St. Bede’s Science Olympiad team from Montgomery Catholic arrived at school on May 18, 2009, like any other day. But by 8:00 a.m., students got into cars and slathered on sunscreen and bug spray. Why weren’t they in their desks studying? Where were the sounds of books opening and pencils scratching? As the cars drove away in the direction of Millbrook, the destination was clear—The Alabama Nature Center! The first activity was a nature walk through a beautiful forest. Along the way, the students stopped to learn about the different kinds of trees and plants, including Water Oak, Wild Ginger, and Virginia Creeper. They even tasted the leaves from a Sourwood tree! After the hike, the kids picked up bamboo rods and went fishing. The pond was full of big catfish and tiny brim.
“It was fun and interactive,” recalls one fifth grader, Kathleen Beesley. When they were done, they ate lunch and rounded off the day with a creek walk. The water was cold and gorgeous, and not even the sighting of a water moccasin could faze this fearless group. When the time came to leave, every child was completely at home with nature, and parents and children alike were hoping to come back soon.