Scott Kady and Carol Lariviere’s fifth-grade students from Miller School took a special kind of field trip to the Medomak Valley Land Trust’s Peace Corps Preserve on Finntown Road in Waldoboro on March 3. The students’ goal was to learn as much as possible from community experts about the quest site. Quests are community treasure hunts created to help people explore and learn more about the special places of their towns.

The students’ project is Questing the Goose River. The four leaders for the Miller School students included local experts and scientists from Waldoboro and nearby communities.

Mike Krepner, Abenaki canoe trail guide, spoke about native Maine Indian history. Sarah Gladu, education coordinator from the Damariscotta River Association, and Lincoln Smith from Medomak Valley Land Trust, led two different natural history/watershed education groups. Sid Quarrier, a professional geologist (formerly with Maine Island Trails Association), guided the children through a scientific/geologic interpretation of the Goose River watershed.

The students gathered countless notes and took the information back to their classrooms to do further research to create the clue-based guided walk for the MVLT Peace Corps Preserve.

A quest is a hands-on, concrete place-based education tool to support children’s learning about the places around them. The three basic elements of a quest are teaching and movement clues, a detailed map, and a hidden treasure box.

The annual Summer Teachers Questing Institute and subsequent school year support for classrooms is made possible by the Quebec-Labrador Foundation’s Questing Program (part of QLF’s Marine Program based in Waldoboro) and funded by a NOAA Meaningful Watershed Education grant. The Quebec-Labrador Foundation is a 50-year-old binational conservation and service organization that supports rural and community-based projects throughout eastern Canada and New England. For more information contact Anne Stires, community learning coordinator at QLF’s Marine Program Office, at 832-8109.