Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Juniror Master Naturalist Class in the Rio Grande

The Texas Junior Master Naturalist Class began last May with Chapter 1 (of 8 Chapters to complete). The group of students from Cameron Park studied the Rio Grande River, the environment of the Rio Grande Valley and learned about birds of prey.
Students went to Boca Chica Beach with County Extension Agent, Tony Reisenger, to see where the Rio Grande ended and flowed into the ocean. We saw a lot of birds: pelicans, a Crested Caracara, an oriole, tri-colored heron, great egret and a red-tail hawk... The students saw mangrove trees for the first time and we think we saw a cuckoo! We also caught many small fish in the estuary by fishing with a large net. The local fisherman showed us their catch and loved the attention of the kids, who were amazed by the fish.
The students who finished the work of Chapter 1 received a red tailed hawk pin. All continued onto the next chapter which primarily focused on butterflies. Our first classes we planted native plants (turk's cap, heliotrope, and tropical sage) that attract butterflies. Hopefully, in the weeks to come we will be able to discover butterflies as they discover the plants.
The Jr. Naturalist have begun to do some service work by picking up litter in our community.

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