Bear Creek Ranch Field Trip

Not all information is gained through a lecture or discussion in the classroom. A cornerstone of the Fort Worth Country Day academic experience is outdoor education that takes place beyond the berm. On October 11, ninth-graders loaded buses and headed to Bear Creek Ranch, owned by the Dixon Water Foundation, for the day. Thanks to a relationship with the Texas Wildlife Association (TWA), the School engages in a number of hands-on activities and experiences related to the ecology of prairie systems. Sarah Grella from TWA also came to the FWCD campus earlier in the month to oversee the quail necropsy (autopsy) that preceded this field trip. 
 
While at the 2,100-acre ranch, students used telemeters to find tracking devices, saw how water flows, and discussed what causes river banks to erode and what things can prevent that erosion. In addition, students also took a nature walk, viewing different plants—some that were half eaten—and learning what makes vegetation desirable to cattle and other animals. Related to their studies on quail, the students learned how quails forage for food and how vulnerable they are when they are prey. They assessed what animals might have preyed upon the birds based on how the eggs were found (broken apart or just a small hole made and the yolk sucked out). Students learned what happens to rainwater in different settings—the city, suburbs, over- grazed land and in healthy prairie land—and they caught crickets and other bugs, studying them to see how healthy an area they were in.  
 
Located in Parker County southeast of Weatherford, Bear Creek Ranch is a holistic ranch. Its grazing methods restored the tall-grass prairie and riparian forest. In May 2014, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department honored Bear Creek with a Lone Star Land Steward Award. Dixon Water Foundation promotes healthy watersheds through sustainable land management to ensure that future generations have the water resources they need. The ranch also hosts many educational programs, including wildflower tours and Prairie Protector school field trips.
4200 Country Day Lane, Fort Worth, TX 76109
Phone: 817.732.7718
Fort Worth Country Day (FWCD) is a K-12 private, independent, coeducational, nondenominational college-preparatory school located on approximately 100 acres in Fort Worth, Texas. The mission of Fort Worth Country Day School is to foster the intellectual, physical, emotional, and ethical development of capable students through an academically rigorous college preparatory program that integrates the arts and athletics.