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Fifth graders enjoy outdoor classroom

MURFREESBORO – Students attending the very first Hertford County Natural Resources Field Day back in 1990 are edging closer to “30-something” by now.

The next generation to learn about the wonders of natural resources were groomed near here earlier this week.

Fifth grade students from throughout Hertford County arrived by bus and van here Tuesday at Storey Brook Farm outside of Murfreesboro where they were treated to a wide variety of educational topics concerning the history and protection of natural resources.

Sponsored by the Hertford County Soil and Water Conservation District, the annual event was attended by fifth graders representing Ahoskie Elementary, Riverview Elementary and Ridgecroft School.

Walking from station to station, set up around a scenic irrigation pond on the property owned by J. Lewis Storey, the students were the recipients of natural resource information from representatives of various local agencies.

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Officer Tim Wadsworth informed his young audience of boating and hunting safety.

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Soil Scientist John Gagnon demonstrated the various soil types found in the local area.

Michael Hughes, Chris Smith and Chuck Mumford of the Hertford County Office of the North Carolina Forest Service taught the students tree identification, fire prevention and products made from wood.

North Carolina Cooperative Extension (Hertford County office) was on hand to broaden the children’s knowledge of the importance of maintaining farms in order to feed the world. Extension agents present were Byron Simonds, Natalie Rountree, Melanie Storey, Jacob Searcy and Becky Castelloe.

Bryan Short, Greg Hughes and Dottie Robertson of the Hertford County Soil and Water Conservation District informed the students about best management practices on farmland to improve water quality. Those practices included no-till operations, erosion control and animal waste management.

“We really appreciate the hospitality shown each and every year by Mr. J. Lewis Storey and his family for letting us use his farm as an outdoor classroom,” said Greg Hughes. “Thanks to his kindness and thanks to the informative sessions led by all those involved, we were able to educate the young people of this county to the importance of protecting our natural resources.”