Nature-based curriculum brings families to Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary for planting day | WLUK
GREEN BAY (WLUK) — Dozens of students and their parents are taking to the outdoors to learn about the environment and do a little planting too.
It’s all part of the nature-based curriculum at Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary in Green Bay.
With the signal from a familiar cowbell, Thursday’s planting day is underway.
“We are outside almost all the time,” explained Kindergarten Teacher Natalie Shikoski. “The kids are very connected with nature. They have their hands on the earth, their feet on the earth.”
About 40 students and their parents or guardians attended the morning session. One exercise involves digging in the dirt.
Riley Meyer is on hand with his wife and two children.
“My son Henry is here with his sister Clara, planting some vegetables. It went really well,” said Meyer. “So, we got a little bit of some sugar snap peas and then a greenhouse with some spinach.”
Others are inside, learning about growing vegetables by using hydroponics and a machine.
Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary Superintendent Steve Lakatos says the new system gives students hands-on experience.
“Each of them get to plant their own seeds,” said Lakatos. “And it’s amazing to see that just two weeks ago, these kids were standing there, putting that seed in the little pod, and now, we’ve got lettuce sprouts that are this big.”
Teachers say the lettuce could be ready to harvest in a couple weeks.
Not far away, a demonstration inside the Nature Center’s Greenhouse offers a lesson in native plants and keeping those habitats healthy.
“Even if their kids aren’t in love with nature now, I can guarantee all of them are in love with nature by the end of the program,” said Lakatos.
The nature-based learning program is a partnership between the Green Bay Area Public School District, the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary and UW-Green Bay.