This year students from Western Reserve, Norwalk’s League Elementary and St. Joseph’s in Monroeville participated in the event.
This annual program is open without cost to all Huron County schools, providing a “hands-on approach to conservation” for the students. Teachers guide their students around the fairgrounds for presentations on topics such as forestry, wildlife, recycling, water, bees, soil and water, led by experts in their fields.
The students were made part of each presentation by being encouraged to ask questions, share their own experiences on the topic, handle objects related to the topic and in some cases create something to take home.
In the archery segment they were taught safety first, and one of the instructors was Kevin Kaltenbach, the top world archer in 2000. After some basic instruction, each carefully supervised student was allowed to shoot an arrow, something most of them had never done before.
Tim Malinich, with Erie County OSU Extension, taught the students about bees. Between sessions he said he likes working with this age youngster because, “It’s a great way to get in front of fourth graders who have a keen interest and are easy to engage on this topic.”
Because the students receive hands-on experience on subjects they have studied in the classroom, the teachers say it is an event well worth the time away from school.
In addition to Kaltenbach and Malinich, presenters included Donna Allan, Huron County Master Gardener; Lynn Sparks, Erie County Master Gardner; Mark Suhanic, forester; Steve Prebonick, ODA soil scientist; Alisa Schaffer, Huron SWCD; Merideth Gilbert and Nathan Kaufmann, ODNR wildlife officers; Brooke Bernhard and Dawn Thayer, Farm Loan Program; Tim White, Erie SWCD; Nate Watt, Huron SWCD; Anita Stotz, Soybean Association; Richard Kroeger, Ohio EPA; Pam Hansberger, Huron County Recycling; Courtney Dunbar, ODNR Office of Coastal Management.
Huron SWCD’s Lori Liles organizes the event each spring and invites every school in the county to take advantage of this opportunity. She is located at 8 Fair Road in Norwalk and can be reached at 419-668-4113, ext. 3.