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Our Valentine Nature Trek took us to Penitentiary Glen in Lake County Metro parks. Students were given background information regarding the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of orphaned or injured animals. Ranger Tim escorted students through the Wildlife Yard to describe the permanent residents who can not be released due to debilitating injuries. "The wild animals that successfully recuperate at the Wildlife Center are released back to their natural world. Those that have injuries prohibiting independent survival remain as part of our "Education Staff". Hawks, owls, falcons and vultures have become a vital part of Lake Metroparks environmental education programs. These animals act as "ambassadors" for their species allowing us to learn about them." We met a juvenile bald eagle with an injured wing named Apollo. He had been attacked by an adult mid flight. As a juvenile, Apollo does not have the white head feathers yet. Then trekkers met Artie, a blind Great Blue Heron. Trekkers readily agreed to adopt an ambassador with funds donated by Hiram Community Trust Grant. Kura the Red Fox was adopted by our trekkers!
Rosemary Krupar teaches 3rd grade at Crestwood Intermediate School. She is working as a Teacher-Ranger-Teacher at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.