amount of trash people just threw on the ground. One student even found a cell phone case that was tossed behind a bush! Several students remarked how they plan to make sure in the future that when they are done with something, they will make sure it gets into the recycle bin or the trash can. Before leaving Hunter Springs Park, students gathered and sat at the water’s edge to listen to Art Jones speak to them about lyngbya and plastic bags that end up in the water. Not only did the third graders learn about cleaning up the land, but also the water!
Next students traveled to Kings Bay Park in Crystal River to rotate through stations to enhance their learning of the day. Each station was manned by a Rotarian who spoke to students about the importance of recycling, conserving, and what impact they could have on the environment. At the water station, students demonstrated a real world example of water conservation. The earthworm demonstration opened students’ eyes to composting. The quiz station gave students the opportunity to show what they had learned. There were a total of eight stations. Two stations taught students an important recycling lesson that they could immediately go home and share with their families. Here, Kings Bay Rotary provided each third grader with a cloth reusable shopping bag and talked to them about how reusing this bag could save the environment from plastic bags “just one bag at a time.” Students were able to decorate their bag, and take it home with them. Many students exclaimed they couldn’t wait to use them the next time they went shopping with their families. The day concluded with a generous picnic lunch which included baked beans, coleslaw, hotdogs, hamburgers, chips, cookies, and drinks. This was more than a field trip for the CRP third graders. This was an opportunity for them to get real hands on experience with cleaning up and preserving their world.
Colleen Fail – Third Grade Teacher – Crystal River Primary School