By Lynn Fordin, grade 2 teacher
The second grade classes from PDS had a glorious day at Long Dock riverfront park in Beacon last Tuesday, October 6th. This park is owned and managed by the environmental group Scenic Hudson. Its location provides a great setting to view the river to the north and south, and also to net seine in a quiet cove. With educators Kate and Kristen our students moved through a series of workstations throughout the morning. Using rubber models of flounder and white perch – common fish in the estuary in salt and fresh water respectively- students were able to look closely at each fish and make beautiful fish prints. In addition, they played a water cycle game that directed them thorough its various stages, collecting colored beads that represented the paths water molecules travel as they go through evaporation, condensation and precipitation. After a hearty lunch riverside, Kristen and Brian donned chest high waders to net seine along the south shore of the park. Two sweeps of the net through the ebbing tide resulted in our catching over two dozen fish. There was tremendous excitement as the children helped lift fish out of the seine net and into the bucket for closer examination. Using a fish key, the students, guided by the educators, identified two of the catch based on well-defined physical characteristics; including body shape, mouths, fins, eyes and coloration. We determined we had a pumpkin seed fish and a striped bass. It was indeed a mighty fine day!