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Local students enjoy Natural Resource Field Day

By Eric Parker
Conservation Technician

MURFREESBORO – Hertford Soil and Water Conservation District held its 28th 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 near Murfreesboro. This gives the students the ability to see firsthand the many natural resources that we are trying to protect.

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

Jason Odom, Hertford County Forest Ranger, John Kittrel, Hertford County Assistant Forest Ranger, and Chuck Munford, Hertford/Gates Fire Equipment Operator, of the NC Forest Service informed the students about the importance of managing timber.  The Forestry Staff talked with the students about “Goods From the Woods.” They covered the many items that are used daily that are made from wood.  Aside from lumber and other typical building materials, trees are also used for items such as glue, orange soda and Oreo cookies. The Forestry Staff then elaborated on ways that they assist landowners with managing their timber.  They talked about instruments that give forestry

North Carolina Wildlife Officer Tim Wadsworth talked with the students attending the annual Natural Resource Field Day about local wildlife species and hunter safety.

measurements, forest soils, parts of the tree and how to tell the age of a tree.

Eric Parker of the Hertford Soil & Water Conservation District talked with the students about “The Living Soil.”  He explained to the students the importance of soil and soil conservation. Parker discussed with the students different Best Management Practices (BMP’s) that can be used to reduce soil erosion. These BMP’s include cover crops, grassed waterway and nutrient management.  He also covered a few of the organisms that live in the soil which will help the students with ideas for the Districts annual poster contest.  The theme for this year’s contest is “The Living Soil.”

Tim Wadsworth, NC Wildlife Officer, talked with students about local wildlife species and hunter safety. He brought the wildlife trailer provided by the Dream Hunting and Fishing Program. This trailer has an assortment of wildlife species that can be found in Northeastern North Carolina, examples of taxidermy included ducks, bears, foxes, and pelts from other animals.

Anass Banna, and Vicki Wiggins represented the Hertford County Cooperative Extension Service. The two talked with the students about the major parts of a plant, how plants grow using these parts and the crops grown in Hertford County.

Emily Bunyea, who represented Merchants Millpond State Park, talked to the 5th graders about bears, their habitat, the gathering of food, and how much food bears need. She had students play a game requiring them to run and gather food as if they were bears. The students thoroughly enjoyed the activity.

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 it has been able to achieve for the past 28 years.