May 3, 2013

First-graders learn about animals during field trip to Russell Wildlife Area

By DUANE NOLLEN The Oskaloosa Herald
The Oskaloosa Herald

---- — OSKALOOSA — Oskaloosa first graders got to learn about animals up close Thursday morning when they took a field trip to the Russell Wildlife Area.

First-graders of Stephanie Edgren’s and Lesile Meyer’s classes visited the nature center. They participated in a scavenger hunt around the nature center. Then, they got to see some animals up close.

Mahaska County Conservation Board Naturalist Laura DeCook said they had some new animals at the center — three new turtles and a sucker fish in the aquarium.

After the scavenger hunt, DeCook brought out a black rat snake for the students to look at. The black rat snake is not poisonous, she said. The snake likes to live in wooded areas along creeks and rivers. The snakes are constrictors — they squeeze their prey such as mice and birds. The snake also likes to eat bird eggs too.

DeCook also got out some turtles for the two classes to have turtle races before lunch.

Edgren said there were about 20 parents who came along for the field trip to act as chaperones and to enjoy themselves.

Herald Editor Duane Nollen can be reached by email at oskynews@oskyherald.com