Where the Wild Things Were

On Earth Day four students left the Betty Marler on a day-long adventure to the Denver Botanical Gardens and the Denver Zoo. The students were from the Horticulture class.  The trip was led by Horticulture teacher Ms. Luce and Technology teacher Mr. Forrester.
Once they arrived at the Botanical Gardens the first stop was the tropical conservatory. The girls enjoyed palm trees that rose to the ceiling and opportunity to climb towards the top of the conservatory and look over the scenery. As the girls left the conservatory they were intrigued by the various landscapes of flowers and flowering trees. Many commented on the sweet smell that surrounded them. Two students from the Ponderosa Unit were excited to take a picture in front of a Ponderosa Pine. They explored Colorado native plants, many different landscapes, a cactus room, and enjoyed looking at seedlings and plants growing in the many greenhouses.

Once at the zoo, the students were in awe of the animals. Some of their favorite animals were the hippopotamus, giraffes, sea lions, the baby orangutan, the polar bear, and many others. For one of the students it was her first time ever going to a zoo and so a valuable experience. As the group traveled through the zoo, Ms. Luce pointed out native plants, and the fact some animals did not have any vegetation in their habitat. The lack of vegetation was common in large prey animals’ habitats such as the lions, and herd animals’ habitats like zebras.  The students also noticed that many animals we see every day, such as the Canadian geese, also found a home within the zoo.

On the way back to campus the students voiced their surprise and excitement about the things they witnessed and learned about.  The trip was educational for the students.  It helped them to  better understand vegetation, ecosystems and the environment and how these systems work together.  This knowledge will help the students to become better aware of their environment.  All the students stated that they would like to return to the zoo and the botanical gardens so they could learn more.