Spring Was Sprung
400+ Elementary Students Attend Spring Conservation Sensation
Prague, NE – The temperatures may have felt more like summer, but that didn't stop 400+ elementary students from celebrating spring at the Lower Platte North NRD’s annual Spring Conservation Sensation on May 7.
The annual festival for 4th-6th graders is held at Czechland Lake near Prague. Students from eight area schools braved an unseasonably warm day with 90+ temperatures to learn about fish and wildlife, tree planting, water, and other natural resources topics at eight different stations.
Students got the chance to see to see an injured kestrel on its way to a recovery facility, as well as a variety of pelts, antlers, horns, and more, at Wildlife Roundup, conducted by conservation officers from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
At the Lake Ecosystems station, students got to see live fish and insects up close as they learned what makes up a healthy aquatic ecosystem, and then hunt for more critters in Czechland Lake.
Secrets of Scat taught students how animal scat can give clues about an animal's diet and health. Students used Shredded Wheat, mint candy and other food material to represent fur, bones, fish scales, and plant remnants as they constructed realistic-looking scat with Tootsie Rolls.
Cast-o-Rama gave students the chance to practice their fishing skills as they tried to land casts in hula hoop targets floating in the lake.
At other stations, students planted trees and made tree ring “cookies”; hunted for hidden items using GPS units, learned about the hazards migratory birds face, and had to remember to “phrase their answers in the form of a question” in Water Jeopardy!
More than 7,000 students have attended the Spring Conservation Sensation since it began in 1991. The event is open to schools from Butler, Saunders, Platte, Colfax, and Dodge counties.
401 students attended this year from Fremont Public Schools, Logan View Elementary, North Bend Elementary, St. John (Weston), St. Mary's (David City), St. Wenceslaus (Wahoo), Trinity Lutheran Elementary (Fremont), and Wahoo Elementary.
The event was sponsored by the Lower Platte North Natural Resources District. Additional presenters came from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and the Youth Fishing Program, and the Lower Platte South NRD. High school students from Wahoo High School served as group leaders. In-kind services were provided by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Youth Fishing Program.