4175 Sunbury Rd. Galena Ohio 43021

A NEW ERA: Monthly Family Programming

Beginning the 2017-18 school year, Spruce Run Environmental Study Center will be hosting FREE family weekend programming for all CCS staff, students and their families. Programming will occur on the second Saturday of each month from 10:00 a.m.

until 2:00 p.m. For your family's convenience, programming will follow an "open house" format so you can come and go through the day as you please. Some programs will state specific times for certain activities that will happen during that particular day. Occasionally, you may be asked to sign up for an activity to ensure we don't run out of supplies. See details of programming below.

Keep checking the newsletter for programming updates.


Ashland Course: Understanding the Philosophy of Experiential Learning

Although the class will be held at Spruce Run Environmental Center, it is NOT a class on how to use Spruce Run. The majority of the class will involve journaling and self reflection centered around on your own pedagogy. Then creating an understanding of how experiential learning can be added to your teaching style.

The class will take place on March 15, 22 and 28 from 4:30-7:00 pm. There is a four hour Saturday requirement on either April 14 or May 12. (your choose only one of the saturdays and can bring your students and or family on that day) The class is designed to be practical as well as thought provoking. We will explore the underlying theoretical elements of the philosophy of experiential education and utilize specific activities in enhancing experiential learning opportunities for students. Keeping a personal reflection journal is a key component of this course. You MUST have the required textbook on the first evening of class, 147 Practical Tips For Using Experiential Learning.

Contact Geri Granger at ggranger9556@columbus.k12.oh.us if you have questions.

Fifth Graders are on "Safari" at Spruce Run: Phase 2

The Columbus Zoo’s Classroom Safari program is partnering with Spruce Run to advance and encourage science learning with fifth grade students, helping them understand and internalize science as part of their everyday experiences. Classroom Safari consists of three components: monthly, hour-long classroom visits from the Zoo’s Education staff and animal ambassadors incorporating lessons and hands-on activities; a family day at the Columbus Zoo; two field trips to Spruce Run.

Classroom Safari: Phase 2 begins in March. Students will be back at Spruce Run collecting and analyzing their final pieces of data from the trail cameras and creating tables, graphs and charts to summarize their findings. Students will also spend time on a "quiet sit" in the location of their camera to create illustrations to enhance their lab reports or to create poems/short stories to be included in the magazine that will be published by the Columbus Zoo.

The Columbus Zoo and Spruce Run are enjoying partnering together to make sure that key science concepts are being taught as well as ensuring that the students are thinking critically and problem solving throughout.

SOF: Save Our Fox

Several days ago, I saw a small red fox on property with mange. Mange will NOT hurt humans but could be fatal to the fox if not treated. Sarcoptic mange is the name for the skin disease caused by infection with the Sarcoptes scabei mite. The mites are microscopic and can’t be seen by the naked eye. Female Sarcoptes mites burrow under the skin and leave a trail of eggs behind. This burrowing creates an inflammatory response in the skin similar to an allergic reaction. The motion of the mite in and on the skin is extremely itchy, as is the hatching of the eggs. This creates further allergic reaction and more itching, loss of sleep and reduced immune response. Loss of fur, scaly skin and a general unthrifty appearance is characteristic of a Sarcoptic mange infestation. The condition worsens as a skin infection sets in. The foxes immune system is even more compromised and internal parasites (tape, hook and round worms) begin to take over and absorb any nutrients that fox may find. Mangy foxes are usually starving in the late stages.

Foxes with mange are not a threat to people, dogs, cats, etc. They are close to people and buildings because there may be easy food such as cat or dog food left out in dishes, bird seed, garbage, insects, worms, roadkill and a mouse or two. They are also losing their ability to thermoregulate and need protection from wind, shade, sun, whatever the present need of the body is. Mangy foxes (and coyotes) often seek out a pile of hay to lay in. Hay seems to relieve the itchiness and provide a source of comfort. Mange is treatable if the animal is treated in time before the process of organ failure begins.

With that said, I have already contacted the Ohio Wildlife Center they told me that they are seeing mange outbreaks in Dublin, Hillard, Westerville...so please keep an eye on the wildlife in your yards and call OWC @ 614.734.9453 if you see evidence of an outbreak.

You will know if an animal has mange because the fur is not fluffy, it looks shaven, or patches appear shaven. The pictures above are not pictures of the fox I saw but the best examples I could find via the internet showing the different degrees of mange.

I am happy to say, as for our Spruce Run fox, OWC will be coming out to Spruce Run to capture him/her. Once captured, OWC will take it to their animal hospital in Powell, Ohio for treatment. Once the fox is healthy he/she will be released back into the wild at the site of capture.

Signs of Spring @ Spruce

Observation Skills

The pictures you see above, are just some of the things that the students from Medina Middle School witnessed on February 26th and 27th as they explored Spruce Run. These students asked fantastic questions, had great observations skills and found many signs of spring. Thanks for coming to Spruce and being such great field scientists.

March 1st: Salamander Release

I just released 24 Spotted salamander and 1 Jefferson salamander from our vernal pool.

It makes me very happy to know that this delicate ecosystem is productive and healthy.

Volunteers Needed

Become a volunteer. All you need is an enthusiasm for Columbus City Schools, a willingness to learn and a desire to share with others! Volunteer hours are flexible and will depend on your chosen job area(s). No previous training is needed: training programs will be provided.

Currently we need volunteers in the following areas:

Office: answer telephone, filing, organizing supplies for school group activities

Horticulture: working in the greenhouse, raised bed, landscaping maintenance

Naturalist: sharing your personal "Nature Hobby" such as birding or rock collecting with student groups

Maintenance: general upkeep of the buildings and grounds

Scout Specialist: working with troops, or individual scouts on badges, scouting projects and volunteering opportunities at Spruce Run

Contact Geri Granger for more information: ggranger9556@columbus.k12.oh.us

Thank You

As Pre K-12 Education Programming Coordinator at Spruce Run Environmental Center, I just wanted to say, THANK YOU to everybody for their support this year:

  • Every department at 17th Ave. for always taking my calls and keeping Spruce Run in tip top shape
  • Transportation for fixing all of my mistakes and getting our students here safely
  • Teachers for your creativity and flexibility
  • Principals for believing in the value of outdoor programming
  • Fellow TOSA's for giving support and using Spruce Run within your disciplines
  • Office of Teaching and Learning for believing in me and allowing me the freedom to create and bring my vision to life
  • The Patton Family for generously donating Spruce Run to CCS
  • My wonderful husband and family for listening to me babble endlessly about what a great job I have

Because of all of you, Spruce Run was booked for 115 days this year and is currently booked for 53 days for next year.