About 140 people, including 45 children, participated in the third annual Allendale Community Field Day, May 31, on the K-8 campus of Allendale Public Schools. The event was coordinated by Peter Riemersma, associate professor of geology at Grand Valley State University, and Keith Piccard, a science teacher at Allendale Middle School and adjunct faculty in biology at Grand Valley. This year’s theme was “Things That Swim.”
Activities included a duck race, minnow trap construction, tree planting, garden improvements, nature walks and macroinvertebrate investigation (life found in a stream).
“This project is an opportunity for the community to contribute toward the improvement of educational facilities that are accessible to everyone,” said Riemersma. “This event promotes outdoor education and creates a foundation upon which a variety of activities outside the classroom will be developed and take place.”
The Allendale Boy Scout Troop and Robotics group volunteered to run various activities. Grand Valley faculty from the Biology Department, including Terry Trier, Steve Rybczynski and Eric Snyder, assisted with educational stations. Faculty members led the activity “What Lives in a Drop of Water,” where water samples from Sevey Stream and nearby ponds could be examined under a digital microscope and helped children and parents sample macroinvertebrate.
The community field day was funded by a grant from the Harold Sheridan Fund of the Allendale Community Foundation. The project is sponsored by the Allendale Elementary and Middle School PTOs, BizStream, Peppino’s Sports Grille, Allendale Rotary, True Value and Schepers Concrete.