Contact: Bonnie Strawser - 252-473-1131
November 17, 2011
Another Successful Wildfest in Eastern NC!
October 26 was a beautiful day for 230 elementary school students to participate in Wildfest 2011. This annual event brings educational partners together to help area children learn about wildlife and the natural world while having fun. Wildfest 2011, sponsored by Alligator River and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuges and the Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society, was held at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, NC. Many new activities were included for the 2011 event. The Lost Colony staff taught children a Native American dance focused on white-tailed deer. Other new activities were presented by the Elizabethan Gardens and North Carolina Sea Grant.
Long-time partners from a variety of North Carolina state agencies, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard and private organizations, provided hands-on activities which correlated with state curriculum standards.
Approximately 25 AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) students from First Flight High School hiked over to the site to volunteer for the day. Another 15 local refuge volunteers helped, as well. While some were excited to dress up in red wolf, sea turtle, or alligator costumes, others chose to be guides for individual groups of children or help make pine cone bird feeders. A few made use of their photographic skills and documented the day with photos and videos.
Since transportation costs may impede a teacher’s ability to take students on field trips, the Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society provided transportation grants to cover the expenses. Grants enabled local schools, as well as those from other counties, to attend. Teachers were very appreciative of the financial help.
Students had a great time AND learned a lot! One teacher wrote, “I have been teaching over 25 years, and it was one of the best field trips I have ever taken with my class. I can't tell you how many of my kids came up to me that day, and said, ‘This is the best day of school ever!!!’”
The Lost Colony taught a "white-tailed deer dance!" Photo Credit: USFWS.