Students Rediscover and Blaze Trail to Pond
A group of 2nd to 5th-grade students work together to help others every Friday after school. Their mission for the fall was to clear an overgrown trail to the pond. Pine Point students visit the pond throughout the year to test water samples, observe seasonal changes, study habitats, and see wildlife. Under the direction of Lower School Science teacher Katie Cahoon, students in our Evergreen program worked together to uncover the original trail to the pond in order to provide our community with another way to access the pond and wildlife. The trail and pond have been used for decades by Steve Brown, Forrest and Frances Lattner Director of Social and Environmental Responsibility, as a core part of the 6th-grade science curriculum.
A key component of mastering skills and understanding is demonstrating learning to others. Once the students cleared the trail they presented their work to the whole school at an all school meeting.
Students Work Together to Help Others
We are the Trail Blazers! Every Friday after school at Evergreen our group worked on the Red Candy Trail. It is a trail that goes from the gym parking lot to the pond. It is a trail that Mr. Brown has worked on for 29 years! In the past few years, the trail has become overgrown. You could not see where the trail was at all. We heard it has some great areas to observe wildlife. But since we couldn’t see it first Mr. Brown had to show Mrs. Cahoon where the trail was. She marked it with the AllTrails App. Mrs. Cahoon then marked the trail with ribbons so we could cut a path in the right direction.
Students Work Together to Practice Safety and Respect
The fourth and fifth graders led the way, clearing away briars and larger debris. The second and third graders followed behind, widening the trail and making it so everyone could pass through. We had a lot of fun. We also learned how to be safe and respectful on the trails. For example, we learned about clothing and tool safety. Each week we made sure everyone had their gloves, long pants, and boots, and we learned to look out for briars and poison ivy. We made sure our tools were in the locked position when walking with them, and learned how to hike in a respectful way, giving the person in front of us room to move. We stuck together as a group so no one would get left behind.
After two months we cleared this entire trail, with some help from the sixth grade when they had their overnight at school.
We are so proud of the hard work and now we have a great trail we can use!
It was great to be stewards of the Manatuck Preserve. We made sure that everyone can enjoy the trails for many years to come, and do it safely and respectfully. Next we plan to make maps of the trail, and permanent blazes so that everyone can enjoy it. We hope to see you out there!
Oh, and if you have a trail that needs clearing. You know who to call: The Trail Blazers!