Nov. 1-4 is Expedition Days Live, an interactive, engaging educational field trip event for local third and fourth grade students.
Students will leave their desks behind and adventure throughout the Lost Dog Trailhead to learn by doing with McDowell Sonoran Conservancy stewards, staff, and partners. Learning stations include “Trash over Time,” “Watersheds,” “Humans and Wildlife,” and more, according to a press release.
Animal partners Wild at Heart, Scottsdale Community College Center for Native and Urban Wildlife, Phoenix Herpetological Society, and Southwest Wildlife will be in attendance bringing the desert to life with animals like falcons, owls, tortoises, and Gila monsters among other reptiles and birds.
McDowell Sonoran Conservancy has hosted EDL for the past six years.
Beginning in 2017 with just 207 students, EDL has grown to reach more students year after year. In 2022, over 800 students from Scottsdale, Gilbert, and Mesa schools are anticipated to attend.
“We are thrilled for Expedition Days Live 2022 because the students always have an amazing time getting hands on at each learning station,” said Jen Bruening, education coordinator at the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy. “They gain such a deep understanding of the ecology of the Sonoran Desert and an appreciation for the environment they call home.”
Bruening is a certified interpretive guide, holds a bachelor’s degree in biology, and has been an environmental educator for over 10 years, the press release stated.
“Because we design EDL’s activities to meet Arizona State Academic Standards, it fits right into the teaching curriculum. It’s an intentional decision we’ve made that allows more teachers to participate since they don’t have to give up a day in the classroom to come,” Bruening added.
Expedition Days isn’t just for students — you can experience it for yourself at Expedition Days Family Day on Nov. 5. From 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., bring friends and family to the Lost Dog Trailhead to learn all about your place in the Sonoran Desert and how the choices you make in your daily lives affect the future of the environment. You can find the Expedition Days Live Family Day flyer here.
The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy thanks its partners whose support makes EDL possible: The city of Scottsdale, APS, Cox Charities, Thunderbirds Charities, The Charro Foundation, and Sprouts.