Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Tons of Trucks Equal Tons of Fun
Midwest Region, April 20, 2008
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What young child hasn’t been awestruck by the massive size of a fire engine or the sheer power of a bull dozer?  I remember the excitement that pulsed through my childhood neighborhood as a fire engine roared down the street.  For young and old alike, there is just something cool about big trucks.  This is the idea behind the annual Tons of Trucks event held in Columbia, Mo.  This one-day event gathers large trucks and equipment from across the community and displays them for young children and their families to experience.  Children had the opportunity to sit behind the wheel, pump the gas pedal, and honk the horn (they really love to honk the horn).  This type of direct experience is one of the best ways for children to learn about the world around them.


For the first time, Columbia NFWCO took part in this great event.  We polished up our 26’ foot, 375 horsepower, big river trawl boat and displayed it for the community to experience.  We also brought along live native fish.  Children had a blast climbing around in the spacious trawl boat, shifting gears, throwing the throttle down, and of course honking the horn.  But the highlight of the event was the live fish display.  The catfish and shovelnose sturgeon stole the show, intriguing both children and parents.  For many this was the first time they had seen these native fish.  The event was a great opportunity for us to educate the public and spread our conservation message.        


Despite a cool, rainy day nearly 1,000 people participated in this year’s Tons of Trucks.  This annual event is cosponsored by Columbia Parks & Recreation and Parents as Teachers.  While this was our first year, we hope to participate for many years to come.

Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov
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