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Cool Summer Learning Experience Students Visit Horicon National Wildlife Refuge
Midwest Region, July 23, 2014
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Cool Summer Learning Experience student shares discovery
Cool Summer Learning Experience student shares discovery - Photo Credit: L Clemency/USFWS
Refuge Biologist Erin Railsback and SCA Intern Brad Stoner work with students to identify pond life
Refuge Biologist Erin Railsback and SCA Intern Brad Stoner work with students to identify pond life - Photo Credit: L Clemency/USFWS
Exploring the marsh
Exploring the marsh - Photo Credit: L Clemency/USFWS
Cool Summer Learning Experience students viewing eagle fledgling at Horicon Marsh
Cool Summer Learning Experience students viewing eagle fledgling at Horicon Marsh - Photo Credit: L Clemency/USFWS

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists from the Chicago Field Office work with students from the First Baptist Church of Waukegan’s “Cool Summer Learning Experience” summer program every summer. The program invites urban students in grades 4 to 8 to explore and connect with nature through a program that starts with visits to the nearby Lake Michigan shoreline and local nature preserves and includes a day trip to Wisconsin to visit the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge.

Along with the Chicago Field Office biologists, Horicon Refuge Biologists and a summer Student Conservation Association intern guided the students through a hand’s on experience of the marsh. Students searched for aquatic life from the boardwalk and were excited to find frogs, snails, water bugs of all kinds and even some water scorpions. Students also used binoculars to view wildlife such as black terns, barn swallows, mallard ducks, frogs and turtles along the broadwalk. The day ended with a privately operated boat tour on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources portion (southern portion) of the Horicon Marsh. Students were able to observe several bird species such as American white pelicans, bank swallows, yellow warblers, and bald eagles - including a newly fledged immature eagle and its nest.

Chicago Field Office biologist Shawn Cirton said “It has been great to see the kids’ reactions to wildlife that they observe while on the trips to Horicon National Wildlife Refuge. It has been very rewarding to see the excitement on their faces when they are able to see wildlife in their natural settings, carrying out normal behaviors while not being disturbed. It is also great to hear the questions that the kids have and to be able to answer these questions, indicating to me that they are participating and interested in the activities that are being conducted.”


facebook page for Cool Summer Learning Experience
https://www.facebook.com/Cool.Learning.Experience
Contact Info: Louise Clemency, 847-381-2253, louise_clemency@fws.gov



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