Newbury Students have fun and enjoy learning during Wet Labs!

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Newbury Elementary School held their annual Wet Labs event on May 2nd and May 3rd. 

Wet Labs is a special outdoor program for students in grades k-5 provided by Geauga Park District and Geauga Soil and Water Conservation with help from our Newbury BKP. This year’s theme is “Comeback Critters”, a program designed to highlight critters that were once prevalent in Geauga County, had disappeared, and are now returning to our area. 

The event was held at Oberland Park on both days. This was a really fun event for the kids and we always have a great time! We even have a special take-home surprise for the students. 

Wet Labs are A special outdoor program for grades k-5 educating our kids about our natural resources, plants and animals specific to Geauga County. 

  • Program lasts approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Each grade gets their own time slot for the event, so groups are small and students can work closely with our naturalists and educational directors. 
  • We learn in 3 stations: woods, fields and a sheltered picnic area.  
  • A Newbury Tradition for over 20 years! 
  • This program is unique to Newbury. We are the only school in Geauga County to offer this program.  
  • This year’s theme: “Comeback Critters”.

“Comeback Critters”

  • A fun and educational program designed to highlight critters that were once prevalent in Geauga County, had disappeared, and are now returning to our area. (Ex: Bald Eagles)
  • What was Ohio (specifically Geauga) like back in the 1800’s? (Animals, habitats)
  • What happened once the settlers started clearing the land? (Animals, habitats)
  • What is Ohio (specifically Geauga) like today? Which animals returned and why? What does the future hold? Can we make a difference? 

The students had a great time at the Newbury Wet Labs! They learned about critters that once lived here in Ohio and Geauga County, specifically. At one time in history, many of these critters disappeared for several reasons, and some returned.  

Ohio was home to many animals such as cougars, black bears, bobcats, bison, timber wolves, elk, white-tailed deer, eagles, turkeys, and the Passenger Pigeon, amongst many other animals. 

Students learned what it takes for a critter to survive: Food, water, shelter and space. They played games to represent these factors and even pretended to be all sorts of creatures, venturing into the woods and fields of Oberland Park, looking to see if they could live there as an animal. Could they live there today? Could the students find everything they needed or or would they have to learn to adapt? Or would the students need to move on, finding a more suitable home? 

The students really enjoyed spending some time outdoors, getting fresh air and muddy, and learning the importance of natural habitats. At the end of the program, a special treat was provided to them: milkweed seeds and redbud trees to help them do their part to encourage wildlife right in their own backyards. 

This extraordinary Wet Labs program is one the students look forward to every year. A big thank you to everyone who helped make the event possible!

Pictured In Cover Photo: Newbury Elementary School students enjoying the Wet Labs program on May 2nd and May 3rd.

Photos Courtesy of Renee Shott

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