SMHT Color Logo 115x180px Ecology Project

5th Grade Ecology Project

This is an exciting project with the Hamilton Central School 5th grade classes conducted at the Leland Reserve.  The objective is to have the approximately 45 students in the two classes divide into 5 groups, each of which will visit specific habitats, one for each group, three times during the course of the school year.  Each group will study their particular habitat and develop season observations into a report to be presented to the other groups near the end of the school year.  We also hope to have the groups present to parents and possibly other students at that time.  In 2016-17 academic year, the program continues to be a success in its 8th year.  We expanded the program to Madison Central School in fall of 2016. With our property, the Gateway Reserve, acquired in 2013 and the conservation easement in 2014 on 25.6 acres nearby, we plan to expand the scope of this program.

The five habitats at the Leland Reserve are: old meadow, shrubland, young forest, riparian corridor and old forest.  These are well represented at the Leland Reserve (see guide).  SMH2008-1105John Novak & 5th GradeT Board members Greg Owens and John Novak are leading this project and provide professional expertise in ecology, biology and forestry.  The students and teachers  made one trip to the Reserve in October and others are planned for Winter and Spring. The group toured the entire Reserve and the specific study areas were noted.  We have placed snow depth rulers, bird houses and high/low thermometers in the five habitats as items to observe and provide habitat information.

2009 Summary:  The 5th grade classes visited the Leland Reserve three times during the school year, Fall, Midwinter and Spring, each time collecting data for their ecology studies.  In winter, SMHT provided snowshoes for the 5th graders so they could experience the fun of snowshoeing along with the observations of snow depth and various animal tracks. At the Spring visit, the students saw the first bluebirds and tree swallows exploring the birdhouses.  At year’s end, SMHT provided each student with a complimentary green logo tee shirt.  A couple of the students rode on the SMHT float in the Hamilton, NY 4th of July parade. Link to report on the parade.

2010 Summary:  Again the project proceeded about the same as 2009.  The addition in 2010 is a set of five videos prepared by the 5th graders.  Each year, board members Greg Owens and John Novak add new ideas and tasks for the students, continually upgrading the program working with the 5th grade teachers.  Every spring, the 5th grades receive a logo tee shirt in the color of the year.  It’s gratifying to see the shirts around the village in summer.

Watch them here           Spring 2012 Walk on new Wetland Trail  Icon Movie


5th grade classes in their SMHT logo tee shirts June 2009.  Every year the 5th graders receive a logo t-shirt.
5th Graders in SMHT Tee Shirts 2 cropped 750w

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Southern Madison Heritage Trust
P.O. Box 117
Hamilton, NY 13346

Banner photo by John Hubbard

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