The spirit of kids


Third graders from the Greenfield and Miami Trace elementary schools visited Duckworth Farms in Fayette County for a forestry and wildlife field day this week.

Representatives from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and the Fayette Soil and Water Conservation District provided information to the Greenfield students during their visit Monday and to the Miami Trace students Wednesday.

“The kids get a whole variety of different things they get to learn about,” said ODNR Information and Education Program Administrator David Parrott. “We have stations in the woods, and then after lunch we split up and have a demonstration with our mini sawmill, and then they get to look at some stuff in the creek.”

The students visited a forestry station that highlighted tree identification and the benefits of trees. They were shown pelts and learned about different animals that live in Ohio at the event’s wildlife station. A representative from the Fayette Soil and Water Conservation District spoke to the children about bats and the importance of forests for bats.

A representative from the ODNR Division of Geological Survey spoke to the students about the study of rocks and what it means to be a geologist, and a representative from the Fayette Soil and Water Conservation District taught the students about water quality and what they can find in the farm’s creek.

A representative from the ODNR Division of Forestry provided a wood-cutting demonstration on a mini sawmill that showcased wood from different types of trees.

The owner of Duckworth Farms, Chris Duckworth, said he enjoys opening his land to the students for the field trips. “This is the best program and most unnoticed around,” said Duckworth.

Duckworth said the program began about seven years ago when it was conceived by ODNR Division of Forestry Assistant Chief David Lane.

“We didn’t do it during COVID, but we did it before that, and we’ve always done it with Miami Trace students, and this year we have Greenfield so hopefully the program is going to grow,” said Duckworth. “It’s such a thrill to have these kids out here because you just stand here at the top and you hear them, and you do feel the spirit of these kids, and it is so much fun to watch.”

Parrott said the program is a good way to expose the students to their local environment. “You wouldn’t think it being from around here, but a lot of these kids have no idea what is right outside their back door,” he said.

Following the presentations, the students helped Parrott plant an American chestnut tree on the property.

Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.

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