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3rd annual Summerbridge Program with FAR
July 30, 2004
Forty youth, from 4-7th grades, with about 8 college leaders from around the country as escorts, followed Mike's beaver path around Groups A, B went with me in one direction, and Groups C, D followed Jamie Cerretti around in the other direction. We took plenty of time to point out various ecosystems, the importance of the beaver aspen cutting, and what needs to happen, and what is happening.
However, most of the time was spent in observation. At the end, we took a half hour to sit along the path (grassy open field) where we picnicked to engage in reflection exercises and the importance of community service that FAR was doing on a regular basis, and that Summerbridge was doing that day to help us by owning the area, and by learning about its diversity.
The kids were marvelous and picked flowers and were very well behaved, shared good information and observations among themselves by dividing up into reflection groups and they listened to my presentation on what lives on the Reservation, and improvements coming down the pike.
We observed through binoculars, the huge black cherry tree behind Dodge co. which were filled with fabulous bird life as the cherries were ripe: Cedar waxwings and a Baltimore oriole and a flicker were there. We ran into a baby dove hopping on the ground and the childen talked about whether it might live or find its mother, or find a way to fly, of if it were injured.
The highlight at the end was finding the bird feather nests, and observing how they were put together with dry grasses and large white and brown feathers. This enriched the reflections.
And I will have to investigate which bird builds such a nest.
A Beautiful hot day. Although it was a "community service" day for the youth of Cambridge, they were not prepared for the mile walk from the Tobin and then a work project before they trucked back another mile.