The 4th grade class from Anderson Elementary in Cross City headed to the Refuge on December 8 and enjoyed an exciting schedule provided by our amazing partners and volunteers. Every event is different, depending on the availability of station leaders, but they're always a blast.
Stationed next to the Refuge bat house, Shari Blissett-Clark of the Florida Bat Conservancy captivated the students with her live amBatsadors and bat knowledge.
The pollinator station with Jon Bremer and Cameron Zuck from the Florida Department of Agriculture's Division of Plant Industry, and Emily Kazan from FWS had a wide variety of pollinators to talk about. Hungry live caterpillars munched away on a variety of host plants while the experts described the variety of pollinator life from butterflies to flies.
To complement Ranger Vic's prescribed burn station, Ranger Jason Coates brought the Tiger Cat. Its huge masticating blades are used to cut fire breaks and manage understory growth on the Refuge.
Jeremy Geiger from the UF Nature Coast Biological Station returned with his popular collection of turtle shells, skulls, and two adorable live turtles.
Refuge volunteers, Robin Gallup and Mike Caulking, along with Friends volunteers John McPherson and Carol Lang led nature walks with observation bingo and leaf tracing.
Cristina Oliveria and Domenique Sorresso from UF had a hands-on archaeology station where the kids could touch all the artifacts.
Deputy Manager John Stark and Friends volunteer Sandra Milliner sparked the kids' imaginations at the carnivorous plant station. Scented stickers and crayons were available to create imaginary plants that lure insects for food. French fry traps sound like a winner to us!