SCCF’s Pick Preserve, located directly across the street from the Sanibel School, is an ideal setting to incorporate Environmental Education into all facets of classroom curriculum. The Pick Preserve’s nature trail is contiguous with State land managed by the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge and is a wonderful example of Sanibel’s interior wetlands and mid-island ridges habitat. Students from The Sanibel School are led through the Pick Preserve by an SCCF Educator who conducts grade specific activities that are integrated with their Teacher’s curriculum. On a recent fourth grade Pick Preserve field trip students wrote about their experience.
A Fourth Grader’s Perspective – Luke Crater
The Pick Preserve is a great place to visit. You can see an Eagle, Hawk and a variety of other birds. You can also see aquatic critters such as tadpoles, shrimp, and water bugs. The plants are fascinating as well. There are Gumbo Limbo’s, Strangler Figs, Sea Grapes, and Sabal Palms. The Pick Preserve is quiet and a great animal nursery. When I went I saw birds of all types like Egrets, Hawks, Ospreys, and many more! I saw fish, frogs, shrimp, and other aquatic creatures.
I learned a lot of facts. Did you know that the average level Sanibel is above Sea level is 3.5 feet?
My trip was amazing and your trip can be cool too! The Pick Preserve is a great place to see and observe nature anytime.
A Fourth Grader’s Perspective – Kyle Klaric
Today I got to experience the Pick Preserve industry. In the beginning of the walk we identified trees that hinted we were in high elevation. We saw trees such as Strangler Fig, Gumbo Limbo, Sea Grape, and Cabbage Palm.
After identifying the trees and the importance of them we got into what parts you need to call an area a habitat. We came to figure out that you need food, water, shelter, and space. Our awesome tour guide Mr. Finkel, had us say it super fast so that we remembered it.
We kept on walking along the trail and then got up on a wooden platform overlooking lowland areas. We got into the subject of low land area plants. During the trip we heard sounds of cicadas and learned interesting facts such as the highest elevation of Sanibel is 12 feet. We also learned the Cattail, Leather Fern, and Spartina all are plants that give a descriptive overview that when you see those plants you are in low land areas.
Next, out tour guide put on his boots and went into the wet land areas. He brought us up Fishing Spiders, Tad Poles, and Aquatic Plants and Soils. While doing the activity we saw many birds such as the Red Shouldered Hawk, Osprey, Frigate Bird and Cat Bird. I learned so much at the Pick Preserve Trail and I hope to learn more on my next experience next year!
If you are interested in finding out more about SCCF’s educational programs or to sponsor a SCCF Pick Preserve School Field Trip or No Child Left On Shore field trip contact SCCF at 472-2329.
*Richard Finkel works full time with Captiva Cruises conducting a variety of Natural & Cultural History tours within Pine Island Sound as well as Night Sky Astronomy Cruises. Richard has led Environmental Education programs on behalf of SCCF since 1991 and can be reached at RichardFinkel@captivacruises.