Notes from Summer Camp on the Sheep Farm!
Groton Open Space Association, through its Sidney F. Van Zandt Educational Fund, provided conservation scholarships for up to 10 children to attend a one week session of the Groton Parks and Recreation Discover Summer Camp.
In addition, we were also delighted to host two groups of those campers on the Sheep Farm for an adventure exploring the stream, woods and fields of the property. Two science teachers, GOSA volunteers, members of the Groton Senior Center OATS Program, and students and counselors together explored the biodiversity of Ft Hill Brook which runs through the Sheep Farm, into Mumford Cove and then out into Long Island Sound. After a brief introduction by our volunteer teachers, the students grabbed macroinvertebrate identification cards, dip nets, magnifying glasses, and holding buckets hiked down to the stream below the waterfall. After a brief demonstration on how to look for animals using dip nets and collection buckets, students were able to spread throughout the stream area and explore the benthic biodiversity of stream life. The students were amazed at the different animals they found: baby salamanders, frogs, helgramite and damselfly larvae, water striders, water beetles, and worms! The students were amazed at the benthic life they found and really understood the importance of the stream ecosystem to the area… abundant stream life is a direct indicator of the cleanliness and health of a stream!
A short nature walk along the trails was followed by additional explorations of some of the historic foundations, field plants, butterflies and the many ways to climb a large rock dropped on a hill by a glacier!