Forest Service teaches kids about ecology

From front: Austin Schandel, Andrew Bellefeauille and Lehi Fish. Children participating in the Hike and Fish day camp on Monday, Aug. 12, 2019, learned about ecology and fishing. Photo courtesy Emily Stoddard
From front: Austin Schandel, Andrew Bellefeauille and Lehi Fish. Children participating in the Hike and Fish day camp on Monday, Aug. 12, 2019, learned about ecology and fishing. Photo courtesy Emily Stoddard

Six Cordova kids learned about ecology at a day camp organized by the Cordova Family Resource Center and the Forest Service on Monday, Aug. 12. Forest Service officers led the children on a 3-mile hike along the McKinley Trail, stopping at McKinley Lake to fish and to learn about the surrounding ecosystem.

Children participating in the Hike and Fish day camp were shown a beaver dam and learned how to bait and cast a fishing rod. Free backpacks and water bottles were also provided, said Emily Stoddard, prevention coordinator for the CFRC.

“We were worried about it raining, but, thankfully, it was so sunshiny and gorgeous,” Stoddard said. “It was hot, but we made sure the kids were able to refill their water bottles multiple times and stay hydrated… We took precautions to keep the kids from getting worn out and/or hangry.”

Snacks ran the gamut from apples to Oreos. For Stoddard, some compromises were necessary to create an event promoting health and education that children would find genuinely fun. The CFRC hopes to hold multiple Hike and Fish day camps next year, Stoddard said.