Nature appreciation is an important part of the Nativity experience and our science curriculum. Hiking and Camping have been a long tradition to expose our students to the less urban side of the city, to teach them about our local ecosystems, and to share the importance of conservation. On a beautiful Friday in March, the 8th graders of Nativity Prep trekked back into nature. For this hike, we picked Mission Trails Park. Accompanying the class and myself, was Kerry Tyrell, our wonderful JVC volunteer.
The Visitor’s Center was our starting point with our first destination being the Old San Diego Dam. Along the path to the dam we spotted some Red Tailed Hawks and other wildlife. Some of the girls from choir serenaded us with Spanish praise songs as we walked. The kids enjoyed exploring the old dam and learned that it was originally built in 1803 to solve water shortages after a drought by the Spanish Colonists. We discussed why San Diego still faces drought and why the dam is not a practical solution to the San Diego of today.
The students were able to explore the grounds of the Visitor’s Center after lunch. They watched a video on conservation of our natural resources and the history of the park. The Center also provided some great interactive displays to help raise awareness of the local animal and plant life.
Our last exploration was another couple miles of hiking through the granite hills and mountains. The kids had their caution signals put to the test when we came across a Red Diamond Rattlesnake. Thankfully, they handled it well and the snake was undisturbed by their presence. After 6 overall miles on the day, we headed back to school.
Mission Trails served as another great NPA nature experience. It opened up discussion for cleaning up the river as a service project idea and enthusiasm for our natural resources. Written by Deborah Scipione, 6th-8th Science Teacher