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Jayce Hofstrand, a first grader from Deerwood, was able to see how seemingly small decisions that people make can negatively impact our environment during the Freddie the Fish Activity. - photo submitted

Earth Day Field Trip: Hunt Utilities Campus, Pine River

Web posted May 6, 2014
K-12 students from MTS Minnesota Connections Academy embarked on an exciting Earth Day field trip to Happy Dancing Turtle on the Hunt Utilities Group Campus in Pine River. Family members and Connections Academy faculty also attended.

Teaching students about sustainable living, participants toured the energy efficient buildings, including one made out of cob (a mixture of sand, clay and water and insulated with straw bales); learned about active and passive solar energy; saw large demonstration gardens and vermiculture (worm composting) bins; learned about hydroponics, aquaponics, and water reprocessing systems; as well as performed activities related to the water cycle and nutrients trees need to survive—all in honor of Earth Day. Time was also spent at the Rural Renewable Energy Alliance where students and their parents learned about solar hot air panels and the solar resource in Minnesota.

"What better way to celebrate Earth Day than with the enthused and curious students from Minnesota Connections Academy," said Robert McLean, Executive Director, Happy Dancing Turtle. "Together, we were able to learn many ways of exploring nature and living more resiliently! It was great to share Earth Day with the students and their families."

MTS Minnesota Connections Academy is a tuition-free, K-12 online public school that students across the state attend from home. Throughout each month, students have the opportunity to attend field trips and community activities which provide students with the opportunity to support their daily courses and socialize with faculty, other students and their families.

MTS Minnesota Connections Academy meets the needs of students and families looking for an alternative to a traditional school setting—those who need a flexible schedule, learn at a different pace from their peers, need more individualized attention or seek a learning environment outside of a traditional classroom. Visit http://www.connectionsacademy.com/minnesota for event listings.

Based in north central Minnesota, Happy Dancing Turtle, is a nonprofit (501(c)3) whose mission is to build, demonstrate, and promote sustainable living in ways that are economically and ecologically practical. They do this through a variety of avenues including workshops, classes, collaborations, educational materials and tours. For more information, visit www.happydancingturtle.org.

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