Environment Erie

Presque Isle day campers learn about the environment

Sep 18, 2015 | Posted in News

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Environment Erie's program at Presque Isle State Park this week is introducing students to the park, to the environment and to community service.

Nine area students, ages 10 to 13, are in the midst of Environment Erie's weeklong Summer Field Studies Program.

They've taken bike rides and canoe trips. Still ahead are hikes and fishing derbies. On Wednesday, the kids used a net, called a seine, to collect small fish for study.

"I love the fact that we're learning about the environment," said Trinity Anderson, 13, of Erie, who helped pull the net through the shallow water on the north side of Misery Bay.

"But instead of sitting in a classroom, we're interacting with nature."

Program organizer Nate Millet said the activity taught the students how to identify different Lake Erie fish species, and to learn a basic scientific research technique for collecting fish and other aquatic life.

There is also a social aspect for the students, most of whom didn't know each other before Monday.

"There's also a bonding experience," said Millet, the education manager for Environment Erie. "You can see friendships build" during the course of the camp, he said.

This is the first year the program is organized by Environment Erie. In the past, it has been coordinated by Pennsylvania Sea Grant and Penn State Behrend's College for Kids.

The camp concludes Friday with a beach cleanup. Camper Calla Siegrist, 10, of Harborcreek Township, is looking forward to that.

"I like this program because it lets you be outdoors, and you know you're helping the environment," she said.

CHRISTOPHER MILLETTE can be reached at 870-1712 or by e-mail. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/ETNmillette.