On Friday, May 7, the entire Blanco ISD third grade spent the day at Blanco State Park. The bus arrived at 9:00 a.m., taking 72 excited kids, along with their teachers and parent volunteers, to begin a full day of fun and learning. Teachers had already divided the students into groups with animal names like “bats” and “foxes” to set the stage for wildlife exploration. Interpretive ranger Mary Alice Partain enthusiastically welcomed the group and set the tone for the day’s activities.
The Highland Lakes and Hays County Master Naturalists came out in force to man the teaching stations set up around the park. Nyta Brown from Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Old Tunnel Wildlife Management Area shared her expertise on bats, and local herpetologist Dr. Jeff Holmes gave the entire group a fascinating program on reptiles.
The group of hungry volunteers and teachers were treated to a tasty, welcomed lunch courtesy of Blanco’s Subway. Nothing works up an appetite like a day outdoors! The children got to learn about how much a bat eats in a day, how to tell a carnivore by its teeth, how an aquifer works, how to identify local birds and fish, and much more. They also got to see up close, but not too close, a huge snapping turtle and a handful (literally) of local snakes. They played a habitat survival game and went on a scavenger hunt. It was a full day of fun for both the volunteers and the children.
Before leaving, each child received a fun activity packet to reinforce all the great things they learned throughout the day.
Blanco State Park would like to thank Blanco ISD administration, teachers and parents for making such a wonderful learning experience possible.