About 10 minutes from Natural Science Academy in Cottage Grove, is a beautiful farm that sits on about 140 acres of woods that was once the vacation home of the Shepard Family. It was donated to Dodge Nature Center in 2013 for the purpose of environmental education. Guess who else is all about environmental education? NSA! That's who! Recognizing this, the folks at Dodge are kind enough to let us come out and explore this gem of wild space that's right in our neighborhood.
We made a few visits last school year and thought it would be the perfect EdVenture trip to kick off the new school year. I was lucky enough to tag along with the Snowy Owls on this unseasonably warm fall day (90 degrees!) Here's a list of some of the things we observed in the woods at Shepard Farm:
- At least 12 species of mushrooms
- A toad or two
- Clay in the ravine
- Apples on trees
- Deer tracks
- Racoon scat
- Beautiful green moss
- A wild turkey feather
- Seeds that hitched a ride on our clothes!
It was a great 2-mile hike and when we emerged from the woods we were so warm that we cooled off with some water at the well pump. For more pictures of our EdVenture, check out the Shepard Farm photo gallery.