Bishop 2nd Graders Explore Devils Postpile National Monument

Students at Devils Postpile

More than 170 students and teachers to explore public lands, taking Earth Science
curriculum from classroom to the Great Outdoors

MAMMOTH LAKES, CA – October 2016 – Devils Postpile National Monument hosted Bishop Elementary second graders this October for a series of interactive field trips highlighting the national treasure in their own backyard.

The Bishop Unified School District and Friends of the Inyo will be celebrating the National Park Service Centennial during the first two weeks of October at Devils Postpile. During this time, 170 seven- and eight-year-olds, teachers, parents and chaperones will have the opportunity to explore the natural wonder of their local monument.

The field trips provide a golden opportunity for students to celebrate this year’s National Park Service Centennial while learning about the many natural resources their own local Monument protects. The trips are possible, in part, through funding from Friends of the Inyo.

Bishop second graders participated in field trips October 10-12.

“Devils Postpile is a national treasure, well-known and loved for its scenic beauty, wild rivers and extraordinary geology,” said Laura Beardsley, Executive Director of Friends of the Inyo. “Through student trips, education programs and engagement with local youth, we aim to foster a new generation of champions for the diverse wildlands of the Eastern Sierra.”

The second grade team at Bishop Elementary is very excited to have this opportunity to reinforce our science curriculum through a real-world experience,” said Abby Sada, Dual-Immersion Teacher at Bishop Elementary School.

During the field trips, students will examine a variety of natural processes that occur on monument lands, and learn of the rich history of protection for natural and cultural resources. They’ll explore the importance of the San Joaquin River watershed, learn about the challenges of climate change, and how young people can help preserve the monument’s biodiversity and migratory corridors.

“These students are the next generation of advocates for our great Monument,” said Deanna Dulen, Superintendent of Devils Postpile National Monument. “We’re so grateful for the energy and enthusiasm they bring to safeguarding the natural and cultural heritage of this outstanding resource.”

Devils Postpile National Monument rests along the Upper Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The 798-acre monument preserves the columnar basalt known as the Devils Postpile, the 101-foot Rainbow Falls and other resources in the vital watershed.

The Postpile is a fascinating sight in the geologic world and ranks as one of the world’s finest examples of columnar jointing. After years of pressure from mining interests to build a dam that would destroy the area’s natural scenery, President William Howard Taft in 1911 designated Devils Postpile a national monument under authority of the Antiquities Act. 

Another way families can visit Devils Postpile National Monument and other federal public lands is through the Obama Administration’s Every Kid in a Park program, which was recently extended for another year.  This program ensures that every American has the opportunity to visit and enjoy the outdoors by giving all 4th graders and their families a pass for free access to federal lands and waters nationwide for a full year.

Ranger Nicole Cram demonstrates mountain building

Ranger Leslie Redman points out local wildlife