Teachers, this information has recently changed so, even if you are a veteran of the Bobcat Ridge field trips, please read this page thoroughly.
First, thank you for participating in the Bobcat Ridge 4th grade field trip. We look forward to meeting you and your students. This page contains useful information about your field trip including what to expect during the field trip, what you need to bring, and how to get to Bobcat Ridge. Please read through this page. If you have any questions, please contact Bo Welden at Bo.Welden@colostate.edu.
About your field trip
Your instructors for the Bobcat Ridge portion of your field trip are CSU students that have been selected to be a part of the DR and Ginny Pulliam Scholars Program. Through this program, students take two courses on environmental education and leadership, teach your students at Bobcat Ridge, and mentor high school students through science projects. Your instructors have received extensive training on the lesson plan for the field trip and, throughout the year, receive instruction and practice in environmental education best practices, group management, age appropriateness, state standards, lesson planning, and more. We ask you to keep in mind that these students are growing as educators. Please take the time to fill out the evaluation form that was emailed to you with the original field trip email or handed to you by your instructor. Thank you in advance for supporting this program and these future educators.
Field trip schedule
You will spend half of your day at Bobcat Ridge Natural Area and half of your day at Big Thompson Elementary. Below is a schedule of your field trip day. You will need to know which location your class is going to first.
How to Prepare for your field trip
Directions to Bobcat Ridge Natural Area
Bobcat Ridge’s address is 10184 West County Road 32C, Loveland. From Loveland, go west on Highway 34 about 4.5 miles west of Wilson Avenue. Turn north on CR 27 by Big Thompson Elementary and drive 4.5 miles. Turn left on CR 32C and go 1 mile west to the Bobcat Ridge parking lot.
What to bring
Please have students bring/wear the following:
– close-toed shoes
– weather appropriate clothing
– a sharpened pencil
– a sack lunch
– a full water bottle (there is no potable water at Bobcat Ridge)
– a backpack
How to prepare your students
Please split your students up into two groups. We will have two field instructors for each field trip session.
Go over the general goal of the field trip at Bobcat Ridge – to gather data about two different areas of the natural area in order to compare and contrast that data back in the classroom. Explain that because the field trip includes an integral ‘back in the classroom’ piece, it is important that they use good observation skills to examine their area and take good notes to share with the class. They have an important job to do!
What you will do on your field trip
Upon arriving at Bobcat Ridge (morning group) or finishing lunch (afternoon group) at the picnic pavilion, you will be greeted by your instructors. As students who need to use the restroom (located in the parking lot) do so, one instructor will briefly talk to the teacher and chaperones about helpful roles they can take on during the field trip. Then your students will split into their preassigned groups and an instructor will begin the field trip with each group. Your students will each be handed a student field guide (a copy was sent to you in the original field trip email) and a clipboard. Throughout the trip, the instructor will lead students through activities that will include recording responses and data in the field guide. During the trip, your students will complete pages 1-8. Depending on time, they may complete page 9. Pages 10-12 should be done back in the classroom. Objectives for the field trip are below.
While visiting Bobcat Ridge Natural Area, students will:
- Identify and hypothesize about patterns they observe in the overall landscape of Bobcat Ridge.
- Define the terms ‘abiotic’ and ‘biotic’.
- Identify biotic and abiotic factors at Bobcat Ridge.
- Collect data on wildlife, plant life, and soil in one ecosystem at Bobcat Ridge.
Back in the Classroom
Due to time constraints, student learning will need to be continued back in the classroom. We have put together a lesson plan that goes along with pages 10-12 in the student field guide. This lesson plan can be accessed here. Objectives for the ‘back in the classroom’ portion of the field trip are below.
In the classroom students will:
- List two interactions between biotic and abiotic factors they observed at Bobcat Ridge.
- List two interactions between biotic factors observed at Bobcat Ridge.
- Compare and contrast two different ecosystems found at Bobcat Ridge.
- Define the term ‘ecosystem.’
- Hypothesize the effects of various changes within an ecosystem.
If the forecast looks iffy for the day of your field trip, Bo Welden will contact you to discuss whether or not you would still like to come out. We are ready to teach in any weather (aside from lightning); we leave the decision to come out or not up to you as you know your students better than we do. Occasionally the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas closes Bobcat Ridge due to wet and muddy conditions. If this occurs, we will have to cancel field trips. If this is the case on the day of your trip, Bo Welden will contact you or your school’s main office.
Although some areas of Bobcat Ridge are wheelchair accessible, much of it is not. Please contact Bo Welden (Bo.Welden@colsotate.edu) ahead of time to discuss any special needs your group may have.
Your instructors will have most standard first aid supplies on hand, but please be sure to bring any medications your students need.
To learn more about Bobcat Ridge Natural Area, go to http://www.fcgov.com/naturalareas/finder/bobcat.