These two days were dedicated to discovering what animals do to survive the winter!
On Monday we realized that many animals disappear over the winter months. Some animals migrate to escape the cold! We played a monarch migration board game, and got to take home some milk weed seed pods to help facilitate the migration of our local butterflies next year. And it isn’t just winged animals that migrate! We pretended we were in the mountains and reenacted an Elk migration, too!
Other animals disappear in the winter because they hibernate. Before these creatures cozy up for the winter, they often need to fatten up to store energy for their big snooze. We acted out fattening up with t-shirt layers and then we made some caves and dens to pretend to hibernate in! We also learned where cold-blooded animals go when they disappear for the cold weather. We learned that reptiles and amphibians hibernate in the ground- often under leaves and mud. We got to act out their hibernation with dirt dessert pudding complete with gummi frogs and snakes- yum! We wrapped up the day with imagining and illustrating ourselves as animals choosing if we would choose to hibernate or to migrate and explaining why.
Tuesday’s theme was animals that stay around for the season. Some animals stick around through the cold and snow and find ways to adapt and survive through the winter. We went on a hike to Confluence park to look for animals and animal signs to see what animals are staying in Denver through the winter. We played a capture the flag type game as birds trying to collect and cache seeds for the winter. Then, we got creative and made bird feeders to help out our local feathered friends! Some animals adapt to survive the winter. We specifically talked a few animals in particular that change color to help them stay warm and avoid predators. The ptarmigan, weasel, and snowshoe hare are all Colorado animals that switch their coloring to white! We made colored collages of these animals to change them from brown to many other colors!
Check out our slideshow of all the camp pictures below!
2014 was a great year for SPREE Excursions! We expanded capacity to take an additional 1,000 students on Excursions. In total, over 4,400 ECE – 5th grade students attended our hands-on field trips along the South Platte River. These students explored riverside trails, discovered native plants and animals, re-enacted Colorado history, panned for gold, rafted, and much more!
We also added two new official “SPREE Schools” this year for a total of 10! These schools commit to bringing all of their students on a SPREE Excursion every year. Throughout elementary school, these children develop a connection to the River and build the knowledge and skills to become environmentally responsible decision makers.
Campers looked at different bio-clues like tracks, scat, pelts and skulls to discover these mammal mysteries.
Our first task of camp was to discover what it means to be a mammal! We became mammal experts by playing a life-size board game all about mammals, played mammal old maid, and even dressed up lime mammals to learn about their adaptations. We also sorted animals into different categories and learned how to make a venn diagram to compare and contrast mammal features to those of birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish! We played more games, did more sorting, and even wrote a letter to Chompers after we were mammal experts! To finish up the day and to combat the cold, we turned into mammals at camp and made some shelters, caves, and dens out of sheets and furniture at camp!
On Tuesday we got a closer look at some mammal bio- clues. Bio- clues are things that animals leave behind in nature such as tracks, scat, and skulls! We made our own plaster tracks from different Colorado mammals and we also made a track identification book to use when we see some tracks in the wild! We also solved an animal mystery based on some bio clues we discovered: scat, tracks, skull, and fur- all ended up being from a beaver! Next, we got to explore our artistic side and channel Georgia O'Keefe with some skull water color paintings.
Next, we took to the stage and acted out plays about Colorado mammals that we had learned about over our days at camp. And to finish off the day we played a very silly Jeopardy- style bio-clue game called "Whose Scat is That?" where we solved mysteries and answered questions about Colorado mammals.
The Top-Rated Nonprofit award was based on the large number of positive reviews that The Greenway Foundation received – reviews written by volunteers, donors and clients. People posted their personal experience with the nonprofit.
While the Top-Rated Awards run through the end of October, The Greenway Foundation was part of the inaugural group to qualify for the year. In addition, we’ve been added to GreatNonprofits #GivingTuesday Guide—an interactive guide to top nonprofits throughout the years. Look for this near the holidays.
“Savvy donors want to see the impact of their donations more than ever,” said Perla Ni, CEO of GreatNonprofits, “People with direct experience with The Greenway Foundation have voted that the organization is making a real difference.”
Being on the Top-Rated list gives donors and volunteers more confidence that this is a credible organization. The reviews by volunteers, clients and other donors show the on-the-ground results of this nonprofit. This award is a form of recognition by the community.