Third-graders from Ashland's Bellview Elementary saw stream-dwelling insects up close, collected igneous and sedimentary rocks and identified local trees and plants Monday in Oredson-Todd Woods.

Third-graders from Ashland's Bellview Elementary saw stream-dwelling insects up close, collected igneous and sedimentary rocks and identified local trees and plants Monday in Oredson-Todd Woods.

The hands-on science was part of Loving the Land, an outdoor education program sponsored by the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy. After the program wraps up Friday, more than 200 third-, fourth- and fifth-graders from Ashland will have seen the science concepts they learn at school applied in nature, said Michael Stringer, the conservancy's development director.

"I think that kids need to be outdoors," Stringer said. "They learn science in the classroom and when they get outside they see it and hear it and touch it and smell it."

Students rotated through three activity stations located along the trails, exploring the water, rocks and plants with the help of trained volunteers.

— Ashland Daily Tidings