Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fieldtrip to Middle Harbor Shoreline Park in Oakland, CA


Today we went on a fieldtrip to Middle Harbor Shoreline Park in Oakland, CA with other homeschoolers from the San Francisco Bay Area. Our East Bay Regional Park District naturalist, Tara Turtle, facilitated our awesome Bay Discovery adventure!

First, Tara used a felt board to introduce us to the bay creatures we might see and discussed the food chain--the kids learned that the ecosystem of the bay is dependent on several basics--sunshine, water, air, and soil.
We discovered that the bay is a home to leopard sharks, fish, barnacles, crabs, plankton, worms, sea lettuce, eel grass, clams, snails, snowy egrets, terns, moon jellyfish, and many other creatures.
Then, we were able to view previously collected specimens (a crab and clam) from the estuary, in magnifier viewing containers.
Next, the kids paired up and received a plastic bucket and viewing container to share with their partner on our specimen-hunting expedition.
We headed out to the rocks, mud, sand, and water to find snails, barnacles, worms, jellyfish, and crabs.
We even found a small dead octopus, which Miss Turtle said do not typically inhabit the bay!
On the way back, we collected trash from the beach area and deposited it in the trash receptacle at the park.
On our trip, were able to discover the wild animals and plants who call the San Francisco Bay Estuary home through hands on activities, guided discovery and exploration along the shoreline. We also discussed how this habitat is connected to our lives and our role in protecting and caring for this important space. Thanks EBRPD!

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