This year I was privileged to accompany another group of 5th graders from Heartland Homeschoolers to the Earth Wellness Festival.  Put on by several local organizations and many, many volunteers, this event is open for area 5th graders.  I think that they do such a fabulous job putting on this event, that I want to let my readers know about this community education event.  Each school group attends three varying workshops, then several groups come together to attend a giant Raptor Recovery presentation.  Rather than telling you anymore, I think I am going to “show” you!

Lincoln Zoo Animals CollageLearning about particular animals from the Lincoln Zoo.

  • Tegu lizard
  • American alligator
  • Skunk
  • Prehensile tailed porcupine

Getting to see these animals up-close and person was fun!  The lady telling about the animals did a wonderful job of engaging the kids and making the facts relatable.

Earth Wellness CollageNext we were on to learn about air from Mrs. Science with Science Reconnect. She also did a great job teaching the kids a bit about vacuums, air tunnels and how wind can hold large items in the air.

Our third workshop involved a game: “Build a Bison.”  Pioneers Park Nature Center in Southwest Lincoln has been the home to several bison.  The kids learned about how a bison is built to survive and how it adapts to its environment.  One of the students even got to dress up like a bison.

Finally, we joined several other groups in the gym for the crowd favorite, Raptor Recovery.  There is something about seeing these large birds of prey fly directly over your head that is rather awe inspiring.  That also keeps you on the edge of your seat.  Not all of the animals on display from The World Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis flew over our heads, but the bird keepers did walk around with the birds.  Hawk, Vulture, Owl, Peregrine Falcon, Eagle.  Definitely not birds that you see every day.  Amazing in flight and motion!

World Bird Sanctuary Collage

A big thank you from this educator to all of you who help make this 2-hour experience a great one for kids!


Author: neodyssey

My name is Gretchen Garrison. I started this blog about Nebraska in 2013. So far, I have written three books about Nebraska and Lincoln.