Valley Falls USD 338’s Earth Day field trip heads to Perry

VALLEY FALLS — The kids had to keep their voices and excitement down as they headed into the Northwest Marsh, so nature let the excitement out for them.

Birds sang their loudest songs, while frogs croaked along the edge of the waterline to the students. One might say that an unexpected bald eagle’s nest disrupted the Valley Falls Elementary School field trip to the marsh, but teachers instead used it as a chance to enhance the kids’ outdoor experience as they learned about conservation and respecting animals’ habitats.

This was the great outdoors — just 100 of the expansive 1,000 acres of protected wetland habitat surrounding Valley Falls and making up the Perry Wildlife Area.

And on Earth Day, it would be their classroom.

Earth Day field trip teaches students about Kansas wetland conservation

Valley Falls Elementary School students look out over a marsh as part of the school's Earth Day field trip to Perry Wildlife Area on Friday.

“Aren’t you happy to be outside and not in school today?” Fifth-grade teacher Paula Leidel, who organized the trip, asked the students. “But just because we’re not in a school doesn’t mean we’re not in a classroom. This is your school today.”

Andrew Page, a Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism area manager, introduced the children to the marsh and wetlands. He told them about the various birds and wildlife that make the marsh their home.

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