SPARTA, Wis. (WXOW) - Wednesday was not bad for West Salem's 5th graders. The kids were able to get outdoors and explore for the day!
Three times a year, the kids get to visit West Salem's Outdoor Education Center. During the winter months, the kids strap on their snow-shoes and trek through the forest to learn about active winter animals, animals that hibernate and migrate.
Kamry Kjos, a teacher for West Salem Middle School, said it was great to have the kids back in person. Kjos said the pandemic has been hard for staff not to see the kids physically, but she said she knows it was even more challenging for the kids.
"We're fortunate to have all of the kids back at West Salem," Kjos said. "We have a lot of kids who do outdoor activities regularly with their own families, but then you have some kids who don't have this opportunity to explore and be one with nature."
The kids could touch and feel deer hide, owl feathers, and even hold a deer skull.
The West Salem Outdoor Education Center, also known as the OEC or School Forest, is settled on 130 acres in size about 20 miles east of West Salem, near Sparta. The OEC was initially established in 1949 and became school district property in 1978.