To the editor:
Thank you for great pictures (Sept. 28) of the Potter Lake field trip for Central sixth-graders, facilitated by Bob Hagen’s field ecology students. These trips are made possible by the Learning About Nature Project, sponsored by Jayhawk Audubon Society with support from the Elizabeth Schultz Environmental Fund, Lawrence Breakfast Optimists Club, Lawrence Schools Foundation and others.
The LANP (previously Wetland Learners Project) has provided free school trips to natural environments for seven years! Over 5,000 children, parents and teachers have had hands-on experiences learning about local plants and animals — from microscopic pond dwellers to wetland plants, herps, insects and birds — in their native habitats. Also, activities exploring visual, written and dramatic arts, environmental quality, orienteering, history and more have connected participants to the natural world.
Sandy Sanders, retired teacher and LANP coordinator, has been the creative and organizing force behind LANP, shepherding it from a vision of the JAS Education Committee to a reality for thousands of kids gaining understanding and appreciation of animals, plants and places they never knew existed. She’s involved USD 497 students and staff, environmental organizations and community members, the Lied Center, Kansas Biological Survey, Kansas University and Baker University scientists, KU and Haskell Indian Nations University science majors and others. It’s an unprecedented, incredible and laudable effort by people across the community who recognize the necessity of connecting children to natural places for their health and the health and preservation of the Earth.
Thanks to Sandy, JAS, and all the unsung volunteers of the LANP. They deserve it!