By Mary Ann Inman


CLINTON – It was cloudy, brisk on Thursday, Dec. 3 when students from Clinton High School’s Wildlife and Resource Management class boarded a school bus and traveled to one of Rock County’s hidden treasures, Carver Roehl Park in Bradford Township.

Several members of the Friends of Carver Roehl Park group greeted 20 students and their teacher and FFA advisor, Ms. Marlina Jackson. Hot chocolate and freshly baked cinnamon rolls were enjoyed as Shirley Jones, a Friends member, presented an interesting and detailed account of the park’s history and the surrounding area. The 53-year-old park is Rock County’s second oldest park. It is known for scenic trails and remarkable limestone outcroppings.

Next Rock County Community Coordinator Dave Hoffman led the group on an extensive hike through the park. Students were given a “Tree Identification Key” handout, and Mr. Hoffman explained how to use it, step by step, to determine tree types. Tree types are coniferous (broad leaf), and deciduous (needle bearing). From there identification involved observing bark, needle or leaf size, color or count.

Students were familiar with many of the identification steps and terminology. The hike allowed to apply learned identification skills. Mr. Hoffman also pointed out a portion of the park designated as a Wisconsin State Natural Area. The description title means it is an outstanding example of Wisconsin’s native landscape with significant geological formations and archeological site characteristics.

The students seemed to enjoy their field trip, refining learned classroom skills, and appreciating the beauty of Carver Roehl Park. Sharon Jones said, “It was refreshing to share information with youth who will be the future stewards of this park. Friends of the Park are thankful for community support to help with their mission to preserve this great little park.”

Friends of Carver-Roehl Park’s host an annual fall festival fundraiser which coupled with membership fees which have funded and continue to fund many past and planned projects.

Annual memberships are $15 each or you can sign on as a Lifetime Member for $150. Friends of Carver-Roehl Park also welcome volunteerism and donations by groups and individuals interested in lending a helping hand.

Inquiries, membership fees and donations may be addressed to Friends of Carver-Roehl Park, P.O. Box 254, Clinton, WI 53525 or you can call Nancy Pope at (608)  728-0338.

The park is available all year long and a wonderful location for family, reunions, group gatherings, school outings, nature hikes, and more. The pavilion has electricity and is available to rent through Rock County Parks Dept. (608) 757-5450.FFA