Parks link kids to science and environmental education

For-Mar on the Road gives us the opportunity
to reach out into the community and meet people where they’re comfortable and then get them
excited about the natural world and the Genesee County parks. So, when you go to the school,
one of the first things that we usually do are hands-on activities and get the kids up,
moving around. You learn in a very connected and engaging way, and on top of that, I always
try to bring an animal with me. And those are the parts that the kids really get excited
for, when they actually get to touch and hold and see a live, living animal that they might
not normally get to interact with. The Madagascar hissing cockroach. (You’ve got one on you.)
Yeah, I do, it’s right here. When you touch him, he hisses. (Tell me if you need assistance.)
I need assistance. But after they interact with them a little bit more and their classmates
interact with them a little bit, they start to see that it’s really kind of cool and their
curiosity piques and they really start to have a good time and really enjoy themselves.
This gives them the opportunity to see what’s around them and to appreciate the animals
and the wildlife. It opens their eyes to the world. The coolest thing I Iearned today is
that amphibians need more water than mammals. Once she has you look at her she has you give
your predator eyes. What For-Mar does for us is they bring nature to the classroom.
They brought the truck farm to our school. The truck farm program is a garden bed that’s actually been planted in the bed of a pick-up truck and it gives children an opportunity
to be exposed to the idea that they can garden where ever they want, in the strangest places
they want. I really like the truck farm, it’s really cool. We have a little raised garden
in the back of our yard. There’s flowers and there’s stuff to eat like strawberries and
eggplant. It’s like a virtual field trip that comes to the classroom. And it’s something
that they love and they talk about. We just hope to make the learning a little bit more
exciting. Something that the teacher wouldn’t be able to do on an everyday basis. We look
at an area that really For-Mar can fill with our expertise and we bring that expertise
to them. So that’s an area they don’t need to be an expert on, we’ve got the experts
here at For-Mar and we’re willing to come out to them. Well, all of the For-Mar programs
are wonderful. The family programs, the children’s education programs. We’ve attended many different
kinds of programs. They’re always, you know, well run. And, you know, are a great opportunity
for the kids to learn and enjoy the company of other children. And I think we’d be at
a loss for those kind of programs if it weren’t for For-Mar. I love For-Mar.

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