Morrisonville Elementary School students visited the Goose Pond Sanctuary on Friday, May 23rd. Students were met by staff and volunteers from the Madison Audubon Society who shared the history of the Goose Pond, provided a tour of the prairie, helped students use binoculars for bird watching and identification, lead them on a scavenger hunt, and helped students add journal entries to their Nature Notebooks.
Students in Amy Williams’s 1st/2nd grade class from Eagle Point Elementary also visited Goose Pond to learn about kestrel conservation. The trip was featured on the Madison Audubon Society’s website. According to the Madison Audubon Society, American kestrels began nesting in the boxes at Goose Pond weeks ago. The prairie restorations at Goose Pond provide ideal habitat for kestrels to feed their young.
The trips were made possible by a Madison Audubon Prairie Conservation Education Grant awarded to each school earlier this spring. Morrisonville Elementary received $579 for the purchase of binoculars and nature notebooks so that students could study wetland and prairie habitats at Goose Pond Sanctuary. According to first/second grade teacher Julie Harrier, who wrote the grant on behalf of the school, “It (the grant) also covered the cost of prairie seed collection at Goose Pond for the Big Hill Environmental Learning Center, where students worked on reseeding, restoring and preserving the original prairie habitat.”
According to Williams, “Eagle Point Elementary received $309 to become citizen scientists. The grant paid for birding guides, urban bird research kits, and the trip to Goose Pond Sanctuary.” DAHS graduate and wildlife biologist Matt Giovanni helped students build kestrel nesting boxes. The wood was donated by Chase Lumber in DeForest.