On Thursday, Nov. 30, and Friday, Dec. 1, students from the Mammoth Elementary STEM School traveled to Oracle State Park to participate in the park’s environmental education programs.
The Thursday group was made up of fourth, fifth and sixth graders in the park’s Odyssey Program. The Odyssey Program focuses on habitat and interrelationships between humans and animals. After being greeted by Park Ranger Dale Redies and the volunteer interpretive guides, the students were each given an identification card with the picture and information about a specific desert animal. While hiking along the Windy Ridge Trail, each kid was to identify food, water and shelter resources for their animal. Other activities included listening for animals and a scavenger hunt. The interpretive tour guides along the hiking trail were Shay Cardell and Kathleen Bober.
The first, second and third grade group participated in the Adventure Program which encourages awareness of nature through their senses. The students learn how animals use their five senses to survive. The group hiked the Windy Ridge Trail and were led by volunteers Dan Rafferty and Phil McNamee. This is part of the many activities and programs that Oracle State Park Center for Environmental Education offers.
Oracle State Park is looking for volunteer interpretive guides for the educational programs. No experience is necessary and training will be provided. They are looking for people who enjoy the outdoors and are willing to share their enjoyment with children. Training begins Wednesday, Feb. 17, and continues Feb. 24, March 2 and 9 from 9 a.m. to noon. The training will cover the Odyssey and Adventure programs, interpretive techniques, learning styles, introduction to plants, wildlife and geology of the park and safety protocol on the trail. If interested call the park office at (520) 896-2425 or email Jennifer Rinio at: firstname.lastname@example.org.