On May 16th, Friends of Blackwater visited the Mountain Laurel Learning Cooperative in Thomas to talk about wildlife, in honor of Endangered Species Day. Students ranging from 3 all the way up to 12 listed and classified species, deciding which were domestic, which were wild but common, and which were wild and rare. Domestic animals were represented by a (well-behaved) live chicken, while the rarer species had to be represented with puppets and stuffed animals.
Students learned how an animals habitat requirements and ecological niche could determine whether they were rare or common, and recounted their own encounters with local wildlife. We were excited to see how many students could name not just common backyard animals but more unique species like hellbenders, flying squirrels and cheat mountain salamander. Many students had seen bald eagles, and we talked about how Endangered Species Act protections helped that iconic species make a comeback.
Thank you to everyone at the Mountain Laurel Learning Cooperative for letting us join your class for the day!