Holiday Camp is back in swing! On Friday, campers joined SPREE at Johnson Habitat Park for a day camp focused on trees. Trees make the air we breathe, but just what kind of trees grow around the South Platte River in Denver?
We started off the day investigating that question. Campers pointed out that there were lots of trees around camp, and when they looked closer they identified that we had both deciduous trees and evergreen trees. Deciduous trees lose their leaves, and were hard to identify- though our cottonwood trees have colorful attached leaves still! We were able to identify cottonwood trees, oaks, and box elder trees (by the helicopter seeds that are so much fun to toss in the air in fall!). The evergreen trees keep their needles all year so we were able to identify pine and spruce trees planted in our park!
After gathering knowledge and inspiration, campers focused their creativity on a fall tree craft. These simple crafts can be created out of brown lunch bags, and construction paper scraps. Some campers added a variety of fall leaf colors, and other decided to design their trees with some snow- hopefully we don’t see that too soon in our city!
We’re happy the weather was warm and sunny so that campers could get into the River for our favorite activity- critter crawl! The macroinvertebrates in our River seemed to be happy about the weather as well, because they were easy to find and we caught a lot! Our River friends use trees in many ways- trees & the shade they provide creates a stable temperature environment for the fish and macros that live in our city. Trees also help to keep the ground along the River in place!
We ended our day breaking down trees. We looked at tree “cookies” and learned about the different parts of the tree that are inside the trunk. Some campers took on the challenge of counting tree rings to see how old the tree was!
The final challenge of the day was to create a living tree constructed using the campers themselves! Campers broke down the different parts of tree, and using their bodies along with some movements and sound effects. How do you think we look?