The following is a first in a series of monthly columns regarding healthy lifestyle, shared by RHS teacher Andrew Turchon and his class
On a mild, fall November morning, 30 students and two teachers from Revere High School traveled north on a bus to the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield. The mission of the class is to get outside and explore what lies beyond the city. The sanctuary is a 2,000 acre park privately owned and operated by the Massachusetts Audubon Society. The park consists of forest, fields, wetland habitats, and the meandering Ipswich River with twelve miles of trails to provide access to a rich diversity of migratory and year-round birds, as well as resident mammals like the coyote, deer, beaver, and fox. Our class broke into two groups and spent the morning exploring. After the trip, students reflected on their experiences at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary.
On November 30, my Adventures, Journeys, and Wilderness class went on a field trip to the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary. This was the second hike that we have been on, and I can say that I enjoyed this hike a lot more than the first. The first trip was to the Middlesex Fells in the Medford area. It was “ok” but I struggled on the rocky trails where I fell several times. I liked this second trip better, though, because it was not as uphill as the Fells and more flat. We also had the chance to see more wildlife. I noticed that the birds were so curious that they would land on your hand if you had food. We saw a red-tailed hawk, I have seen these birds before, just not that close. Other wildlife that we saw included blacked capped chickadees and one tufted titmouse.
The beauty of the forest was mesmerizing. It is difficult to explain how peaceful and quiet it was out there — I loved it. It is so different than in Revere. There was no noise other than the voices of my group. We also explored the rockery, a cool rock cave built from boulders. Part of the park had open fields which were much different from the Fells. I noticed that I was walking the slowest. This left me far behind the rest of the group, but I preferred it that way since it allowed me to experience the park at my own pace. This trip is a reminder that we ought to protect these places and show more people the value of places like these. It is an experience that I will not soon forget. This trip has sparked my mind to explore more places around the world like this.