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Education

Corps of Engineers Park Rangers work throughout the year with local grade and high school groups. Highlighting the Spring season is the annual Earth Day celebration. Third and sixth grade school children attend day-long educational activities here at Rend Lake. In addition to Earth Day activities the Corps offers many programs to school groups, clubs, and organizations. These programs are offered on an on-site and off-site basis depending on the needs of the group and the program content desired. To schedule an interpretive program contact Rend Lake at 1-618-724-2493 or by email: rendinfo@usace.army.mil

Educational Programs

SAFE PASSAGE- VIDEO AND ACTIVITIES

While visiting their grandparents cabin on the lake Jason and Holly discover a navigation compass that takes them on a magical trip. In order to get a safe passage home they musts learn the rules of water safety and learn to work together as a team. Video and teachers kit available for loan upon request. Video is 38 minutes long. Program 1 hour.

RANGER WILLIE B. SAFE

Let Willie teach you how to be safe around the water. Join in some fun activities that could save your life.

WHAT'S THE BUZZ!

Bees, nature's pollinators! Join us for a fascinating trip through a honey bees short, busy life. If program is given at the Rend Lake Visitor Center a live demonstration bee hive will be utilized.

GOODNESS SNAKES

Are snakes good or are they bad? Or, are they just one part of the area's ecology? Discover their roles in nature and why they are essential. Available Fall and Spring. 30-45 minutes.

COMMON CRITTERS OF THE REND LAKE AREA

Students will learn how to identify signs of the many types of animals found in the Rend Lake area. Includes a 3/4 mile hike on Rend Lake's Blackberry Nature Trail. Available Fall and Spring. 45 minutes.

THE PREDATORS

Why are predators necessary and what are their roles in our ecosystem? Predators discussed will include snakes, owls, bobcats, and more. 45 minutes.

WATCHABLE WILDLIFE OF REND LAKE

Discussion using mounted specimens of the "easy to see" and the not so "easy to see" wildlife of Rend Lake. Students will learn about the habitat requirements of these animals and discover where they are most likely to be found. 45 minutes.

RAPTORS

Raptors are amazing creatures. Students will discover these aerial predators and their fascinating world. Mounted specimens will be used to discuss the characteristics and habits of these birds. 45 minutes.

WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES

Various wildlife management techniques used at Rend Lake are discussed in a slide program at the Rend Lake Visitor Center. Students will then travel to several different areas to observe the effects of some of these techniques. Available Fall and Spring. 2-3 hours depending upon areas visited.

INTRODUCTION TO REND LAKE

Students will become familiar with Rend Lake by taking a tour of the Rend Lake Visitor Center. The tour will include viewing the Rend Lake Slide Show and various other exhibits as well as discovering snakes and learning about Rend Lake's wildlife by discussing mounts which are in the Visitor Center. 30 minutes.

WET AND WILD

Issues related to preserving wetlands are very important topics. Participate in indoor activities which will acquaint students with the role of wetlands and discover the biological diversity of a wetland using the Visitor Center Mini-Wetland Demonstration Area. Students will wade in the wetland with rangers and sample for aquatic invertebrates, look at water samples with a hand lens for microorganisms and planktonic life, seine or dip for small insectivorous fish, and take core samples. Available Fall and Spring. 1-3 hours depending upon activities.

REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE

The importance of reduction of waste and increased recycling cannot be overemphasized. Students will learn what they can do to help and why it is necessary to live by the three R's. Program includes hands-on recycling activities. 45 minutes.

WATER SAFETY FOR EVERYONE

More than 6,000 people drown in the United States each year. This program will focus on the importance of water safety and discuss ways to prevent drowning. Games and activities will help students understand the seriousness of this issue. 45 minutes.

HOW A RIVER BECOMES A LAKE

Students will learn how and why the Rend Lake dam turned a portion of the Big Muddy River into a lake. Includes a close- up look at Rend Lake's water control structures. 1 hour.

FILL THE BILL

This hands-on program lets students do detective work to find out why some bird's beaks are used to tear, some to scoop, some to crack, and some to pick their food. 45 minutes.