Southwest Fisheries
Southwest Region

Mora Outdoor Classroom 2015

The annual Mora School District Outdoor Classroom is an effort coordinated by the Western Mora Soil & Water Conservation District to bring area students together with interested State and Federal Agencies to learn about natural resource conservation.

This year it was held at the New Mexico State University John T. Harrington Forestry Research Center. The Mora National Fish Hatchery brought the living stream to be part of this exciting day.

The students toured through 9 different stations learning about different topics. The event was again a huge success.

Jeff Conway showing students
vials of preserved Gila trout eggs and
fingerlings.
Jeff Conway showing students vials of preserved
Gila trout eggs and fingerlings.

Gila trout and the Mora National Fish Hatchery
At Station One the students engaged with staff from the Mora National Fish Hatchery who brought their living stream with live adult Gila trout. While observing the fish the students learned about the life cycle of the Gila trout and were presented with preserved specimens of Gila trout eggs and fingerlings. The students also learned about the work done at the Mora National Fish Hatchery to restore this Threatened native fish.

 

 

 

Richie Garcia demonstrating stance to a student at the
archery station.
Richie Garcia demonstrating stance to a student
at the archery station.

Archery
At Station Two the students learned about archery from the Mora National Fish Hatchery Staff. Staff provided equipment and covered all of the field safety rules of archery before the students were allowed to practice with the bows. After learning safety the students also learned the basics of stance, loading, and releasing arrows at practice targets.

 

 

 

Staff present different tools for
measuring and planting trees.
Staff present different tools for measuring and
planting trees.

Forestry Appreciation
Staff from the John T. Harrington Forestry Research Center ran Station Three where students engaged with their presentation on forestry appreciation. The students learned about the research done at the Center, native and non-native trees, and the tools used to plant and measure trees. The students also learned about re-forestation of trees after events such as a wildfire or prescribed burn.

 

 

 

Students view a display
of pictures of different kinds of
weeds.
Students view a display of pictures of different
kinds of weeds.

Weed Control
At Station Four students learned about weed control the Soil & Water Conservation District Staff. The students learned about why weeds are harmful, weed identification, and the weed eradication methods of mechanical removal, biological control, and using herbicides. After learning about weeds the students were grouped into tag teams to pick weeds. Each tag team member had to pick a specified number of weeds before racing back to tag the next team member.

 

 

Students learn
about watersheds
through a miniature
portable watershed.
Students learn about watersheds through a
miniature portable watershed.

Watersheds
At Station Five students engaged with staff from the Soil & Water Conservation District who presented information on the topic of watersheds. Students learned about the importance of having healthy watersheds and how upland erosion can change them over time. The students also learned about stream restoration work that is completed on both public and private lands to ensure a healthy watershed exists for everyone and everything.

 

 

 

Students observe some of
the tools used by the State Forestry
Staff.
Students observe some of the tools used by the
State Forestry Staff.

State Forestry Service
The New Mexico State Forestry Division ran Station Six where students were given a presentation on forest fires and forest thinning. The staff talked about controlled prescribed burns and how they help the forest, they also talked about activities such as thinning the forest and fire management. The students also learned about wildfire and the different tools and methods for controlling them.

 

 

 

Tree cluster with
attached signs giving
students instructions on
their “journey”.
Tree cluster with attached signs giving students
instructions on their “journey”.

Migratory Birds
Staff from the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge taught the students about migratory birds and the dangers they face during migration at Station Seven. The students played a game where they had to migrate through 24 possible stations to get to their destination alive. As they migrated through the stations the students had to avoid electrical lines, cars, cats, and other hazards, as well as find food and safe drinking water.

 

 

 

Staff demonstrates how
the elevation instruments work
together with remote detection.
Staff demonstrates how the elevation instruments
work together with remote detection.

Calculating Elevation
At Station Eight students engaged with staff from the Natural Resources Conservation Service who presented information on calculating elevation. The students learned about the tools used to calculate elevation using a three-person, two-person, or one-person team. The students learned how to calculate slope and how important they are to engineers that design pipelines to carry water and other resources to their destination.

 

 

 

Students playing a
game of “Deer’s Ears”.
Students playing a game of “Deer’s Ears”.

Animal Wilderness Survival
Staff from the National Park Service in Fort Union ran Station Nine where students learned about animal survival in the wilderness. The students learned about adaptations of forest animals that helped them survive before playing a game called Deer’s Ears. In this game one of the students is designated as the deer and blindfolded, the other students then sneak up on the deer who must point at them and eliminate them before they get too close.

 

 

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Last updated: June 10, 2015