Fifty Joliet Public Schools District 86 elementary students participated in the Kids ‘n Nature program at Pilcher Park this summer. Fourth grade students from T.E. Culbertson, M.J. Cunningham, Edna Keith, A.O. Marshall, Isaac Singleton, and Woodland Elementary Schools attended the six-week program. The students and teacher chaperones traveled by bus twice a week to Pilcher Park for the sessions. The program will continue at these schools during the school year.
In addition to exploring and studying animal habitats at Pilcher Park and in Hickory Creek, the students hiked, made insect hotels, learned outdoor survivor skills, toured the greenhouse, practiced how to do archery from the expert archers at the Joliet Archery Club, learned how to transplant herbs and used them in a recipe, created art projects, and took home recipes to try at home. The Kids ‘n Nature program is a partnership with Joliet Public Schools District 86, the Joliet Park District, and the University of Illinois Extension Center.
“Our students are able to explore one of the beautiful parks right here in Joliet,” said Joliet Public Schools District 86 Program Coordinator for Physical Education, Health, and Athletics Joel Sischo, “We appreciate our partnership with the Joliet Park District and the University of Illinois Extension Center.”
“I wish every 10-year-old had the opportunity to participate in the Kids ‘n Nature program,” said University of Illinois Extension Center Program Coordinator Nancy Kuhajda.. “Besides learning so much natural science in a hands-on way, they learn those soft skills like teamwork, leadership, problem solving, independent thinking and conflict resolution.”