The following are the archived main articles from the 2010 issues Heartland Outdoor School’s  newsletter, Nature Notes:

October 2010

Climbing wall

New at Heartland is our climbing wall! Students can climb the 20 foot wall using one of three sections. This allows three climbers on the wall at one time. The wall encompasses all skill levels so students and adults of any age and ability can enjoy climbing. The level of difficulty increases from section to section and the path taken. You can make use of the wall in two ways. The first is as an Afternoon Activity, and secondly, you can choose the climbing wall as an hour long class where you can learn more about climbing and good techniques. Climb On!

Wetland/ Grassland

We have a new addition to our property, a beautiful Ohio native grass prairie and wetland. Driving into Heartland you will see the 32 acres used to create an area with native grasses and wildflowers. The wetland area has become a habitat for many wetland plants and flowers as well as many birds and other native wildlife. We are currently adding nesting boxes which will be home to animals like blue birds, owls, ducks, and bats. You are free to walk the nearly two miles of trails to see all of the beauty our wetland and grassland project has to offer.


November 2010

Ohio Living History

The fall leaves crunch under the feet of the settlers as they journey to their new home on the Ohio frontier.  The long hunter, serving as their guide, seems nervous and constantly motions for silence while clutching his musket and peering into the woods with apprehension.  A shot rings out from the bushes accented by the blood-curdling war whoops of a war party!  Immediately, the woods seem to explode with thunderous volleys as the defenders return fire to protect the students.  Wait! Students?  The party wandering through the forest is not just settlers from the distant past but also students, teachers, and cabin leaders on their way to one of Heartland’s exciting classes; Ohio Living History.

The Ohio Living History village is one of many exciting opportunities that awaits campers at the Heartland Outdoor Environmental School.  Students take the role of settlers in 1798 and begin their experience with a hike through a hostile wilderness guided by long hunters from the village. At the settlement, students can experience frontier skills such as: butter making, carpentry, candle making, farming, sewing, tomahawk throwing, campfire cooking, frontier games, and enlisting in the village militia.  Students can also watch as our blacksmith molds and shapes red hot metal into useful items or try their hand at trading furs and trinkets with the local fur trader.

The settlement is now composed of our newly completed cabin, the unoccupied cabin of the unfortunate Walker family (they didn’t quite make it through the winter), the blacksmith shop, bread oven, smokehouse, trappers shack, and much more.  The Living History program is available as a traditional two hour class, as an evening program (seasonally available), or as a one day field trip event. To give your students a taste (literally) of what you can experience here at Heartland, we have included our tasty fry bread recipe for you and your students. This is the same recipe use for our Living History class.

4 cups flour                                          ½ cup shortening                     Cooking oil

2 tbsp. baking powder                         1 cup warm water                     Cast iron skillet

Mix flour, baking powder, and salt well.  Gradually add water and shortening until dough sticks together.  Roll into pancakes and fry in hot oil until golden brown.