Community News

Bethpage Fourth Graders Take Learning Outdoors At Bethpage State Park

Pictured: Fourth graders from Central Boulevard Elementary School visited Bethpage State Park and made observations. 

Photos courtesy of the Bethpage Union Free School District

While Bethpage State Park is famously known as the site of the Bethpage Black Course, it is also an important biological community full of wildlife, greenery and ponds that provide ecosystem services to the local suburban area and its inhabitants. With the special help of Yael Weiss, park ecologist at Bethpage State Park, Bethpage fourth graders from Central Boulevard, Charles Campagne, and Kramer Lane elementary schools recently visited Bethpage State Park as part of their science unit. The unit covered topics under the fourth grade heading of “Structure, Function and Information Processing” in the New York State Science Learning Standards.

Various sections of Bethpage State Park were explored, including the picnic area, golf course and newly created Discovery Center, which has more than 100 flora species, all labeled with identifying signage to familiarize students with different native plants. Victor Azzaretto, Bethpage State Park’s horticulturist, led a seasonal discussion on seeds and berries that fruit in the fall and allowed the students to observe the diverse pollinators for which these plants support.

Bethpage Fourth Graders Take Learning Outdoors At Bethpage State Park

Bethpage fourth graders threw down grass seed while learning at Bethpage State Park.

At another station, Alexa Roldos, horticulture assistant, guided the students along one of the trails to learn about beneficial woodland species and pointed out some invasives. In addition, Andrew Wilson, the director of agronomy for Bethpage’s golf course, demonstrated how math, science and engineering come together to maintain the golf course. Students saw machinery in motion, got their hands dirty with soil plugs, used moisture meters and threw down grass seed.

The students had a memorable time observing and examining during this special ecology field trip. Not only did they get to witness an ecosystem in action, but they also got to explore the beauty of their own community.

Related Posts