• Last modified 2035 days ago (Nov. 29, 2018)


Middle school field trip provides history, fun

Staff writer

For the second year in a row, Marion Middle School made a pre-Thanksgiving trip to Tallgrass Prairie Preserve at Strong City.

English teacher Jona Neufeld went both years, and said it was a valuable experience for the students each time.

“This is one way they can get to know the community around them,” she said.

Each teacher decided which activities to take part in, ranging from a six-mile hike to touring an old schoolhouse.

“Tallgrass Prairie is a beautiful place and it’s historic,” she said. “There’s a lot for them to do and see.”

Neufeld’s group hiked to an old schoolhouse, stopping by an outhouse, a smokehouse, and a teepee on the way.

The schoolhouse maintained its traditional furnishings, including chalkboards with lessons, desks for the teacher and students, and a woodstove.

The students were happy to act out their roles as old-time students one seventh-grader said.

As a national preserve, the site also raises a large herd of bison. The students didn’t directly interact with them this year, but the bus drove up to the bison’s pasture last year, Neufeld said.

“This year they had some of the trails blocked off because they were getting ready to move some of the bison to a different pasture,” she said. “We got to walk out there, but we didn’t get to take the bus.”

It was a fitting time for the trip. The weather was mild that day, but there were rough conditions leading up to the visit, and in the days following Thanksgiving.

“It was a beautiful day to go,” Neufeld said. “We were all dressed pretty warmly, maybe a little warmer than we needed to be.”

Two students who went on the six-mile trip previously said they were happy to go on a shorter walk this time.

They went on the longer hike last year, but preferred going to the schoolhouse.

Last modified Nov. 29, 2018