Education

Students explore water, woods at Black Mo

The Bog Trail at Black Moshannon State Park leads visitors around a quarter-mile boardwalk above the marshy lake to observe water plants, flowers and animals. Soaring Heights students took a field trip to Black Moshannon as part of their science curriculum.
The Bog Trail at Black Moshannon State Park leads visitors around a quarter-mile boardwalk above the marshy lake to observe water plants, flowers and animals. Soaring Heights students took a field trip to Black Moshannon as part of their science curriculum. Centre Daily Times, file

When it comes to the local environment, Soaring Heights students know a thing or two.

During a field trip, students at the special needs school went to Black Moshannon State Park to explore the water and woods.

It was part of class curriculum that took a look into ecology.

School Director John Dibert said students were guided in a bog walk that demonstrated the northern Boreal Wetlands of Centre County, and learned about soil, water and natural gases that develop in the area from plants.

The students also were introduced to native growing pitcher plants, sundews and bladderworts, which rely on insects as part of their life cycles.

“Because students are from this area, it is a great example of the changes in altitude and topography,” Dibert said. “To be able to see and feel a lake and fauna that is almost a relic from the last ice age is really interesting. This is also an example of students understanding the effects of climate change.”

They were also introduced to plants that would normally grow in northern climates, but reside and continue to grow in island environments.

Those plants included cranberry and grass cotton.

And one of the more interesting parts of the field trip, Dibert said, was students being able to see remnants of some of the forest that was cut down in the 1800s. Logs still remain on the floor of the once-wooded grounds.

Students will also be able to continue their research on the micro environmental zones of the area by going back to the lessons they learned during the field trip.

Britney Milazzo: 814-231-4648, @M11azzo

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