Recently the Ohio Division of Wildlife designated Kendal Early Learning Center (KELC) an official WILD School Site. KELC children, with assistance from their teachers as well as residents of the Kendal community, installed and nurtured wildlife habitat on the 100+ acre campus, where The John Bartram Arboretum at Kendal at Oberlin and the school reside. Many species of wildlife are benefiting from the food, water, and shelter provided in the forms of tree plantings, wildflower gardens, bird feeders, and nest boxes for cavity dwelling species like bluebirds and gray squirrels.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Recognizes KELC as a WILD School
It was a day of sunny blue skies when the Kendal Early Learning Center children approached Center Pond, with their teachers and Kendal residents. The pond depicts nature in all its glory with abundant flowering lily pads, blue-green reeds and a family of ducks, who call it home. This is the site where the certificate presentation and celebration took place.
Before presenting the WILD School Site Certificate, Jamey Emmert, of The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife, spoke with the pre-school age children, who sat attentively on the bank of the pond. She asked them what the difference was between pets and wild animals, and the hands went up. Jamey then explained the importance of caring and protecting wildlife as you would for your pet. The children’s heads were nodding in agreement.
After the ceremony, the celebration began, with Jamey and her colleague Ken Fey, making fishing poles from sticks, fishing line, bobbers and hooks. With bait attached, the excited children, along with teachers, found spots around the pond to cast their lines.
Children Learn from Nature and Wildlife
The WILD School Sites program is considered an action extension of the national Project WILD program. Any educational property used by students, educators, and the local community as a place to learn about and benefit from wildlife and the environment can be certified.
Through this program, learning is brought to life by reconnecting children to the outside world while teaching everyday subjects through a specially designed Growing up WILD curriculum.
Children need vitamin “G”, that is green environments, and they certainly receive a healthy dose at the WILD School on the grounds of The John Bartram Arboretum at Kendal at Oberlin. These children are the next caretakers of our planet, what better way to prepare them. Learn more at www.wildlifeohiodnr.gov