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September 26, 2018

Sandy Creek students learn about area ecosystems at Southwick’s Dune Fest


Students from Sandy Creek Middle School joined with other students from the nearby Belleville-Henderson School District at Southwick Beach State Park to take part in “Dune Fest.”

New York State Park Police Officer Ben Clark demonstrated the proper way to assist a person in danger of drowning without placing the rescuer in danger as well. Officer Clark talked to the students about his job as a Park Police Officer and boating safety, including the importance of wearing a flotation device when near the water or on a boat.

New York State Park Police Officer Ben Clark demonstrated the proper way to assist a person in danger of drowning without placing the rescuer in danger as well. Officer Clark talked to the students about his job as a Park Police Officer and boating safety, including the importance of wearing a flotation device when near the water or on a boat.

The dune fest educated students about the area including the dunes, animals and ecosystems and was put on through a combined effort through the New York Sea Grant, the State Department of Environmental Conservation, and New York’s State Park System.

Eight stations were set up throughout the state park and included a beach walk dune ecology, boating and water safety, fish of the area, reptiles and amphibians, a woodland walk, aquatic food web, birds of the area, and wetlands.

The students moved in small groups from station to station in twenty-five minute sessions to learn about the various topics with a hands-on exhibits and demonstrations.

Dylan Kimball, holds an Eastern hognose snake from the reptiles and amphibians demonstration during the Southwick Beach Dune Fest.

Dylan Kimball, holds an Eastern hognose snake from the reptiles and amphibians demonstration during the Southwick Beach Dune Fest.

 

One of the purposes of the dune fest event is to educate young people on the importance of the area and the importance of the ecosystem, especially the fragile dune system. It is hoped that by reaching the young people they’ll work to protect the fragile environment in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

Clockwise from left are: Angie Ross, one of the presenters at the Reptiles and Amphibians station explains how to differentiate between frog species to Sandy Creek students Logan Stone, Dominic Forcione, Sullivan Worns, Haylie Roberts, Chaiden Southwell, and Autumn Shephard.

Clockwise from left are: Angie Ross, one of the presenters at the Reptiles and Amphibians station explains how to differentiate between frog species to Sandy Creek students Logan Stone, Dominic Forcione, Sullivan Worns, Haylie Roberts, Chaiden Southwell, and Autumn Shephard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angie Ross, reptile and amphibian presenter, explained how to identify turtle species during her presentation. To her left are Sandy Creek students Logan Stone and Josh Balcom. Ross had several species of turtles including the painted turtle she is holding, a Blandings turtle which is quite rare, and a large snapping turtle.

Angie Ross, reptile and amphibian presenter, explained how to identify turtle species during her presentation. To her left are Sandy Creek students Logan Stone and Josh Balcom. Ross had several species of turtles including the painted turtle she is holding, a Blandings turtle which is quite rare, and a large snapping turtle.

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