Week of April 7, 2024 – April 13, 2024

Elizabeth Suzedell staff member and Environmental Educator

by Elizabeth Suzedell, Environmental Educator

At Baltimore Woods, we have a program for children called Trail School. One of our naturalists brings a group on a hike to a different spot on the preserve each week for a mostly child-led exploration. It’s entirely outdoors- rain, snow, or shine. This new month has already brought us plenty of April showers (and snowflakes). Surprisingly, the dreary weather doesn’t bother my Trail Schoolers much. They cheerfully set out on our hike through the wintry mix of rain and snow last week.

We went to the forest around Phillips Cabin, located just above the pond. After a quick snack, the children were eager to explore and play. One child spent some time looking for creatures under rocks and logs (and found lots of worms, millipedes, and some interesting beetles). Another practiced balancing on some of the bigger logs. A few others built a fort to supplement their imaginative game.

Throughout all of these activities, we kept finding so many new signs of spring that weren’t there just one week before. A carpet of trout lily leaves, buds of trillium, bloodroot, and blue cohosh, and a dozen new mushrooms were among them. The children welcomed them with lots of inquiry and curiosity. Making these discoveries through direct experiences in nature engages their senses and teaches them things in a way that cannot be done indoors.

Do you have a favorite memory of one of your childhood discoveries outside?