LOGAN — If you happen to wander into Logan Canyon’s Guinavah-Malibu campground this week, you won’t find the peace and quiet you might be after. Instead, you’ll find local fourth graders squealing with enthusiasm as they participate in hands-on discovery. In an annual activity coordinated through a long-running collaborative effort, hundreds of youngsters are searching for stream insects in the river, creating soil profiles, learning about wildlife migration and identifying plants.
This year, as in each September for the past 30 years, more than 1,500 Cache County school children are participating in Cache County Natural Resource Field Days. Coordinated by USU Water Quality Extension, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Hardware Ranch, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Stokes Nature Center, Utah Association of Conservation Districts and USU Cache County Extension, the popular event, held over two weeks, introduces children to basic concepts of soils, plants, wildlife and water quality.
“The students love it because they have fun while discovering new things,” says Tiffany Kinder, a USU Water Quality Extension outreach coordinator. “A young participant told me, ‘You may think the Logan River’s small, but it’s a whole new world in there.’”
Kinder says teachers applaud the program because corresponds closely to the state’s core science curriculum, while getting children out of the classroom and into nature.
Utah State University students volunteer more than 600 hours of teaching time to the program, which includes leading varied learning activities in field data collection, crafts and games.
This year’s Natural Resource Field Days, which began Sept. 9, continue through Sept. 16.