Eighth-graders "moonwalk" down a blowout dune at Grand Mere State Park.

Archived Story

Grand Mere Park a trip to remember

Published 2:21pm Friday, November 4, 2011

By Kristin Sells, grade 8

Mrs. Cowe’s class

The field trip my class and I took to Grand Mere State Park was surely a trip to remember.

I learned many things in the woods, on the dunes, and by the shore about my classmates, nature, and most importantly, I learned things about

Jimmy Burnworth scours the Lake Michigan shore for Indian beads.

myself. I learned things that could not possibly be learned in a classroom atmosphere.

So what did I learn in the park, exactly? Well, I learned of three oaks and small tricks about texture and color variation to define them. I also learned about the sassafras, also known as root beer, plant. For example, the sassafras leaves come in three different shapes: the mitten, football and dinosaur footprint. Also, if you stroke the stem upward the leaf releases a slight, dainty lemon scent that is tantalizing. The plants and trees are just scratching the surface, though. The animals that live in the towering oaks are just as fascinating as the oaks themselves. Our guide pointed out the cavities made by woodpeckers. We even spotted some little black birds that chirped sweetly. Their chirps sounded like they were daintily calling, “‘drink your tea.”

But the woods weren’t the only parts of the trips that were memorable. Unfortunately for me, by the time my group was up the miniscule dune, they didn’t want to go up the vertical dune. So we hiked around the vertical dune, to the blowout from the lake. The guide led us onto the blowout and showed us how to moonwalk. We ran down the blowout and spent 25 minutes or so on the beach skipping stones, talking with friends and collecting rocks.

The trip was more fun than I anticipated, so I will definitely recommend the field trip to the future eighth-graders. I loved it because I was able to challenge and push myself beyond the standards I had set at the beginning. I think the eighth-graders of next year will love the hands-on experience they get to have at the park with nature; the opportunity to be outdoors and climb the dunes will amaze them.

Overall, I liked my trip to Grand Mere State Park and given the chance, I would definitely go again next year.

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