There is arguably no better way to learn and experience the great outdoors than by experiencing it first hand.
That’s why each spring and fall, our staff and team of volunteers are happy to welcome groups of students out to The Land Trust for Tennessee’s Glen Leven Farm for our “Nature’s Classroom Field Trip Program.”
This program is designed to provide a guided, immersive learning experience that sparks imaginations and encourages students to apply their five senses to gather information about Glen Leven Farm and its storied history.
From listening to the crinkling of the leaves under their feet, to smelling and tasting fresh herbs, to marveling at Glen Leven’s towering trees, local students from the Metro Nashville area experienced the farm in all of if its fall glory.
Here are a few moments from our last field trip of 2017.
In the Glen Leven Farm educational garden, Land Trust Volunteer Ashley Hagan taught students about how gourds grow and how we care for them. At the end of this station, each student had the opportunity to pick their very own pumpkin to take home. Without fail, smiles reached from ear-to-ear every time Ashley instructed students to go pick their favorite treat from the patch.
Across the field, Land Trust for Tennessee Board Member and Volunteer Bob Brandt helped students call out the many types of trees that make up Glen Leven’s arboretum – or as Bob likes to call it, its ‘museum of trees.’
The groups spent time searching the landscape for sugar maple leaves, black walnuts that had fallen from above and the incredible golden leaves from Glen Leven’s famed ginkgo tree, which is never more vibrant than in the fall months.
“Can anyone find a maple tree?,” Bob would ask. Hands shot up from the group, “There! There!”
In the Hermitage Hotel’s two-acre garden at The Land Trust’s Glen Leven Farm, garden managers Chris and Chrystal led students through an hands-on tour of the garden rows. Students learned the differences between the various plants’ leaves and textures and tasted vegetable and herbs directly from the garden.
The groups even had the chance to say hello to Glen Leven’s resident miniature donkeys, Will and Dave, and herd of cattle.
Beyond the stations, many of the students took joy in simply being outside amongst the 65-acre “classroom.”
During the last field trip of the year, a group of students approached a pile of leaves underneath the massive ginkgo tree not far from the historic Glen Leven Farm home.
After just learning about the tree, one young student couldn’t contain her excitement.
She jumped to them and began tossing handfuls of leaves as high as they would go, joyfully singing out, “Ginko confetti, ginkgo confetti” as the golden yellow leaves fluttered back to where they came.
After all, there’s no better way to experience nature, than to take part in its classroom.
The Land Trust for Tennessee’s “Nature’s Classroom Field Trip Program” is made possible with generous support from donors, local foundations and the efforts of many volunteers. Our special thanks to Charles Foundation, Shayne Foundation and Nashville Predators Foundation.
Our field trip program has concluded for 2017. Please check back for Spring 2018 opportunities.