Donation allows schools in Brunswick County to send students on free field trip to Bald Head Island

Every 6th grade student in Brunswick County Public Schools was able to attend a free field trip to the Bald Head Island Conservancy over the past few weeks.
Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 7:47 AM EDT
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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Every 6th-grade student in Brunswick County Public Schools was able to attend a free field trip to the Bald Head Island Conservancy throughout the past few weeks.

But the schools didn’t have to pay a penny because of a donation from Jim and Devon Brown, life members of the conservancy, that covered all the costs.

There are five middle schools in Brunswick County, which means that hundreds of students were able to attend this field trip.

The conservancy went over everything from sand dunes and marshlands to how the maritime forest aligns with the North Carolina standards for botany.

Jennifer Wiggen, a senior educator of Bald Head Island Conservancy, explained what the kids got to see on the island.

“To be able to go and see live oaks that have been here for 100 years, or to go and see a completely well-established Marsh that helps protect the island and even these wonderful dune systems that we have here that are covered in vegetation that help prevent erosion and things from happening from hurricanes. It’s just a unique thing for them to be able to come and see and if we don’t show them, they might not ever have the chance to,” said Wiggen.

In order to learn about erosion and the aftermath of a hurricane, the students made small sand piles and threw water on them to see if it was sturdy enough to handle harsh weather.

Studies show that kids are able to retain more information when they are out of the classroom and participating in hands-on activities, and this field trip did just that.

I was told that many of the students have not only never been to Bald Head Island before, but also have never been on a ferry before. Students might have never had the opportunity to have these learning experiences without the program and that’s part of what made these field trips so special.

“It’s been a wonderful experience for them. A lot of times, this is their first time on a boat, maybe even some of their first times going to the beach or seeing a full maritime forest like this and so it’s been a really, really great thing,” said Wiggen.

If you’d like to explore Bald Head Island, they offer programs such as nature tours, beach fishing, kayak rides, beach patrol ride along and more. You can find programs such as these on their website.