Ikes in Action: Ikes Provide Pathway to Nature Exploration
Maryland > “I found a salamander!” Local third graders spied salamanders and more on their visit to Bolingbroke Park, a 55-acre wooded park owned and maintained by the League’s Mid-Shore Chapter. The park sits at the headwaters of Bolingbroke Creek, a tributary of the Choptank River. The chapter has installed 1.5 miles of marked hiking trails and a pavilion that can accommodate up to 100 people.
The Mid-Shore Chapter has partnered with Pickering Creek Audubon Center for the past 25 years to provide Talbot County Public School third grade students with a hands-on nature experience, says chapter president Calvin Yowell. “Students rotate through three stations with Audubon educators, making observations and asking questions all along the way,” he explains. “While hiking through a diverse forest, students look for trees in every stage of growth – from saplings to mature trees and decomposing logs. At another station, they spend time rolling those decomposing logs over to find small animals such as beetles, worms, and red-backed salamanders. Students also spend time holding and looking at signs of animals they might find in the forest, including mammal skulls, furs, snake skins, and live turtles.”
The chapter routinely supports educational programs for local youth organizations and school systems, Yowell says. “We encourage the use of our park and facilities and enjoy the opportunity to make Bolingbroke Park available for a variety of uses.”