Natural Resource Field Day held

Published 11:20 am Thursday, November 30, 2017

By Eric Parker
Conservation Technician

MURFREESBORO – Hertford Soil and Water Conservation District recently held its 27th annual Natural Resource Field Day for the all Hertford County 5th grade students.

The Conservation District uses this opportunity to teach the students about the importance of conserving and managing our natural resources.

The event was held outdoors at the E. R. Evans & Sons farm in Murfreesboro where the students had the opportunity to see firsthand the many natural resources that need protection.

The students rotated between five stations, each having experts in their respected fields of Forestry, Soil & Water Conservation, Wildlife, NC Cooperative Extension and Hatchery Management.

Brian Hoggard, Chuck Munford, and Josh Powell, of the NC Forest Service, informed the students about the importance of managing timber. Their presentation elaborated on the roles that fire plays in forest management. They explained to the students that there are good (prescribed) fires and bad (human) fires.

After talking in more detail about fire, they transitioned into the tools used to fight forest fires. Pictures helped the students understand how planes and helicopters are used to fight fires from above, while they are on the ground. Examples of the tools kept on the trucks for fire fighters on the ground included communication devices, rogue hoes, fire rakes and emergency backpacks. Powell then explained to the students about the many uses of trees in products such as: soft drinks, television screens, paper products and lumber for building houses.

Gladys Owens of the Gates Soil & Water Conservation District talked with the students about how they directly impact the Chowan River Watershed. She explained the importance of runoff with an “enviroscape”, which is a model of a watershed containing residential, commercial and agriculture areas, each represented by different food coloring. The model then demonstrated to the students how different forms of runoff from fertilizer, pesticides, chemical spills and tillage contaminate our waters when rain events occur.

Tim Wadsworth, NC Wildlife Officer, presented the importance of Boat Safety. He brought a NC Wildlife boat, as well as, several different sizes and styles of life jackets that could be worn while on the water. He enlisted the help of several students from each group to show them how sizes and styles fit people in different ways.

Anass Banna, Josh Holland and Regina Moseley represented the Hertford County Cooperative Extension Service. The three talked with the students about the major parts of a plant, how plants grow using these parts and the crops grown in Hertford County. They also had an interactive demonstration that showed the physical changes to a seed once the germination process begins.

Sam Pollock, who represented the Edenton National Fish Hatchery, talked to the 5th graders about the importance of re-stocking fish populations that are reduced by natural predators as well as recreational fishermen.

After talking about fisheries management, he continued his presentation by showing the students a live American alligator. Pollock explained that Hertford County is one of the furthest points north that the alligators can live naturally. At the end of every session he allowed students to touch the alligator.

The Hertford Soil & Water Conservation District appreciates the hard work of everyone involved in making this event a big success. The knowledge that these students obtained will help ensure that our natural resources will remain viable for future generations. If not for the schools, teachers, presenters and Mr. Evans, this valuable learning resource would not have the success that they have been able to achieve for the past 27 years.