GIRARD — From farm equipment and animals to fish and GPS, George Nettels Elementary School fourth-graders learned more about the outdoors on Kids Day on the Farm Monday.



Kids went through a variety of activities at DeLange Farm, owned by Sheldon DeLange, designed to teach them about life on and around the farm.

GIRARD — From farm equipment and animals to fish and GPS, George Nettels Elementary School fourth-graders learned more about the outdoors on Kids Day on the Farm Monday.

Kids went through a variety of activities at DeLange Farm, owned by Sheldon DeLange, designed to teach them about life on and around the farm.

“It’s nice to have the kids come out and learn about how our food is raised and things like that,” DeLange said.

Some even grabbed and kissed some fish. After Rob Friggeri’s presentation, kids sifted through a tub of fish, looking to see the different sizes, shapes and textures, yanking them out one by one.

“This one’s slimy,” one girl said.

“They all are,” a boy replied.

Friggeri, district fisheries biologist, said he enjoyed the day.

“It gives us a chance to teach the kids about ponds, wildlife and fish,” Friggeri said. “It’s something they might not normally get to do.

“Honestly, I think the highlight of their day is the hot dogs and the marshmallow roasting. Though I do think there are quite a few parents who might get pestered about going to fish after today.”

Meanwhile, Diana Hartog with the Crawford County Conservation District office, and Mark Snooter, with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, took students on a scavenger hunt. Students were fixed up with a backpack with a GPS antenna, a coordinate reader and a notepad. Using fixed waypoints, they had to find certain artifacts like petrified wood. At the end of the trail was a bucket of pencils the students could choose from.

Andy Gottlob, George Nettels principal, said it was a great experience for the students.

“They can come out and learn so many different things about animals and farming, ponds and the different species of fish,” Gottlob said. “This is an experience that a lot of them won’t get if they stay in a town setting. I think this will likely spark some interest.”

DeLange’s property contains quite a bit of history. He found a small cemetery with a headstone that read “Baby Girard.” He said he gave that stone to the Crawford County Historical Museum. DeLange also gave the kids a presentation on Crawfordsville, the first settlement in Crawford County in the 1860s. He pointed out a barn that would have been in the area, then told of how residents then went on to found Girard just a bit down the road.

“They made that the main town, and a little while after, Crawfordsville died off,” DeLange said.

DeLange said he appreciated the kids’ interest.

“I love having them out here,” DeLange said. “It’s pretty much no work at all to prepare, and it’s important for them to learn about this. We have a good time.”

Kevin Flaherty can be reached at kevin.flaherty@morningsun.net or by calling 231-2600 Ext. 134.