Last December, 4th grade students from Fort Washington Forest Elementary embarked onto the National Colonial Farm at Piscataway Park for an exploration of the site’s natural ecosystems. The Pumpkin Ash Trail Tour, which is all about observing nature–looking for it and listening to it–was added to the K-12 education program offerings last year. The students and their teacher were invited as a partner school to participate in the new tour through funding received through the National Park Foundation Ticket to Ride grant program. “Fort Washington Forest has been coming to the site for years,” says MaryAlice Bonomo, manager of education for the Accokeek Foundation. “But recently, limited funding for transportation has prevented them from taking field trips to the park. This spring, because of the grant, they are able to return for a second time this school season, to participate in another tour.” At the end of the tour, which takes students through three various ecosystem along the Pumpkin Ash Trail–forested woodland, wetland, and farm–the students were introduced to the site’s unofficial mascot, a rescued box turtle named Edgar, and each were asked to write a Haiku about their experience.
School tours for the Spring 2013 season are currently being booked. Contact MaryAlice at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 301-283-2113 to schedule a unique experience for your class today!