Having Fun in the Parks is Also Educational!

We kicked off our fall programming with “Feeling Crabby,” a nature class for children at Daniel Island Waterfront Park and Trails. The class was offered first to the public and then as field trips to the South Carolina Virtual School. I was amazed at how much our local kids know about wildlife. Most of the kids were familiar with terms such as “sexual dimorphism,” “metamorphosis” and “respiration.” Although the kids were surprised that a female blue crab can produce more than 1 million eggs, almost all of them knew that crustaceans must molt, or shed, their exoskeletons in order to grow.

We had a great time catching mummichugs, identifying active land crab burrows, and catching fiddler crabs. These kids kept me on my toes, and I hope we’ll continue learning together!

Next on the agenda was a history and hot chocolate bicycle tour of Daniel Island. While this class of 18 Daniel Island residents was led by Ross Horton, we had a surprise visitor: Michael Dahlman, local author of the “The History of Daniel Island.” Our two historians filled us in on Daniel Island’s rich history in farming, lime production, brick production and cattle ranching. Park Angel extraordinaire Melissa Garvan kept us entertained and on time!

Special thanks to Mr. Dahlman for writing up the event for the Daniel Island News. Check out the pics and write up from the newspaper.

Our final November class was “Learn to Crab.” Because I studied fisheries management, I just loved teaching this class. I showed the participants how to rig up lift nets with pyramids weights and chicken backs. Each participant got a few crab recipes, a fishing ruler (courtesy of SCDNR) and their nets to take home. Since I forgot my camera, participants sent me their pictures. Check out the puffer fish that ended up in a crab net.

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