I thoroughly enjoyed volunteering at Raccoon Creek. The drive out there was beautiful, the land itself and water are absolutely stunning, and I loved interacting with both the kids and the other volunteers. I'm an environmental studies student, and this volunteer opportunity gave me invaluable experience. The nature programs are very well developed, the kids are actually out in nature and not crammed in some classroom. Plenty of activities involving wildlife and other things kids find fascinating is a thoroughly enjoyable experience for all involved! I definitely hope to do more important work with Raccoon Creek in the near future.
My experience with The Raccoon Creek Partnership has been great. I'm just beginning to become more involved with the organization, but so far, I've met many involved and enthusiastic members and board members. The board includes people with a diverse range of skills and expertise, and they seem to work together very well to organize events and projects. Everybody involved has something to offer, and new members or volunteers feel welcomed. The day camps offered by RCP are a wonderful way to give educational and fun experiences to kids while also spreading the word about the importance of protecting the watershed. As a volunteer, it was really great seeing kids get excited about nature and outdoor exploration. The work of RCP has contributed much to the improvement of the watershed, and it sets a great example of how collaboration can promote education, recreation and ecological restoration in the region.
Specifically we have participated and learned about bats, owls, macroinvertebrates, wildflowers, fish, etc...with my two sons at the Raccoon Creek Waterloo Aquatic Education Center. This 1000-acre wildlife area and Center provides a great way for my kids (from the city) to have access to learn about their environment. They can run around outside, hike, play in the pond, explore their world in a safe way. We live on a lot in town and have nowhere for the kids to get this experience. The RCP is doing a great job at providing an outlet for kids who don't have nature in their backyards a chance to connect with the real world. Thanks!
At the day camp, there were plenty of young ones eager to get outside and explore ther natural surroundings. RCP had all sorts of tools ready for just that. D-nets, kick nets, little nets, all different types of containers and identification cards were the primary tools of exploration. We hiked back to the lake, and after a brief demo, the kids were off like wildfire, set to discover the creatures living in and near the water. I have rarely seen so much excitement! Watching the expressions of the kids and the RCP volunteers interact with them warmed my heart. It encouraged me to do what I can to create such experiences for our community.