Happy Tales from Hard Bargain Farm

Student encounters a cow and goats
Students look at a chart while searching for microorganisms in the river

While the rest of the school was celebrating Earth Day with various outdoor activities around campus, 4th graders made their annual trek to Hard Bargain Farm Environmental Education Campus in Accokeek, MD. During their extended-day trip, students engaged in a wide variety of outdoor activities, including: 

  • Team-building activities on the newly rebuilt challenge course;
  • A hike through the farmyard, where they spent time getting to know the goats (Gumball, Goofball, Snowball, and Lucille Ball), the sheep, and Opal the cow;
  • An opportunity to learn about the Ferguson family who bought the farm’s land and preserved it for education;
  • Rolling down the big hill;
  • A hike down to the Potomac River, stopping to dip net for macroinvertebrates along the way and catching, identifying, and then releasing the creatures they found;
  • Observing frogs, fallen trees, osprey, and bald eagles in their natural habitats;
  • Learning about "Who Polluted the Potomac?" and understanding their own impact on the environment and, more specifically, the river;
  • Going on a hay ride behind the tractor;
  • Learning about the Piscataway Indian Nation;
  • Milking the cow;
  • Making s’mores over the campfire; and
  • A little more rolling down the big hill before heading home!

At Green Acres, environmental stewardship is one of our key pillars. This field trip—and others like it—nurtures a profound respect and love for the environment and a sense of responsibility for its care. The opportunity to learn, bond with peers, and be outdoors (on Earth Day, no less!), makes this field trip one for the books.