Nucor and the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (LENRD) have teamed up to create further awareness in the schools about the importance of recycling. They developed a contest a few years ago called, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle & Beyond.” Students in grades K-4 are invited to tell their story about how they recycle, in the form of a poster, video, radio spot, coloring book, song, news column, or any other creative way.
The 2017 contest winners were Susan Fehringer’s 3rd grade reading group from Pierce Elementary, and Stacie Baumgart’s 2nd grade class from Humphrey St. Francis. They created videos showing how they learned about preserving nature’s resources by reusing and recycling. Both classes won a trip to the Tree Adventure at Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City.
On May 11th a chartered bus took the winning classes and staff to Arbor Day Farm for a fun-filled day of learning. They toured parts of the farm and were able to enjoy the Tree Adventure as well as the guided trails and tree houses. They also received t-shirts from the sponsors that they wore on the trip.
LENRD Information & Education Specialist Julie Wragge said, “Taking the students to Arbor Day Farm is always inspiring for me. Not only did the students learn about J. Sterling Morton and his legacy, but they were able to use their 5 senses to understand how important trees are for our future.”
Fehringer said, “We had a TREE-mendous day. We felt so lucky to be able to win your contest and go on this exciting field trip. We spent some time talking about our favorite things and what we learned. It was a wonderful experience.”
Baumgart said, "It was truly the best field trip I have ever been on. My students were fascinated with our tour, the immensity of it all, and the countless outdoor nature activities they got to explore and play on all day. It was one of the best learning experiences for my kids and so fun for myself to experience through their excitement."
Grace McPhillips, 2nd grader at Humphrey St. Francis, said, "I loved all the trees that J. Sterling Morton planted. He wanted to help the earth have clean air and families have trees. It was really really fun with the hammocks in the tree forts and my friends and I played house."
Wragge added, “I am very excited about our partnership with Nucor. This has been an awesome opportunity for the students across Northeast Nebraska. We want to encourage our teachers and students to start thinking about ways they can help their schools and communities become greener and be prepared to tell us in next year’s contest.”