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Igniting Curiosity Through CEED’s Nature of Science

Nature Center, School Programs

The best part about working with children are those “Aha” moments, which lead us down a series of “I wonder” questions.  A few weeks ago, we started teaching some of our classes at CEED’s Washington Lodge and came upon a beautiful discovery on our trails.  While the students and I were exploring the north trail, looking for possible locations where animals might shelter during the winter, we noticed many rabbit tracks.  Our north trail is full of an invasive plant commonly called burning bush and our volunteers have been working diligently at removing it.  Instead of taking the branches out of the trail, we have been creating piles of them throughout the woodlands to provide habitat for animals.  This past spring, we had a family of turkeys roost within one of them.

The children discovered that many of the rabbit tracks led them to the brush piles. This literal rabbit hole led us down a metaphorical rabbit hole!  Why are there more rabbits now?  Could the brush piles be helping the rabbits survive?  Who are the rabbits’ predators? From there our little nature detectives discovered some dog like tracks, which we determined were fox tracks. We began to wonder more.  Is this affecting the way fox survive? Since the rabbit adapted to their surroundings, will the local foxes make changes to their behavior? We are very curious and can’t wait to continue our nature detective work during session 4, starting on February 24th!

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