West Grand students visit Rocky Mountain National Park

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photo by Faith Engel West Grand 6th graders enjoyed the day snowshoeing at Rocky Mountain National Park while they learned about watersheds, snow, wildlife and the Holzworth Historic Valley.
photo by Faith Engel West Grand 6th graders enjoyed the day snowshoeing at Rocky Mountain National Park while they learned about watersheds, snow, wildlife and the Holzworth Historic Valley.

by Faith Engel, WG 6th grade teacher

Over the past few weeks, different grade levels at the middle school have taken a trip to the Rocky Mountain National Park for snowshoeing. Last week, February 22, 2018, was sixth grade’s turn. We were taken to the Kawuneeche Valley to see exclosures and one of our most important local watersheds.

We learned that the moose population has grown significantly over the last few years, and they tend to over-graze on the willow. However, on the inside of the exclosure, the willow was obviously more lush and flourishing. We could literally feel the longing of a moose crawling under the fence to get at the forbidden plant, (and see the footprints of a hare who had better luck getting in.) We also discussed how the snow measurements were taken and how often, with a demonstration.

In the Holzworth Historic Valley, we were able to get an idea of what life in pioneer America was like in the antique and undeveloped log cabins of the early 1900’s, before electricity and plumbing had come to the valley.

After several hours, we had worked up an appetite and were ready to head home. Our volunteer parents were so greatly appreciated and we certainly cannot continue to have this much fun without their support! Thanks to the rangers at RMNP for hosting us, providing us with snow shoes and hours of guided fun. We can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next year!

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