The Sanibel School’s fourth and first graders recently went on field trips to SCCF’s Pick Preserve with SCCF Environmental Educator Richard Finkel. Fourth graders extended their science ecosystems unit by documenting the habitats, both large and small (microhabitats), within SCCF’s Pick Preserve while learning how SCCF manages and protects the land, including both its interior freshwater and upland habitats.
First graders continued their classroom plant studies with a look at the diversity of plants along the Pick Preserve nature trail and created leaf rubbing collages to learn about leaf shapes and structures.
Located directly across the street from The Sanibel School, SCCF’s Pick Preserve is an ideal setting to incorporate environmental science into teachers’ curriculum goals and to complement classroom studies.
SCCF is committed to being actively involved with helping integrate ecological studies and experiential field trips into The Sanibel School’s curriculum as it has done for more than 20 years.
Sanibel School students reflected on their observations through writings in a journal. Here are a few:
So today I am going on a field trip and our guide is Mr. Finkel. We had to cross the street to get to the Pick Preserve.
First, we went on the trail and we saw a gumbo limbo tree and Mr. Finkel told us that a gumbo limbo tree does not need leaves to make food.
Then we lifted up a log to see all the bugs and grubs, and we saw a scorpion so we did not get so close.
Mr. Finkel also told us that when you take a branch of a gumbo limbo tree and put it in the ground it will take root.
Lastly, we went to a little chickee and that was my field trip at the Pick Preserve.
- Carson Young, 4th-grade student
Today we were going to go on a nature walk and write down observations and things we noticed. We walked across the road to the nature preserve and I realized “wow,” nature is everywhere as long as you look. When I started, I saw a sea grape leaf with evidence of several insects living there in the past.
Then we saw the very “appealing” gumbo limbo tree. We saw the beautiful white ibis, heard cicadas and cardinals, and even saw the state butterfly, the Zebra Longwing. We saw many different habitats and then sat down in the beautiful chickee and felt the cool breeze in the shady building.
- Sam St. Gean, 4th-grade student
The tranquil sound of the chirping birds
the cooling feeling of the breeze
the damp smell of the grass
All of the beautiful scenes portrayed by nature.
All of the animals are in need of forests, and ponds, and trees.
Gumbo Limbo trees peel, and strangler fig trees
brutally suffocate other trees for nutrients.
Birds and butterflies are very common.
We saw ibises, fishing crows, and zebra butterflies.
- Quinn Spinks, 4th-grade student