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Students get their hands dirty learning about habitat preservation

Instead of learning about the outdoors through textbooks, students took a field trip to Fennessey Ranch.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Kids across the Coastal Bend had a break from their computers with a trip to Fennessey Ranch. That's where the 14th annual 'Monarch Madness' event took place. 

Organizers told 3NEWS that the event is also a way for students to get into nature and learn about preserving the environment and its inhabitants.

Carter Crouch is the Gulf Coast Program Director, for the International Crane Foundation. He wishes he had an educational experience like this one when he was younger. 

"I certainly don't think I had anything quite like this when I was in school," Crouch said. "I certainly would've enjoyed it then as I was pretty into biology in fifth grade."

Students of all ages were all smiles learning about the environment. Especially Ellie who took a special interest in the different types of butterflies.

"My favorite part was going on the hay ride and learning all the different butterflies and seeing all the different butterflies there," Ellie said.

Marissa Ford is the Executive Director of Wildlife In Focus. She said that watching children express their love of science was its on reward.

"It's awesome to see these kids come out and spend some time outside in the outdoors and learn the importance of habitat preservation," Ford said.

Some kids were having so much fun, they may not have realized they were learning.

"Statistics today show that kids only get about 30 minutes outside in a week, because most kids in the city spend most of their time on electronics," Ford said.

For fifth grade science teacher Madalynn Nixon, the experience is a full circle moment for her. She experienced her first 'Monarch Madness' event when she was in fifth grade.

"I loved it," Nixon said. "So much that I actually came back to it. It's phenomenal seeing them get out of the classroom, and an element where they can be who they want to be and be free, and not have to be strictly behind a book or writing notes or something. It's good to see them out here."

Ranch Manager, Katie Swanson said she's hoping an event like this one will inspire kids to be more curious about the environment that surrounds them.

"I'm able to share a place that I love," Swanson said. "And this means so much to me with them and hopefully inspire them to get out in nature later in life."

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