Departure We left Moorefield at 6:00 AM Sunday, June 29 in a Toyota Sequoia.
New York, New York Our first stop was in New Jersey, wherein we were able to visit a 9/11 memorial, Ellis Island, and Liberty Island.
9/11 Memorial At the memorial we were able to see where the Twin Towers stood. Being able to touch some of the building materials provided a sense of realism for the events that occurred. The names imbued in each wall also helped make real the events that occurred when we were to young to fully comprehend what was happening.
Ellis Island On Ellis Island, we were able to learn of the struggles faced by our ancestors as they came to America. “In Europe I was told America’s streets were paved with gold. When I got here, I learned that most were not even paved and that I was expected to pave them.” – Unknown Some of us were even able to find our relatives who came to the country through Ellis Island.
Liberty Island On liberty Island, we were able to climb the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. To experience the architecture and the view of the city was simply awe inspiring.
Arrival After spending the night in Massachusetts, we arrived in Maine the following morning.
Booted in Freeport In Freeport, Maine, we were able to visit L.L. Bean’s home outlet. We were also able to visit some local shops and learn some about Maine culture.
Ba Ha-Ba Our Hotel, the Atlantic Eyrie Lodge, was located just outside of Bar Harbor, Maine. In Bar Harbor, we were able to further experience Maine culture and tourism. Furthermore, we were able to gain a taste of local cuisine through their many restaurants.
Acadia Sweet Acadia Acadia National Park is an incredible part of our country. We were able to hike and climb through almost untouched parts of nature. The park taught us more about each of the Envirothon categories, specifically how they are in the area: aquatics, wildlife, forestry, and soils.
Aquatic Arrival Over the course of the journey, we continually travelled along rivers and the ocean—various bodies of water. With the resources present along the island, we were able to view the local watersheds; see how a lack of human impact can have great benefit to the surrounding waters; and see the wildlife that a northern ocean supports compared to local rivers. Sadly, whale watching was cancelled due to weather.
Fawntastic It is quite interesting to learn about local fauna. One such factor is the significant number of sea creatures, such as various crabs and fish. We even got to learn about avian life such as seagulls, eagles, and song birds, of which were a few warblers (sadly, we were unable to get pictures). Though we were unable to see any many live mammals, there were displays about creatures such as moose and the like. Our hotel even had a deer going about.
Floral Freedom The history of the island’s plants, is quite intriguing. The cool, moist air allows for ferns, mosses, lichens, and the like to grow almost boundlessly. In most areas, the cool old forests allow most of the forest to be populated by spruces and firs. A fire in 1947 which affected most of Mt. Desert Island, produced forests more like those we would see in West Virginia with hardwoods, oaks, etc.
Slippery slopes The area is quite rocky, leaving soils rather thin, particularly on the ridges. The 1947 fire, aided the lack of soil. With nothing to prevent erosion at the top of the mountains, more rock was bared. This allowed only smaller plant to remain securely in a larger area.
A ‘Light’le Bit of History Before geo-locating technologies, the only way to prevent ships from coming ashore against rocks were lighthouses. Today they are still kept active, though primarily as a backup. Fortunately, there was one close enough for us to visit.
Thank you for allowing us to embark on this educational experience, in light of recent events. We are also using a portion of the money to donate and plant 2 trees at what will be the newly constructed Moorefield High School.
Additional Pictures Investigating Bar Island during low-tide. Looking for aquatic life and studying geology of the sandbar.
Beehive Trail: We climbed and concurred- 520 feet in elevation. An excellent way to study the geology of the mountain.
A note from the MHS Advisor: This educational experience allowed five young adults the opportunity to plan a field experience, investigate, and put to use the skill sets they have learned through WV Envirothon-Thank you!