Friday, April 5, 2013

Library Learning Patch Nature Club

Our third year of Library Learning Patch Nature Club has begun. We have changed our name this year  to  more accurately reflect the purpose of the program, teaching children about their natural world. This nature club is a joint effort between the Red River County Public Library and the Red River chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist organization.We are sponsored by  Friends of the Library.

Many exciting classes are planned for this year. Several members of the Texas Master Naturalists  will be teaching classes in their area of expertise. Bobby Cornelius  will also be returning to teach a class about bees.

Master Naturalist Judy Maroney is responsible for planning the lessons this year and Master Naturalist Sheri Schwed is responsible for overseeing the garden. Master Naturalists Kat Kraft, Truman Kraft, Sharon Black, and Jan Smith are teaching lessons and assisting in the classroom and garden. Sharon Black is also writing articles about our activities and distributing them to area newspapers. This year we have nine children in the class. Simon Pease is volunteering as a junior leader.

Master Naturalist Judy Maroney

Simon  Pease, Junior Leader
In our first class we learned about earthworms and set up an earthworm composting bin. We also tested the soil for the ph level and found that it is alkaline, perfect for our gardening.

Master Naturalist Sheri Schwed testing soil

In the second class we learned about soil and worked in the garden, planting lettuce, radishes and onions.

Planting Sunflowers
In later classes we have learned about parts of plants, seeds, how seeds travel.

Master Naturalist Jan Smith 
Examining a seed

Master Naturalist Sharon Black

We were fortunate to have one of our Master Naturalists, Walt Davis, lead a class teaching the children to observe things in nature and then draw them. All of the children had a great time choosing a leaf, examining it closely, discussing its characteristics with others, and then drawing it. Mr. Davis is a past director of the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas and former curator of exhibits at the Dallas Museum of Natural History.

Walt Davis teaching children to observe nature

Even though we covered the plants during the last freeze, we lost a few of our plants and it was necessary to replant. This farming is hard work!!

Stay tuned -  our next post will feature photos of our little garden.

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