Spring in Hopkins Forest: a First-Grader’s View

Drew Jones, Hopkins Forest Manager


On a bright, sunny Thursday in May, the first grade class from Lanesboro Elementary School took a field trip Hopkins Forest to learn about plants and to see how the forest had changed since their earlier visit to the maple sugar house.   Theirs was just one of ten classes from regional elementary schools to visit Hopkins Forest during the 2016 spring semester.   The field trips were guided by a cadre of Williams student educators — comprising Laura Lee ’17, Becky McClements 17, Ty Korfmacher ‘19, Natalie DiNenno ’18 (pictured here), Emma McAvoy ’1HMF7 and Sophia Wilansky ’16 — with support from the Williams Center for Learning in Action.   Indeed, they had one of its busiest semesters to date — hosting programs for a total of 345 students of various ages from kindergarten to sixth grade.  Over this three month span they mentored students in hands-on explorations of various aspects of forest life — from maple sugaring to comparative habitat surveys to plant diversity investigations.  http://hmf.williams.edu/


Some highlights from the semester included water scorpions and red-spotted newts in the pond, golden stone fly nymphs and two-lined salamanders in the stream, jack-in-the pulpits, wolf spiders and a litter of voles in the woods, color walks and nature bracelets in the garden, the sweet smell of maple steam in the sugar shack and, perhaps most memorably, the taste of hot silver-dollar pancakes!  We will let these narratives from Ms. Daly’s first grade class tell the rest of the story…