Raise your hand if you know what day it is when the children are sporting rubber boots and blue jeans!!! That is a lot of hands! Yes, it is OCEW – Outdoor Conservation, Ecology and Wildlife day at Linton Hall School. Most of you would agree that OCEW is a favorite among your children.
This unique outdoor program allows all of your Kindergarten through 8th grade children to appreciate and learn from our beautiful campus environment. Getting outside and exploring the surrounding woods, streams and fields is the best part of the program. Many of you have witnessed the results of environmental discovery as your children return home with damp clothes and muddy boots. You can’t get more hands-on learning than that!
Stewardship is one of the ten Benedictine values that we strive to emulate here at Linton Hall School. It is defined as respecting the beauty and goodness of creation as an act of God. Through our OCEW program, your children definitely experience the beauty and goodness of God’s creation. In addition they learn how to become ethical citizens with a reverence and responsibility for conserving the earth’s natural resources and diverse life forms, all while having a lot of fun. It enriches our science curriculum by turning complex natural science concepts into tangible experiences. Through inquiry, observation, discovery, and interaction with nature, each child develops a relationship with the natural world.
This semester, a few highlights of our OCEW program demonstrate a practical side of respecting the environment and supporting the use of natural resources.
The 5th and 6th graders collected pine cones from our campus, dried them and covered them in lard and wild bird seed. The pine cones will be placed in the surrounding woods as a food source for the wild birds. This activity will allow the students to observe how long these bird feeders will last during the cold winter months as well as the types of birds that are attracted to them.
In addition, the OCEW classes have constructed two wooden boxes filled with leaves and branches for composting. Collection containers have been added to the cafeteria so that all of us here at school can begin collecting organic waste for the compost pile.
Wood has been purchased to begin the construction of a greenhouse. During February, the focus of OCEW will include planting seeds to start plants that will eventually be moved into the greenhouse this Spring. The bounty from the greenhouse will be used by Mrs. Vargas for our school lunches.
Our 7th and 8th grade OCEW program includes the construction of a chicken coop. Our middle school Science teacher, Mrs. Mason, will once again hatch chickens in her class this Spring. Instead of finding the chicks a home elsewhere, they will be placed in the chicken coop and be raised by Mrs. Mason and her students.
Our Outdoor Conservation, Ecology and Wildlife program is unique to Linton Hall School. We are proud to be able to offer such a rich, wonderful and practical environmental experience to your children!