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Greenburgh Nature Center comes to Traphagen School for an in-house field trip

Greenburgh Nature Center comes to Traphagen School for an in-house field trip

Traphagen scholars took an in-house field trip that featured a tortoise, ferret, and albino rabbit. Students were allowed to touch all the animals and see them up close. Nick Coon, a naturalist educator at Greenburgh Nature Center, brought his scaly and furry friends to Traphagen School on Tuesday, January 10, 2023, for the field trip.  

Kid looking at ferret

Coon started with the ferret. He brought it around the class, and everyone got a chance to touch it. Some of the students were scared at first, but as the demonstration went on, they built up the courage to touch the animals. One of the reasons for this demonstration is to help children feel more comfortable with animals and stepping out of their comfort zone. A demonstration like this can help spark a lifetime love of animals.  


The next animal he showed the children was a leopard tortoise named Homebody. Homebody was about the size of a frisbee, but Coon told the students that he could grow as big as a manhole cover. Coon answered the student’s questions about the tortoise’s shell and carried it around the room for them to pet it as well. 

Student touching tortoise

For his last animal, Coon had to warn everyone to not scream in reaction to the cuteness. He then pulled out an albino rabbit with red eyes and long, smooth, white fur. Despite the warning, many of the students were not able to contain their excitement. The rabbit hopped around the room and was also brought around for petting.  

“They were cute and nice,” said Fatima Kora, an eighth grader at Traphagen School. “I liked the rabbit and the turtle the best. They were so cute.” 

“It’s important for our kids to be exposed to different animals,” said Laura Rudolph, Special Education Teacher at Traphagen. “In our curriculum, we’re all learning about mammals and reptiles, so it was very valuable to have them (Greenburgh Nature Center) come in and be a part of our curriculum.” 

During his demonstration, Coon taught the students about what the animals eat, proper caring techniques, and their life in the wild. He told students about the other animals and exhibits at the Greenburgh Nature Center and urged them to come visit on their own time, 

“It was wonderful today for the kids to see the animals,” said Zuri Fairman, Special Education Teacher at Traphagen. “It gave them a chance to have a hands-on learning experience. It was a great experience.” 

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