HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Near perfect weather on the first day of fall provided a great opportunity for an outdoor classroom. That's what hundreds of Long Beach fourth graders enjoyed Tuesday at the Harrison County farm.
They learned about our environment and the importance of preserving natural resources while participating in Conservation Field Day.
"What do you do with that water?" asked the instructor at one of nine learning stations set up in the open field of the county owned farm.
Conserving water was the focus of that learning station. A student volunteer played along to prove a point about daily water usage. Taking a shower requires much less water than a bath.
"In three minutes, 10 gallons of water versus what?" asked the teacher.
"60," came the quick reply from students.
"60 gallons of water," the teacher confirmed. "When William did not turn that water off, how many gallons went down the drain?"
The wildlife biology exhibit was all about critters, with an emphasis on show and tell.
"Now, here's something interesting. You've got the eastern diamond back rattlesnake. Then you have, and this is actually a threatened species, this is a gopher tortoise," said the instructor, as he raised first a snake skin and then a tortoise shell.
How about a close-up look at a cow ant?
"Hold it up and look at the end of the tail, and see if you can see a stinger. It's real tiny," an instructor said, as two boys peered curiously through the small glass specimen jar.
"How many of you can swim?" was the question at one learning station.
Water safety is a lesson most Coast kids can appreciate. The lesson there was to put on your life jacket before the crisis causes chaos.
"The boat's sinking! The boat's sinking!" the teacher exclaimed, as the kids raced for the available life vests and floatation devices.
The crazy rush for available life vests proved the point about planning ahead.
"This is the pine cone from a long leaf pine. These are the pine what?" asked one teacher, while holding up a handful of pine straw.
"Needles. Needles, or what else is it called?" she asked. "Straw."
The rural, picturesque county farm offered the perfect backdrop for lessons about conserving our natural resources. The conservation field day is an annual event organized by the Harrison County Soil and Water Conservation District.