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Logan School Students Learn and Grow at Mission: Wolf

IMG_6233In late May, a group of students from Logan School for Creative Learning participated in the Endangered Wolves Project with Cottonwood Institute. Cottonwood Institute instructors Kristin and Brian led the Logan School students, teachers, and chaperones to Mission: Wolf, a horse and wolf sanctuary located across the valley from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Westcliffe, Colorado. During their three nights and four days at Mission: Wolf, the students met wolves, played games, completed service work, learned about the ecosystem, practiced primitive survival skills, camped, and enjoyed time with each other.

These third and fourth graders came to Mission: Wolf with an impressive amount of knowledge about environmental studies, especially trophic cascade. Trophic cascade explains how a top predator in an ecosystem effects seemingly disparate species. For example, the eradication of wolves in the Rocky Mountains negatively impacted species such as elk, willows, fish, and songbirds. By coming into the program with pre-existing knowledge of trophic cascade, the Logan School students could begin to more fully understand the controversy surrounding wolf reintroduction by empathizing with various stakeholders.

Having such a strong base of knowledge also motivated the students while completing their service work. All of their projects give back to the wolves in many ways. Projects like fixing fences directly help the wolves so that the wolves stay safe in their homes and do not cut themselves on stray wire. Projects like moving soil to improve the trails indirectly help the wolves by improving experiences for other visitors at Mission: Wolf. One of the most intriguing, memorable, and impactful service projects was helping with the big feed! The students were fortunate that their trip aligned with the wolves’ big feed day, so many students were able to help cut up fresh meat and throw it to the wolves from a safe distance.

In return for working hard on many projects, the students were invited to go inside the wolf pens and meet the “ambassador wolves”. The students will never forget petting a wolf, looking into its eyes, and letting it lick their teeth as a greeting!

Among the highlights of the program were the games and activities that connected the students to the natural world like sit spots, Camouflage, hiking to the top of a nearby mountain, and simply enjoying the beauty surrounding them. During reflection, students raved about their experience as a whole. What a wonderful way to end the school year! Thank you to Logan School teachers and students, Mission: Wolf volunteers, and Cottonwood Institute instructors for such an amazing experience!

Logan School Student, age 10, reflects on their experiences at Mission: Wolf

Logan School Student, age 10, reflects on their experiences at Mission: Wolf


Categories: Logan School, Mission: Wolf, Program News, Updates

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