PEEP held at Rocky Edmondson Park
On April 5, Missouri Department of Natural Resources staff members who work at Roaring River State Park helped organize a PEEP (Partnership for Environmental Education Program) for Cassville Intermediate School fifth graders at Rocky Edmondson Park.
The event, which teaches students about conservation and natural resources, brought together staff members from SEK Nature Center, the Missouri Department of Conservation, Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Neosho National Fish Hatchery and the George Washington Carver National Monument.
Cassville students had the opportunity to rotate through six stations that offered information on trees, recycling, animals, the American bison, aquatic life and birds.
The station that focused on birds gave students an opportunity to construct bird houses, which will be distributed to Joplin residents during an event planned by the Audubon Center on April 22, Earth Day.
"The Audubon Center has some special things planned this year," said Tim Smith, Roaring River State Park naturalist. "When we heard what they planned to do, we asked if these students could help make bird houses for them. All of the houses the kids make will be going to Joplin."
In addition to building the bird houses, students had the opportunity to use binoculars to spot birds that make their homes in Rocky Edmondson Park.
New this year, each student received a PEEP Passport to Education, which contained a word search, a crossword puzzle and other activities that offered information on herpetology, insects, animal families, flowers, recycling, aquatic life, rocks and minerals, bird topography, famous Missourians, bison and trees.
Cassville Intermediate School fifth grade teachers said that the program helps students prepare for MAP (Missouri Assessment Program) testing, which will begin this month. The programs offered at each of the stations offered question and answer sessions designed to improve students' cognitive thinking.
Area residents are encouraged to visit the Ozark Chinquapin Nature Center in Roaring River State Park to learn more about PEEP.
On April 22, the nature center will offer a variety of special activities, including the construction of bird houses and tree planting demonstrations in honor of Earth Day.