The theme for March has been CVNP Fun and we have had a ton of it! We’ve been out and about through rain, shine, snow, wind, and everything in between. Highlights are below and we have much more fun on the way!
EVERY KID IN A PARK
Fourth graders have an exciting opportunity to experience not just one, but all of America’s National Parks for FREE! We are inviting all current fourth graders to participate in a program at Cuyahoga Valley National Park and earn the Every Kid in a Park (EKIP) pass. This White House sponsored initiative seeks to educate, engage and inspire students within their national park. As citizens of the United States, fourth graders share in the ownership and responsibility to protect these special, safe, and shared spaces.
This pass provides free access to exciting, protected outdoor lands, including all national parks. EKIP Passes are valid for the duration of the time the student is in the fourth grade until he or she starts fifth grade in the fall. Since CVNP is free to the public, the EKIP pass will grant free access for the child that holds it to train rides on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.
Photo credit: DJR
Understanding that many students do not have access to the outdoors and our national treasures, we have secured grant funding available for programming that will lead to this pass as well as transportation needs to and from the park locations. Having a national park this close to your school provides an incredible opportunity for a hands-on learning experience. Our programs follow state curriculum standards and provide learning opportunities that supplement traditional classroom lessons. The funding has been approved for multiple years so schools can schedule for the current school year or upcoming years!
We are also in the process of creating new day programs. We would like to give a shout out to our field instructors and administrative staff for putting in extra effort to create programs that meet the needs of our teachers and will help us reach as many students as possible! One new program is called Changing Lands and Human Hands, a program about how humans have impacted and changed the land and what natural processes occur throughout time. To see our new programming or schedule a date, please visit our website or call us.
SUMMER CAMP OPEN HOUSE
We hosted our first open house of the season on March 19th. Potential campers learned about this year’s camp options, toured our beautiful facilities, and met our friendly camp staff! Summer camp in CVNP offers excellent opportunities for rising 4th -10th graders to explore, learn new skills, and make memories in nature. To learn more, join us at CVEEC on April 30th, 11-1 pm or May 13th, 10-1 pm. No pre-registration for open houses needed.
To register for our camps please visit https://www.conservancyforcvnp.org/education/summer-camp or call us at 330.657.2796
March 22nd was World Water Day. In celebration, we have teamed up with EarthEcho to bring citizen science to our programs! EarthEcho was founded by Jacques Yves Cousteau’s grandchildren, Philippe and Alexandra Cousteau in honor of their father Philippe Cousteau Sr. Students use special equipment to test the pH, turbidity, dissolved oxygen levels, and overall health of the Cuyahoga River in CVNP. The results are recorded on monitorwater.org so that the data can be used back in the classroom or around the world.
Students testing the Cuyahoga River: Photo credit Karen Schiely/Akron Beacon Journal
Read a great article from the Beacon Journal about the experience of Coventry students: http://www.ohio.com/news/local/coventry-students-get-back-to-nature-test-water-quality-of-cuyahoga-river-in-national-park-1.750883
Learn more about EarthEcho International here: http://earthecho.org/about
ALTERNATIVE SPRING BREAK
Our upcoming April theme is Happy To Help and the students that came to our Alternative Spring Break proved that our volunteers are just that! The Volunteer Management Office team and many of our rangers spent their weekend hosting and giving back with 33 college students from around the region.
Many students spent Saturday morning fixing a braided trail where hikers would walk to the sides to avoid a particularly muddy patch, resulting in trampled native vegetation and widening the trail significantly without resolving the issue of high mud areas.
Stages of narrowing and fixing a trail at the EEC. (Photo credit: Elizabeth Bargdill)
One crew worked on building new compost bins for the Environmental Education Center. This will be used as an educational tool when students come to camp in order to show sustainable practices and the decomposition processes.
Another group helped to build a raspberry enclosure and make our garden a more successful growing area so we can use fresh food in our meal plans and teach the public about local food sources. One of the projects was to relocate and stack wood throughout the park to be used for maintenance and programming.
Work and Play at ASB! (Photo Credit: Elizabeth Bargdill)
Above: CVNP’s Volunteer Management Office’s Liz is a previous ASB volunteer and helped to run the weekend this year. With her is Kelli, a SCA member that came to Ohio just to help for the weekend and Kevin, a Kent State student volunteer that attended his fourth year of ASB activities this year!
All of these projects will help to protect the environment, foster learning, and make a lasting positive impact on Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The EEC would like to give a big thank you to all of the staff and volunteers that worked so hard and made the weekend a huge success! Their projects will be utilized for classes with students at the center for years to come.
Keep an eye on our social media in April to see testimonies for why our volunteers love the park, videos of park projects, and insights to our volunteer activities!